Owned and operated by two couples, Silk City Coffee has made its mark on the quaint downtown stretch of Main Street in Manchester, CT that has become a local startup and young professional haven. Sarah and her husband Rob – together since high school – grew their passions of baking and coffee into a shop that delights the senses and feels like home to anyone who stops in. Ricker Duval Business Solutions sat down to get Sarah to spill the beans on their secret to success.
This one-of-a-kind coffee shop is the coming together of exceptional java, delicious baked goods, and a seriously fun community hub. Supported by their high school guidance counselor and her husband (who are now their business partners!), Sarah and Rob hit the ground running. The couple took a forward-thinking approach to fill a hole they saw in the market. Typically, coffee is easy to come by, as are nibbles and sweets. What makes Silk City Coffee so perfect on the market is that they used their passions as a springboard to make a home away from home that so many in Manchester were seeking, while also serving up some of the best coffee and baked goods in the area.
Labor of Love
Sarah shares that during the process itself, building their business from the ground up seemed like it took forever. Looking back, they realize that they took their business from idea to reality in record time. Engaging with business partners and seeking mentoring was just part of their experience. Significantly, the couple even traveled to Portland, Oregon, to get hands-on training from java aficionados. All said and done, Sarah and Rob, along with their business partners, took Silk City Coffee from idea to reality in just about 14 months. They solidified their partnership in August 2015 and proudly opened their doors in October of 2016. And is there a better month to warm up with hot coffee and freshly baked cookies than October? Absolutely not.
But Silk City’s success isn’t just from passion, it’s their ability to brand and adapt. As so many hospitality businesses have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, Silk City took a novel approach. Because they wanted to ensure the health and safety of their employees above everything, Sarah and Rob closed the shop for two weeks in mid-March 2020, encouraging their staff to take unemployment, stay home, and stay safe.
Adapt and Serve
But pandemics couldn’t stop these entrepreneurs. Rob and Sarah launched their idea to sell half gallons of their best beverages and large quantities of their baked goods in under 24 hours! Their initial launch, designed to happen just once per week, fully sold out in under four minutes. The entire plan was to allow loyal and hungry customers to pickup their goods for a whole week, so as to ensure their customers and employees were kept as safe as possible while still retaining a revenue stream. Because they emphasized the idea of “stock up & stay in” to their new business approach, they were able to bring a brilliant brand spin to providing customers what they want. And they ensured their community’s safety, too!
Additionally, Silk City Coffee does private events. With their beautiful industrial chic space and delightful menu, they’re well poised to offer a unique event venue. While events may be on hold while we’re still observing social distancing, the space is available in the future.
Beyond their clever pandemic catch phrase, the Silk City Coffee brand is well loved, both inside the company and out. And this is no accident. Sarah and Rob infuse their passion in their brand, and you can taste, smell, and even hear it in their shop. From the look and feel of their products down to the playlist that pumps through the shop, Silk City Coffee is memorable. As a result, their hub feels like walking into a good friend’s home. Above all, they live their brand every day.
Now semi-open for take out via online ordering only, Silk City Coffee is a testament to brand strength and entrepreneurial heart. Most importantly, their ability to overcome new challenges and lead with passion has made this shop what it is. Silk City Coffee is a unique and memorable experience, as well as an evolving community hub. Such success means that Silk City Coffee promises to serve exceptional coffee and treats for years to come. Get details and connect with them below!