Blend a powerhouse world-class coffee chain with a charismatic and confident entrepreneur, sprinkle in a Texas-sized furniture retail shop, and what do you have? You have Ted Straub’s first, of what he believes will be dozens, Scooter’s Coffee location.
You’ve heard the saying, “Age is just a number”? Straub, at 34 years old, is the living embodiment of that phrase. Straub is the product of hard work, an ethic forged during his early years growing up working on the family farm in Nebraska.
“I’ve always had a lot of responsibilities growing up,” Straub says. “I was always driving farm equipment and handling real expensive machinery. In fact, at age 14 I was driving so much that I would drive my brother and myself to school. The day I got my license when I turned 16, my parents gave me the keys to a semi-truck and I ferried a trailer full of horses from our farm to Texas and back in a 24-hour span. I was always given a high level of responsibility and respect from my parents.”
Straub got the keys to his first Scooter’s Coffee location at the 560,000-square-foot Nebraska Furniture Mart of Texas location in The Colony, Texas because he put in the hard work. The facility that sits on 100 acres is a home furnishings store on steroids. Located 30 miles north of Dallas, Nebraska Furniture Mart sells furniture, electronics, flooring, home décor, fitness equipment and coffee, thanks to Straub.
The opportunity to open a Scooter’s Coffee in such a massive location culminates a long, and at times pothole-filled, road for Straub. Upon graduation from college, Straub spent a couple of years selling advertising for a local TV station in Omaha. Ever aggressive, Straub wanted a management role. He joined a historic national chain of department stores. “I became store manager and was able to do day-to-day operation functions, oversee inventory and product placing, make hiring decisions and elevating managers and employees,” says Straub. “I was happy with the experience. However, I quickly decided at some point that entrepreneurship was in my future.”
Straub’s confidence in himself is as strong as his work ethic. It’s because he believes in preparation and continuous education. “I’m always big on personal development,” Straub says. “I try to read one or two books a week. I listen to podcasts, particularly from business influencers.”
One of Straub’s top philosophies is being an open book with his employees. He is a firm believer in preparing employees for leadership. “Your employees are your biggest asset,” says Straub. “I have 100 percent belief in my employees because I know they’re invested 100 percent in our Scooter’s Coffee business. The common belief is customer service is the number one priority. I realized that’s backwards thinking. Employees are the key to success.”
The teaching template Straub follows was molded during his youth, following his parents. “Both of my parents were small business owners,” he says. “I saw a level of satisfaction with them as they were excited to go to work every day. My family was always supportive of my efforts. My dad has been a big proponent. He saw characteristics in me that I didn’t know I had. He knew I wasn’t going to be happy unless I was owning my own business.”
His father was right. Straub would go on and become an entrepreneur. But the success wasn’t immediate. After departing the retail business, Straub invested in real estate. He also started a small health care equipment company. “That wasn’t successful at all,” he says. “I owned and operated it for about a year and a half. Even though it failed, the business ownership bug was alive and well. I was passionate and driven to succeed.”
His hard work ethic was put to the test after his first attempt at entrepreneurship. After consulting with a friend who also owned Scooter’s Coffee franchises in Lincoln, NE, along with the executives in the corporate office, Straub was ready to join the team. “They were on board with my big picture,” he says. “I was on board with their business model that facilitated marketing, construction, and inventory. I saw it as an easy model to duplicate in other metro areas.”
Straub signed a deal that had him packing up his belongings and moving to introduce Scooter’s Coffee to people in Madison, WI. It was the opportunity of a lifetime. However, things weren’t going according to his plan. “Location is the key to success with any business, and I was struggling to find what I call an A+ location,” Straub says. “I spent two years working with brokers, landlords, city officials, trying to get my first site up. I hit nothing but speed bumps.”
Not only was Straub striking out, he found himself back on a farm. “I was working with a part-time dairy farmer as a second job,” says Straub. “I was working there mornings and nights, feeding cows and milking cows to make ends meet. I was eating sardines out of cans with crackers for meals. I was literally going for broke with my Scooter’s Coffee investment.”
Momentum would eventually swing back in Staub’s favor when Scooter’s Coffee struck a deal with Nebraska Furniture Mart of Texas. The retailer wanted an owner who would be hands-on. Scooter’s Coffee corporate knew exactly the person who fit that description.
“Scooters Coffee reached out to me, knowing I was working hard to find a site in Madison,” says Straub. “They said if you’re willing to pick up and move again to Dallas, we’ll let you open this site. I spent two seconds making the decision before I jumped on it.”
Within three months of moving to the Dallas metro area, Straub had opened his first Scooter’s Coffee location. “Failure was never an option,” he says. “I told everyone I was going to open a shop and I got one open.”
A hardcore advocate of location, Straub says Nebraska Furniture Mart passes the test with flying colors. That’s because it’s situated near Frisco, one of the fastest-growing municipalities in America. “It’s home to several Fortune 500 companies,” says Straub. “The Dallas Cowboys headquarters is located in Frisco, Toyota just opened its new North America headquarters in nearby Plano. When those company employees come to Nebraska Furniture Mart to purchase furniture, appliances and home goods, when they walk in, Scooter’s Coffee is one of the first things they see and smell. It doesn’t get any more A+ than this!”
Straub has a crew of 12 employees, ranging in age from 18 to 22 years old. “It’s been the coolest experience because these kids come rolling in, and we’re slinging coffee as fast as we can on a busy Saturday, and these guys think it’s the best job ever. They are go-getters and take initiative. I’m not sure if it’s the free caffeine I supply, but they’re excited to be here. There’s not one of them I wouldn’t trust to run the shop by themselves.”
Straub encourages his employees to read the same books he reads. He also is training them for leadership. “I have a goal to open 30, 40, 60 Scooter’s Coffee locations in Dallas and beyond,” he says. “I want to make sure my employees are ready to open and run those shops. I haven’t done my job if I fail to prepare them to be successful.”
Success is in Straub’s blood. He feels the same success is possible for the next generation of entrepreneurs, especially if you join the Scooter’s Coffee team. “Scooter’s Coffee is a fantastic business model,” Straub says. It provides clear operations and clear product options to sell to your customers. They walk you through the entire construction process and are there to offer you support when necessary. I am pleased with corporate through the whole process. The amount of success of how many locations you want to grow is up to you. The sky is the limit.”
The sky is indeed the limit for this 34-year-old, and he knows it. “Tenacity is 99.9 percent of success for your business,” Straub says. “I’ve read a lot of biographies of successful entrepreneurs, listened to podcasts of amazing companies, and there isn’t a difference between them and me. Their success was based on tenacity and not taking no for an answer. They’re not smarter, they don’t have anything I don’t have. But I have one thing going for myself. I can do it better than anyone else.”
Do you want to realize your own business ownership dreams, like Ted Straub? Does the Scooter’s Coffee franchise opportunity sound like it could be for you? If so, learn more at https://franchising.scooterscoffee.com/.