If you've been following our coffee shop for the past year, odds are that you've heard about our plan to open a location on Ball State's Campus in the new development known as the Village Promenade. In October of 2014, we received a phone call from the developers of the Village Promenade just before we were about to close down the shop and head home for the day. They asked us if we would be interested in providing a coffee solution for their tenants. They went on to tell us how much they loved our brand and how we would be the perfect accompaniment to what they were trying to accomplish. Keep in mind that we have not even been open for a full year at the time that this offer was being proposed to us. At first glance it seemed like an impossible endeavor, but regardless, we decided to hear them out and see what opportunities would be presented. In fact, when we first received the call, we thought it was a prank and nearly hung up. Fast forward a couple weeks and many conversations later, we found ourselves working with the Village Promenade to bring a top notch coffee shop to the BSU Village. We were very excited about this new endeavor and eager to start planning.
Initially, they wanted us to provide a sort of coffee kiosk/cart, but we wanted to do the space justice and put in a coffee shop proper. We spent months working with our team to create something that the local community would be proud of. However, before anything could be done, we had to work things out with the landlord so that we were all on the same page and shared the same vision.
Keep in mind, we still had a coffee shop to run during all of this. We put in several hours every day in addition to what we were already working to make sure that this other coffee shop would be just as stellar as our downtown location. However, communication with the landlord was difficult and decisions necessary to move the project along were not forthcoming in a timely manner. The initial timeline of 6 months turned into 14 months as we were trying to iron out the details of our proposed coffee shop. Lauren and I became increasingly frustrated and stressed and we eventually agreed with the landlord to terminate the project and part company.
We decided it was no longer in our best interest to pursue a business venture at the Village Promenade location. In the end, the whole experience came down to community and long-term relationships. We place an extremely high value on these aspects of our business. They are important to us and are key pillars to ensuring the social sustainability of a local business.
For us to consider any venture, it must meet our three guiding principles that make for a win/win/win scenario.
- The venture must be good for the company and its employees.
- It must be beneficial to the customer.
- It must be beneficial to the surrounding community.
At the end of the day, we're going to do what we feel is right for our business and the surrounding community. When all was said and done, it was obvious that we would not be able to meet these guiding principles in the Village Promenade.