This is a true story about a local coffee shop in my neighborhood called Mars Cafe. Mars Cafe was a wildly successful local coffee shop and hangout for creative types in the Dog Town district of Des Moines. It was in business for 6 years and everyone loved it – it became a friendly local institution and an anchor of a part of town that used to be struggling economically.
Back in July, the owner of Mars Cafe suddenly announced that he was going to close the business. Even though the business was successful, he decided that he was too busy with other commitments and didn’t want to run the cafe any more. Everyone was shocked to hear that Mars Cafe was going to close. This was a beloved local cafe with a devoted following. Facebook lit up with people begging the owner to reconsider, saying, “Please don’t close, we love your cafe,” and so on. People even openly pleaded on Facebook, “Can’t someone else buy Mars Cafe instead?”
Then in August, after the cafe closed, it was announced that it was coming back. The café had new owners and re-opened on September 15, 2012. The new owners are 4 former longtime customers (now owners) who love Mars Cafe and want it to continue.
Here are a few questions to consider about why the rebirth of Mars Cafe is an amazing story, with some inspiring lessons for other small business owners: Continue reading “Mars Cafe and the ultimate small business marketing compliment” »