BizBuz Member of the Month – February 2017

 

Chef Bob Schlump

Café Xpresso, 150 South Main Street, Newtown, Conn.
In business since March 2015
Number of employees: 10

Quote:

“If we won’t drink it, or eat it, we don’t serve it. It’s really that simple.”

 

About Café Xpress

Café Xpresso is a veteran-owned, independent coffee house, bakery, and café. It serves a variety of fresh-roasted, slow-brewed coffees, premium whole-leaf teas, homemade baked goods, made-to-order sandwiches, and fresh salads, soups, and delicious desserts. Café Xpresso shares a passion for excellent coffee and a deep rooted respect for its culture and history.

Reasons for starting Café Xpresso

Owners Bob and Marie Schlump are both lifetime “foodies” who enjoy gourmet coffee. They saw a need for a non-chain café to serve high quality food and coffee along with excellent customer service in a clean and friendly environment. Freshness is everything. Marie emphasizes that “they want to create a place where local residents and visitors can enjoy fresh, quality food using locally sourced ingredients with no preservatives and minimum processing.”

Career before this business

Before opening their dream café, Bob ran his own food business after college. Marie has over 20 years of experience in event management and planning from entrepreneurship and corporate. Prior to that, she spent 10 years in the U.S. Army, achieving the rank of captain.

Business challenges

The owners need to keep costs under control while serving high quality food at a reasonable price.

Business rewards

Marie and Bob have enjoyed the freedom and ownership of being able to design their own menu and specials that cater to the taste and preference of their customers – creative, but not too far out there.

Generating business:

Because Newtown prides itself on its small town atmosphere, the owners advertise in local papers, which are read by most of the town’s residents. In addition to traditional advertising, Marie and Bob use social media such as Facebook and also offer a loyalty program with Vantiv StoreCard to frequent visitors. “I love the merchant website (MerchantAdvantage) and the information that is available there,” Marie says. “I use it almost daily.”

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