The owners of Vintage Paris LLC are still settling into the new home for their Hollister coffee shop, but they already know it’s a record-breaking success.
Vintage Paris moved in mid-November to 7900 State Highway 165 after spending 11 years where it all started, 260 Birdcage Walk.
“After our move from the old location, we had the best month we’ve ever had,” says co-owner Matt Farmer of December sales hitting $27,000. “We weren’t open even the entire month.”
The revenue exceeded the relocation and renovation costs of $20,000 to convert the former Scoops ice cream shop. It sits nestled across the road from a scenic overlook that provides panoramic views of Branson and Table Rock Lake.
Matt and his wife, Jessica, signed a five-year lease with Kent Farrar for $1,750 per month. The Farmers say size was a key factor for moving across town in Hollister – Vintage Paris now occupies 2,400 square feet. Matt says the scenic outlook and related traffic were merely a bonus.
He credits a strong customer base for the December boost, adding the couple has managed to build a loyal following since they bought the business in 2012 from original owners Mike and Kelly Klemm. The Farmers finished their first year of ownership with roughly $90,000 in revenue.
“We actually bought it right before we graduated,” Jessica says, noting they’re both College of the Ozarks graduates. “We had to close on the weekend so we could walk at graduation.”
It’s mostly been a steady financial rise for the company ever since. Even though year-over-year revenue was down roughly 2% in 2020, at $278,000, Matt says December closed the gap considerably. It was the first year the couple didn’t increase revenue since becoming owners.
They were aided by a $26,000 loan through the federal Paycheck Protection Program amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We stayed open the whole time, and we didn’t ever have to let go of any staff,” Jessica says of navigating last year’s pandemic challenges.
The Farmers say Vintage Paris did well enough last year that it didn’t qualify for a second round of PPP funds; they couldn’t demonstrate a down quarter to federal officials.
Matt expects 2021 to be the first year revenue exceeds $300,000.
“Part of me is a little scared to make some kind of projections,” he says.
Despite the projected growth, Matt says he’ll maintain his role at CoxHealth as director of clinical operations for population health. Jessica handles day-to-day Vintage Paris operations.
The move wasn’t the only expansion for the company in recent years, as the Farmers added a second store with the December 2018 opening of Collective Coffee Shop inside Bloom Church, 2353 State Highway 248 in Branson. Matt says its name differs from Vintage Paris as the two have different menus. Both serve coffee, espresso, lattes and teas, but Vintage Paris also offers beer and wine. Baked goods, such as muffins and scones, are supplied by Walnut Shade-based Made in the Shade Bakery.
Vintage Paris began roasting its own coffee in 2015 – a key contributor to the company’s growth, Matt Farmer says.
“It opened up a new avenue of not only marketability, but also a new revenue stream of being able to help out other coffee shops and add them on as customers,” he says, noting Vintage Paris is a wholesale provider for three churches and seven coffee shops, such as Kaffee Haus in Branson and Main Street Cafe in Forsyth.
Coffee and tea sales make up roughly 60% of company revenue, he says, with wholesale around 20%, and 10% each for event catering and beer and wine sales.
White River Coffee Co. in Rockaway Beach has been a wholesale customer since opening in late 2015, says owner Dean O’Bryan. While he does some small batch roasting in his shop, O’Bryan says Vintage Paris is his exclusive supplier for green coffee beans. He estimates he purchases between 25-30 pounds of beans per month. At $9 per pound, that equates to $225-$275 monthly, he says, adding Vintage Paris staff go beyond just selling coffee beans to his company.
“They’re always available for training and maintenance,” he says. “Matt is always more than willing to send one of his professional baristas over to help fine-tune things or give knowledge about stuff I don’t have.”
Moving to a new shop late last year was a sentimental journey for the Farmers, who met and got engaged at Vintage Paris. They were married at the coffee shop in 2011.
“We even lived there for almost two years above the coffee shop,” Jessica says. “We have a peace about the move.”
Matt says the key to the business is not the location, but rather the atmosphere.
“That traveled with the business when it moved,” he says. “One of the biggest selling points for our total brand is our atmosphere and our people.”
Vintage Paris has 10 baristas among its 14 employees.
With a standout December in the immediate rearview, the Farmers believe 30% revenue growth is within reach this year.
“I’m hoping my conservative estimates are correct, so that we can scale up in a very calculated and strategic way, rather than daily pulling our hair out and putting out fires,” Matt says.
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