Just like any entrepreneur, I took note of a problem and then searched for ways to create a solution."
I’ve read the reviews, I’ve seen the Tweets and honestly, I thought that after being open a full year people would get over the fact that Cuvee Coffee Bar doesn’t offer WIFI. But it seems I was wrong.
The good news is, there has been a shift from the angry, (“You can’t be a coffee shop without Wi-Fi!”) to the inquisitive (“How come you don’t have WIFI here?”). And I believe now is as good of a time as any to set the record straight.
Debunking The Myth
Many people have created the perception that I am trying to make a statement by not offering Wi-Fi, but that’s not true. The truth is, Cuvee Coffee Bar is not a social experiment. And I am not “anti-technology” (all of the shop’s outlets are equipped with USB ports) or attempting to force people to interact with each other either. I built Cuvee Coffee Bar as a place to sell coffee, period.
No Reason To Overcomplicate This
The idea of not providing Wi-Fi came to me a few years ago. I love drinking good coffee so when I would schedule meetings with people, I would always choose coffee shops as the venue. But over the last few years, it had become increasingly difficult to sit down at a local coffee shop and have a meeting with someone. We would need an entire table for paperwork and the like and the ability to speak aloud without interrupting other patrons. A quietly crowded coffee shop makes both of these next to impossible.
As options become fewer and fewer, I quickly learned there were really two types of customers (to-go customers aside): those looking for a virtual office and those looking for a meeting place. So just like any entrepreneur, I took note of a problem and then searched for ways to create a solution.
Making A Decision
There are hundreds of other coffee shops in Austin that are great for the virtual office crowd. And sometimes when I want to work outside of my office, I choose these places. But there are not a lot of coffee shops that focus on becoming a truly great meeting place. So I made the decision: Cuvee Coffee Bar was to be a truly great meeting space that caters to the crowd who needs one.
And, you know what? It’s working. I now have a great coffee shop where I can go, find plenty of space and meet with people. And I’m not the only one who loves this space. When the guys from Zilker Brewing were planning and designing their brewery, they spent a great deal of time meeting at Cuvee Coffee Bar. And during planning and build-out, the Gardner team would meet at Cuvee Coffee Bar too.
So here we are. A year into operating our first retail location and just like so many, I’m very happy with what we have going on over in East Austin. Cuvee Coffee Bar has, in fact, become a truly great meeting space. Exactly as I hoped it would.
Want to talk more about this? Reach out to me on Twitter (@MikeMckim) or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to sit down and talk. (I know a great place we can meet.)
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