Coffeebar: UN VERO GUSTO ITALIANO (a true taste of italy)
Greg Buchheister, owner of Coffeebar opened his Truckee location in October 2010 the Reno location in January 2014 and the bakery in Truckee in April 2015.
Coffeebar was “inspired by the coffee bars found on every street corner in Italy, Coffeebar was founded on the principles of providing the highest quality coffee and food in a café environment, and that is what we strive to do each and everyday,” states the website. “We are an inclusive community that shares our mission and true passion for excellence in our coffee and most important, an appreciation for life best lived.”
Buchheister highlighted using a local farmer in Fallon for their diary as well as Distributors of Regional and Organic Produce and Products (DROPP).
“We try to sustain our local community,” he said.
“We are doing a great thing and it is our responsibility to be profitable to continue providing a great experience for everyone,” Buchheister said.
He explained how Coffeebar uses dry fettuccini as a stir stick as an example of how they strive to pay attention to their impact.
“We try to be a brand that has more beneath the surface,” Buchheister explained.
Buchheister started his coffee career in Colorado. He grew up ski racing and while he was going to school in Boulder he found himself working in an Italian restaurant. From there, as he finished out his business degree and began importing coffee from Italy, he transitioned from wholesale into retail.
After his partnership didn’t work out there, he eventually moved to California.
“I decided it was time to do it on my own,” he said. “I moved out to Truckee and found a spot there. It had been a coffee shop twice that had failed so I was a little bit nervous and it had been empty for a year.”
When Coffeebar opened in Truckee in 2010, “it required the right effort and the ability to do whatever it takes,” Buchheister explained.
“If you persist and get through all the bumps in the road often times the road opens up a little bit,” he added.
It was not all a smooth road, however.
“I learned all my lessons opening 15 stores in Boulder,” he said. “Coffeebar, I still make mistakes and learn from them, but I don’t make as many.”
“It was really the first time where it was just me,” Buchheister explained. “We survived on cash flow from day one.”
The success of surviving on cash flow was a big step for Coffeebar because typically the food and beverage industry can be rough in that respect. In part, Coffeebar’s ability to ebb and flow more than a full restaurant contributed as part of that success.
Around the time the Truckee location got up and running the winters were very iffy, the economy wasn’t great and the reality of his livelihood being wrapped up in a seasonal location made the idea of another location in Reno’s emerging market seem viable.
“It took a while to get it going,” Buchheister said regarding the process to actually get their doors open, but the location at 682 Mount Rose Street succeeded after that.
“It was probably the most successful store opening I’ve ever had,” he said. “People just seemed to enjoy it.”
The bakery location in Truckee opened in 2015 and allows, “a lot of menu development for all of our stores at that location,” Buchheister said.
“The Bakery is more of a hop-in, hop-out,” he added.
More expansion is on the horizon for Coffeebar with a fourth location in Menlo Park, Calif. near Stanford.
“Being a community hub for people,” Buchheister highlighted, “I think that’s why we have been so successful.”
He went on to explain the way they want customers to feel leaving Coffeebar.
“We are a yes culture,” he said. “Our ‘why’ is because we want people to feel good and go out into their day and achieve their dreams.”
Coffeebar has about 60 employees and may continue to grow if the right opportunity arises.
“South Reno is pretty under served,” Buchheister mentioned as the next local area Coffeebar may look into.
Regarding the Midtown location, “word still continues to spread. We still see people that are coming in for the first time,” Buchheister said.
In conjunction with the landlord, they are making improvements to the Midtown location. One recent improvement is a fence around the side to build a space that feels more private and green instead of a street view.
“Midtown fits our culture,” he added.
Buchheister attributed his success with Coffeebar to be a little bit of a gut feeling and little bit of his entrepreneurial experience.
“My goal with Coffeebar is to be on a top-10 coffee shops across the nation list, if there were a thing like that,” he said.
This year Coffeebar has brought on a new coffee director, as well as a head pastry chef as the brand continues to establish itself.
“You are only as good as the day you are open,” Buchheister humbly added.
Learn more about Coffeebar at http://www.coffee bar.com.
The rate effective Jan. 1, 2020, is 1.65 percent of wages paid to employees. That is two-tenths of a percent lower than the current rate, giving a significant break to businesses that pay the tax.