As you start your business plan for your coffee shop, you could be hitting a wall when it comes to putting together your mission statement. How do you write one? What makes a good mission statement?
Five amazing coffee shop mission statement examples are:
- Starbucks Coffee Company: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
- Jasper’s Coffee: “Our mission is to be in a class above our competitors by providing personalized service and excellent performance with dignity for ourselves and our customers.”
- Tim Hortons: “To provide superior quality products and services through leadership, innovation, and partnerships for our guests and communities.”
- Red Whale Coffee: “to create stronger community through our brand and coffee, one cup at a time.”
- Woods Coffee: “to serve others, make a difference, and have fun. We do all we can to make the communities that we call home thrive.”
Read on to find out more on how you can write your own mission statement, what makes a mission statement stand out, and great examples from big and small coffee shops around the country.
How to Write a Mission Statement
Having a mission statement for your business not only helps you with your own business model but shows your customers and employees who you are in one sentence. It clearly statements what your organization does and why it does it.
You can also use your mission statement to evaluate your own business—knowing exactly who you are and what your focus is can keep you on track in all your major decisions.
Things you can include in your mission statement are how you serve your employees, customers, owners, the community, or the world. A way to really get it down on paper is by asking yourself several questions. First, write down what your business does. Second, write down some of your core values, then write down explaining how your business does what it does with those values in mind. When you’ve finished, consider what you’ve written and try to make it as concise as possible. Two to four sentences tend to be the norm, while under 100 words is average.
Try not to be too vague, but also be realistic and accurate in your mission statements. The hardest part of writing your mission statement is also trying to be unique—don’t just copy one of the mission statements on this list. Use these as a jumping point to start your own.
Starbucks Coffee Company
“To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
There are many things you can learn from Starbucks Coffee Company that aren’t just about their business model—their mission statement is one of the best in the industry.
A feature this mission statement has is conciseness. You know what business they’re running—“one cup”—and you know that they focus on community, not just as a whole, but as at an individual level. You get that they want to use their business to “inspire” and “nurture,” which are both descriptive words to show you exactly the kind of business they are—creative and caring.
“Our mission is to be in a class above our competitors by providing personalized service and excellent performance with dignity for ourselves and our customers.”
Jasper’s Coffee is a small business in SeaTac, Washington with two drive-thru locations in the Pacific Northwest city. What makes their mission statement great is their attention to both detail and providing the best—they not only list what they’re doing but why they’re doing it better with their “personalized service” and their “excellent performance with dignity.” They also mention both themselves, which includes their employees, and their customers, making their mission statement both about them and about the people they want to serve.
“To provide superior quality products and services through leadership, innovation, and partnerships for our guests and communities.”
Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons serves coffee in over 600 locations, mostly in the Midwest, but they also have a great example of a mission statement you can consider. Like Starbucks, they use evocative words such as “superior” and “innovation,” while still drawing focus to its customers and focus on the community.
Their primary focus, or the first item they mention, is still their “superior quality products.” While intentionally slightly vague, this gives them the opportunity to sell many different items under that umbrella. You can be general without being too vague, like this mission statement.
Red Whale Coffee
“To create stronger community through our brand and coffee, one cup at a time.”
While you might draw a comparison between Starbucks’ mission statement and Red Whale Coffee’s, you’ll start to find that many focus on the same thing—community and their coffee. This isn’t a bad thing! The small, California-based trio of shops wants to evoke the same sort of focus on community and their products as Starbucks, and that’s fine—as long as you still bring in some of your own identity. You can do that with the wording of your mission statement. Red Whale comes across as both community-minded and driven with the wording “one cup at a time.”
“To serve others, make a difference, and have fun. We do all we can to make the communities that we call home thrive.”
Woods Coffee is a fairly new coffee chain that serves areas of the Pacific Northwest, mostly in Washington state. This new chain is still thriving despite being under the shadow of Starbucks, and its mission statement is one of the reasons why.
Their first focus is on serving others, which tells you exactly what kind of business they are. They also focus on making a difference in their community, which is another common theme among these mission statements; the main draw of this mission statement is their focus on “having fun.” You too can include that in your mission statement, if that’s what your business is about.
Now that you’ve seen how both the large corporations and smaller businesses have created your mission statement, you can use what you’ve learned to create your own. Be concise, truthful, and realistic, all while keeping the unique parts of your business in mind. Your mission statement should bring out the character of your business—don’t just focus on what you’re doing, but why you’re doing it.
Frequently Asked Questions
While your decorations depend on what you want to bring to your coffee shop, you have many stylistic options. Decide what kind of vibe you want before you pick, like minimalist, homey, kitschy, or somewhere in between. Consider using flowers in your décor, or pick up some statement pieces. You can get ideas by searching online or shopping at some cheaper stores, such as Ikea, HomeGoods, or Wayfair. If you have some in your area, you can check out a discount store such as Big Lots or TJ Maxx. Get inspired by some of our ideas here.
Note that your initial investment can be very high with the amount of equipment you will need to start. You can expect to make an average of $10,000 per year before you pay that investment off. After that, your profit margin should usually land around $60,000 annually. We cover this topic in greater detail here.
Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.
Hi! I’m Shawn Chun
My adventure in coffee began when I first launched my first coffee shop back in the early 2000s. I had to figure out so many things on my own and to make it worse within 2 years of opening two large corporate coffee chains moved in just blocks away from me!
As I saw smaller and even some larger coffee shops in the neighborhood slowly lose customers to these giant coffee chains and slowly close up shop, I knew that I had to start getting creative…or go out of business.
I (like you may be) knew the coffee industry well. I could make the best latte art around and the foam on my caps was the fluffiest you have ever seen. I even had the best state-of-the-art 2 group digital Nuova Simonelli machine money could buy. But I knew that these things alone would not be enough to lure customers away from the name brand established coffee shops.
Eventually, through lots of trial and error as well as perseverance and creativity I did find a way to not only survive but also thrive in the coffee/espresso industry even while those corporate coffee chains stayed put. During those years I learned to adapt and always faced new challenges. It was not always easy, however, in the end, I was the sole survivor independent coffee shop within a 10-mile radius of my location. Just two corporate coffee chains and I were left after that year. All told the corporate coffee chains took down over 15 small independent coffee shops and kiosks and I was the last one standing and thriving.
Along the years I meet others with the same passion for coffee and I quickly learned that it is not only “how good a barista is” that makes a coffee shop successful, but the business side of coffee as well.
Hence why I started this website you are on now. To provide the tools and resources for up and coming coffee shop owners to gain that vital insight and knowledge on how to start a coffee shop successfully.
Stick around, browse through my helpful blog and resources and enjoy your stay! With lots of LATTE LOVE!