An interview with Diana and Jim Rudd of Coffee Planet.
Q: Describe the business.
Coffee PlanetAddress: 1450 Golf Road, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008 Owner: Dianna Rudd Year business started: September 2013
Web address: www.coffeeplanetinc.com
A: Coffee Planet is a family run coffee house that is trying to rebuild a sense of community in the chain-dominated suburbs of Chicago. Being an independent shop allows us to have a creative advantage with our drinks and the different products we offer. We specialize in pour over methods. We are currently offering the Hario V60, Chemex, and Aeropress. Each pour over takes several minutes and is made to order. An extension of our pour over bar is our Yama cold brew towers. We put our single origin coffees through all of these methods and allow us to extract the subtle flavors in our coffees. Our baristas also pull espresso shots on our La Marzocco espresso machine. Customers can watch our baristas grind, measure, tamp and time the shots for a perfect not bitter espresso.
Q: Tell us about the coffee.
A: Our coffee is supplied by a local roaster from Chicago, Metropolis Coffee Company. They deal directly with farmers all over the world to get the best coffee quality possible. Direct trade with these farmers results in more economical and sustainable methods of production from farm to roaster. Metropolis roasts and delivers our coffee the next day insuring that our coffee is fresh and at its peak flavor. We also use a local baker from Bensenville named Andresen's Bakery. All of our tea comes from Rishi Tea. Almost all of the teas are fair trade and organic. They also deal with farmers to make sure that the tea is fresh.
Q: What made you start the business?
A: My son, Jim, has a passion for coffee and I wanted to start a family owned business and that became Coffee Planet. With starting an independent coffee shop in the suburbs we really wanted to bring a community feel back to an area that has been overrun by corporate chains and large companies. We wanted to make a place that people can feel comfortable to make it their neighborhood hangout. Jim wants to educate everyone on what coffee really can be outside of just the morning wake me up. Coffee is so much more than ground beans and hot water. We want to share our passion for a product that has so many variables.
Q: What are the difficulties in starting a business?
A: We are surviving and thriving despite the constant road construction because let's face it, is Golf Road never not under construction.
Q: What do you enjoy about the business?
A: Making a perfect drink handing it out and seeing peoples face light up when taking that first sip. We take a huge amount of pride in the fact that we are real baristas that hand craft every aspect of your drink. Explaining our methods is also one of my most enjoyable tasks because for many of our customers being introduced to our pour-over methods is a first time experience.
Q: What keeps you up at night?
A: Too much caffeine.
Q: If you could give one tip to a rookie business owner, what would it be? A: This is the hardest question, we have only been open 8 months and it has been an exciting time but we have learned a lot. Managing cash flow is so important but I guess one of the most important things is bringing in business. We have taken advantage of free social media on the Internet and a lot of tech savvy folks follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We also use traditional marketing like coupons and signs.
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