In Coffee We Trust: How Coffee Shops Impact Neighborhoods

The neighborhood coffee shop. It’s quaint. It’s big enough to accommodate students and remote employees, but it’s also small enough to remain intimate. The owner talked to you the first time you were there. Suddenly, you’re friends, and you talk about bits and pieces of each other’s lives every time you visit. The barista memorizes your drink but still recommends other drinks from time to time.

It’s like an extension of a place to call home. It’s comfortable, and everyone fosters a mutual sense of respect. This is why local coffee shops become a sort of an anchor for the neighborhood. As communities continue to “progress,” urbanization looms bigger and bigger on the horizon. With this comes larger establishments. As this happens, people can feel more isolated and less connected.

Coffee shops have a significant impact on the community. They’re so powerful that they affect the price of rent in surrounding areas. Because the cost of investment for coffee shops is small compared to a restaurant, it’s relatively easy to start a small business in this arena.

Rent and Housing Prices

In exploring a neighborhood, keeping an eye on how many coffee shops are in the area will help you determine the price range of housing. By the time you reach the house and ask for the price, you’ll be ready to do the math for a USDA home loan.

Coffee can be considered a luxury. It’s a lot easier and cheaper to make coffee at home. Yet, people still prefer spending $14 for a cup of coffee from a coffee shop. Homes that are near a Starbucks doubled in value, increasing by 96 percent, for 17 years until 2014. Those that were far increased by 65 percent. The rate differs depending on the coffee shop.

When it comes to renting, the results are a little more nuanced. There is a positive correlation between coffee shops and rent, but there’s no clear indication that the coffee shops are the driving force for the price. Some areas are residential, while the others are filled with offices and commercial buildings. The neighborhoods of Manhattan, however, show a clearer trend. Neighborhoods that have expensive rent have more coffee shops.

Cheaper Investment

Those who are planning to open a coffee shop can convert a small, vintage space into a warm and cozy space. A smaller space would be easier to renovate and develop.

A small foot area for the store is plausible for a coffee shop because they don’t need huge appliances like restaurants. They can work with a small refrigerator, a stovetop, microwave, and oven. Their primary machines, such as the coffee maker and espresso machine, fit right on the counter.

Despite the smaller investment, it’s important to have a business model and the right marketing skills for a coffee shop to survive. Additionally, social media plays a huge role in marketing the coffee shop. Entrepreneurs can capitalize on the coffee trend in younger generations nowadays.

Aside from paid advertisements, the place should also compel people to post pictures of the shop. Whether it’s pretty cups or “instagrammable” place, aesthetics can help win over the social media crowd.

A Sense of Community

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When it comes to afternoon coffee and regular meet-ups with friends, classmates, and co-workers, local coffee shops are often the venue. On the other hand, people may find themselves coming back to the same coffee shop even when they’re alone. They treat it like a co-working space where they can meet other people who are possibly in the same field. Therefore, it becomes a place where people can connect with each other.

Local coffee shops are also the go-to venue for open mics and gigs. It’s where future Billboard Music Awardees start their journey into fame. As a result, these coffee shops play an important role in the local art scene of the city or neighborhood. It opens a lot of doors for artists, not only for exposure but also for collaborations with other artists.

Coffee shops, big or small, have proven themselves to be more than just brick walls and cute mugs. While they are, indeed, a current obsession of younger generations, they offer more than just the regular morning brew. They are a space for community and opportunities for investments. Their impact is so powerful to a place that they affect the value and prices of housing. The next time you head out for a cup of coffee, perhaps, you could bask in the smell of coffee in the cute coffee shop at the corner of the street.

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