Growing Business: Coffee Shop, Ice Cream, & Now PIZZA!

Don AlleyAll, Business, EntrepreneurshipLeave a Comment

Last year, when my wife and I went to Charleston for a week of vacation, we landed in the best coffee shop in Folly Beach, and the owner was this cool Israeli named Or. Or is young, smart, an a hustler. He was working circles around his staff. He was smiling bigger. He was moving faster. He had the look. He owned the place, and you could tell he took a lot of pride in his little coffee shop. He also hooked us on Turkish coffee. Dear sweet baby Jesus…

And then, while we were just relaxing and enjoying our coffee, we saw him walk through a cut-through door and start helping people in the ice cream shop next door. Come to find out, he owned that too. I liked him even more. Leslie and I visited his store every day last year to have a Turkish coffee and talk with our new friend.

So, fast forward to right now. As soon as we got into Folly, we said to each other, We HAVE to go get our Turkish coffee and see Or! We walked in, looked around, and sure enough, he was there hustling, smiling and serving his customers. And remembered us right away. He gave us a coffee on the house. And his ice cream place was next door, still rockin’.

And my favorite part of this story, and the reason for this post, he handed me a brochure, smiled big and said, “Last year, did I have the pizza place?” No. No you didn’t.

Within the last 12 months, he opened a pizza-by-the-slice joint right beside the ice cream store. So, as you walk down Center Street, there is a corner lot for coffee, next door an ice cream parlor, and then a pizza place. His words:

Morning. Coffee store for the people on the island who need their fix.
Afternoon/Evening. Ice-cream for families and beach goers.
Late night. Drunk people need food. Pizza is king when you’re intoxicated.

I love seeing people like Or. Pushing. Hustling. Working. Creating. Living. Is he working crazy hours? Yep. But that’s what you do when you are an entrepreneur. You make things happen. And you never stop looking for opportunities to serve the market.

I’m really proud to know this guy. I want to be known as the same, someone who is relentlessly pursuing his dreams and reaching for more.

One of the coolest parts of the whole trifecta? All of Or’s employees love him. He comes off as a great guy, but the people who have to work for him day in and day out all have nothing but good stuff to say as well. That says a lot.

Some take-a-ways:

  1. What opportunity/opportunities exists for you “next door?” What deals are you leaving on the table because you either aren’t looking, or aren’t looking close to you?
  2. And, what do your staff say about you when you aren’t right there? How do they describe you? Are they proud to work for you?

Congrats to my friend Or, keep pushing it brother!

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