Shots of Espresso Served
Steve Bush wanted to share the unique atmosphere of a coffee shoppe with others. In 2016, he opened up Kiss Me Specialty Coffee Shoppe in Prudenville, Michigan. The name comes from wanting to create a close relationship with the community.
How the SBDC helped
With the help of the Michigan SBDC, Kiss Me Specialty Coffee Shoppe overcame a number of challenges such as the financial side of things, and internal communication.
Kiss Me Coffee Speciality Coffee Shoppe has created a positive impact in the community and has built a great reputation among all. Kiss Me Coffee desires to continue to expand over the whole state of Michigan.
Steve Bush loves coffee, but loves the atmosphere of a coffee shoppe even more. He dreamed of being able to create his own version of this atmosphere and share it with others. In 2016 he took the risk, and decided to open his dream business, Kiss Me Speciality Coffee Shoppe..
Kiss Me Coffee is a very unique shop with an eclectic feel located in Prudenville, Michigan. From the artwork on the building walls to the friendly and passionate staff, the unique atmosphere Steve strove for is evident to everyone who enters Kiss Me Coffee. The shoppe name, Kiss Me Coffee, derives from Steve wanting to create a close relationship with the community that they serve. He believes that a kiss is the most intimate act between humans, and you cannot get any closer than that. Unfortunately for Kiss Me Coffee, love was not always reciprocated. Steve faced a great deal of criticism when Kiss Me Coffee was opened. Individuals told him that Up North wouldn’t understand what good coffee is, and if they did, they wouldn’t know what it was worth. Some even told him that he would fail within a year.
“I overcame the criticism I faced by not believing the people that thought we wouldn’t make it,” shared Steve. “I felt like if I provided the high quality, espresso based drinks the people would not only recognize it but welcome, Kiss Me Coffee would become apart of their daily lives.”
However, over the past two years Steve and the team at Kiss Me Coffee have relentlessly shared their passion for coffee and community, and it has worked. Kiss Me Coffee now has almost 5,000 customers enrolled in its loyalty program. For perspective, Prudenville’s population is less than 2,000 people. Steve and the employees at Kiss Me Coffee often receive comments such as, “You are the best thing that has come to the area.”
“We are more about selling the experience of Kiss Me Coffee, versus selling the coffee. We want to enhance the community that we are in,” commented Steve. “I give as much as I can to those who need it. We have had the opportunity to not only support the community, but individuals in the community.”
Steve reached out to the Michigan SBDC when the coffee shoppe opened in 2016. Michigan SBDC Consultant Josh Billington has been able to assist Steve and his team in a variety of areas. Together they worked on internal communications skills and organizing their financials.
“We weren’t business people, we just loved the coffee shop. The Michigan SBDC has been there to help with the business side of things,” stated Steve.
Josh Billington added, "Steve and team at Kiss Me Coffee have overcome numerous entrepreneurial trials from cash-flow and cost management to people management. Steve's passion in caring for both his employees and customers is setting a new standard in the area and making a positive impact in the community."
Above all, Steve appreciates the great team that works at Kiss Me Coffee. Work feels like family for everyone there, and they strive to support one another in their dreams and passions. A special member of his team is Emily Barber, who runs the day-to-day operations. As Kiss Me Coffee looks towards the future, they are excited to open more Kiss Me Coffee locations.
“It is more than coffee, and all of the employees would say so too. We are hoping to spread Kiss Me Coffee across the state so others can be a part our unique community,” said Steve. “Others may think of them as employees but to me, they represent more than just great coffee. They care so much for our guests and make sure that every individual leaves satisfied. I cannot thank them enough."
To learn more about Kiss Me Coffee, visit their website at: www.kissmespecialtycoffeeshoppe.com