Tea with Tom: Coffee Shop Best Practices Episode 2
Featuring Gianna & Elizabeth of The Meek House, Redlands CA
Welcome back to another episode of Tea with Tom. Here, we discover the best practices our entrepreneurial customers have taken to build and maintain successful business. In this episode, we explore The Meek House’s top reasons for success. Elizabeth and Gianna are sisters and owners, born to first generation Romanian immigrants. Of course, Summit Tea is well fond of women entrepreneurs. In fact, Summit Tea Company was founded by Tom’s sister! Now, listen along as we eat The Meek House’s famous Cornulețes and talk about the Journey to Meek.
Funding – Not Just Financially
Financially, Gianna and Elizabeth’s parents saw their business plan as an investment. However, their parent’s support came through in different ways. First, The Meek House has a European vibe inspired by their parent’s Romanian origins. Having seen their mother, a businesswoman herself, put forth all her efforts into her business inspired the two sisters. In addition, their father helped them with permits from city hall. Together, their parents inspired them to not just dream, but to run after dreams. Then, time came to put their dreams to the test as they quickly realized just how different their idea was at their chosen location. Surrounded by franchises, they had to pitch an independent idea before a board of mall executives. Scary? You bet! Impressively, they mustered their courage and landed a key location across a movie theater. Today, they are still the only independent organization in the entire shopping center.
A Place to Call Home
Elizabeth and Gianna’s dream is to have a place people can feel at home in. It may appear that the coffee industry can feel quite elitist. Therefore, they wanted to create a different atmosphere. This is where the name for The Meek House stemmed from. “Blessed are the Meek for they shall inherit the Earth” (Mathew 5:5). When starting a new business, their advice is to not get worked up in the details. Elizabeth advises, “people will remember the memories they made in the shop, not the upholstery.” Now, with Elizabeth having a little girl on the way, she feels confident that having a place that feels like home to her will be a helpful space for her family to be involved with the community she helped to create.
Journey to Meek
In order to accomplish their dream, Gianna and Elizabeth took some actions to set their shop accordingly. First, they employed well-intentioned staff that understood the goal they were working towards. The sisters were sure to devote all their time to working alongside their employees. This way, the staff understood how they wanted things to be done, but also, they were a part of the mission, not just a getting paid. Next, The Meek House works with organizations and companies that make a positive impact. From local small business, to responsibly sourced coffee beans, everything is selected with kindness in mind. Finally, referring to their dream, despite their drinks being “hand-crafted”, they wish to stay humble. Craft, quality, and service all go together at The Meek House, where they “spread kindness with every cup of coffee.”
Advice to Future Entrepreneurs
“Don’t be afraid to try new things.”
When they first opened, they had no intention of roasting coffee beans themselves. However, through help from the coffee community and positive feedback from customers, now The Meek House has their own roasted coffee beans!
“Hold on to the Ride”
The “Journey to being Meek” was a personal journey as well. Elizabeth and Gianna found themselves in a daily coaster of ups and downs. They had to learn to be much more patient, flexible, and intuitive than they through they already were. They recognized that the key to the process was to be patient, it is all in God’s plan.
“We all started with a dream – stick with it, anything can be possible.”
Increasingly, over the years we have seen the number of women entrepreneurs in the coffee society rise, and this is because of amazing women like Elizabeth and Gianna. Indeed, they inspire young women that they too can follow their dreams, even if they may seem bigger than oneself. Without a doubt, Summit Tea is proud of all our women entrepreneurs and all they have and will accomplish.