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Coffee News® Profile – The Sutter Family of Suwanee, Georgia (USA)sutter family

Michelle and Rick Sutter of Suwanee, Georgia were looking for a business opportunity.

They decided they would open up a bookstore and café.   While they were in the process of making that dream a reality, they happened to spot an edition of Coffee News® in a restaurant.

“We were so impressed and intrigued with Coffee News® that we decided to explore it further. We realized that operating the café would be a 24/7 job and require a large investment of capital to make it work.   That led us to make the decision to launch a Coffee News® franchise instead of the bookstore and café,” Michelle said.

Rick added, “Franchises are great because a lot of the work has been done for you. It’s much less painful than trying to invent something from scratch. Coffee News® has a strong, recognizable brand and an excellent reputation.”

“Coffee News® was attractive to us due to the low start-up cost and overhead and the flexible nature of the business.   We liked the idea of starting a business that our kids could do with us,” Michelle said.

“Times are changing and there is no more job security in corporate America.   We wanted a business that we could do on our own and control our own future. We wanted to show our kids how to take control of their future through entrepreneurship,” Rick said.

The couple has four children, two of whom work with them in the business. Seventeen-year old Christopher who is in high school and nineteen-year old Lyndsey, a college freshman, both work part-time in the business.

The Sutter’s each play a role in the business based on their strengths. Michelle concentrates on sales, Rick and Christopher take care of distribution and Lyndsey focuses on photography and media relations.

“Even though there are four of us, we still can’t do it all. I realized that I needed to focus my time and energy on what I do best and that is sales.   I was also trying to do the social media piece.   I’m okay at it, but it made sense to contract that out to someone who is better at it so that I can focus on sales.   That has been the best decision,” Michelle explained.

Advertisers are responding to the Sutter’s Coffee News® business in a positive way.   “We live in the Atlanta area where advertising is really expensive and glossy. Coffee News® stands out because it is more ‘old school’ and people respond to that. They like the exclusivity of advertising with Coffee News® and they see us out and about. Coffee News® is more local and community-minded and they know we want to support their businesses as well as see their success,” Michelle explained.

She adds,” Atlanta is a melting pot of people from all over the world, many who tell us they have seen Coffee News® in other places, so they are familiar with the paper and they love it.”

The family has been very creative with Coffee News®. They recently launched a special edition to support the local hockey team.   They call it “News to Enjoy Over Hockey”. “It’s been great fun and great exposure for the business. Advertisers are excited to be part of it and we get recognized, along with a ton of promotion at the games where we wear our Coffee News® hockey jerseys,” Michelle said.

The Sutter’s plans for their new endeavor include publishing more editions and creating a stable and successful business in the years ahead.   “Our kids have been bitten by the Coffee News® entrepreneurial bug.   They see the potential, so they may continue to play a role in the future of our family business,” said Michelle.

Michelle and Rick offer these tips to be successful in Coffee News®:

  1. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Focus on the part of the business that you know and do best.   In turn, find or hire someone to take care of those areas of the business that you aren’t comfortable doing.
  2. Networking is key.   Get out there and be part of the community. Bring a door prize to networking events that you attend.   It’s a great way to be recognized and introduced to a large crowd.
  3. Know your budget and pay close attention to the financial piece of your business.
  4. Coffee News® offers so much support. Take advantage of all of the training that is available from the Coffee News® Head Office and the sharing of ideas from other Coffee News® publishers.