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From Barista to Multi-Unit Franchisee: Shanna Turner Shows the Possibilities of Small Market Success with Scooter’s Coffee

As brands like Scooter’s Coffee grow their footprint, locations in large metropolitan areas are only one part of a successful expansion. Small market success is a major component in truly building nationwide consumer loyalty and brand recognition.

Few Scooter’s Coffee franchisees can speak to that value more than Shanna Turner, who owns three stores in the Omaha area, including a location in Schuyler.

“Schuyler was really a coffee desert until Scooter’s Coffee opened here,” Turner said of her desire to bring the brand into the community. “It’s definitely a different environment and culture than in the Omaha metro area that has Scooter’s Coffee kiosks everywhere. But there’s real opportunity not only for our own success but to truly be a part of the community here.”

Opening towards the end of 2020, Scooter’s Coffee was the only drive-thru option at the time in Schuyler, a town of about 6,200 people. Providing a quality coffee option combined with the convenience and speed of drive-thru has already had an impact in the first year of operation.

“This is a farming town, and we have a lot of commuters,” Turner said. “They’re either bringing kids to school in the district or they’re teaching or on the go somewhere. But no matter where they’re going, the important thing is that people here are very loyal to local businesses. It’s important that they know a brand is locally owned and committed to the town’s success.”

That brand loyalty is something that is important in markets of every size. From large metropolitan areas to smaller rural communities, the key tenets of success are the same: offer a quality product with the fast, friendly service the Scooter’s Coffee is known for, and customers will come back for more.

But even with those similarities, Turner says that the small market store has one major advantage – staffing.

“We probably have the easiest time with staffing in our smaller market compared with the Omaha stores, which some people might not have expected,” Turner said. “In a lot of ways, the work ethic in Schuyler has been different than what I found in the city. People in the city are changing careers and jobs all the time. I’ve had some of the best employees here, and I think they recognize how great a career this could be.”

Turner knows that first-hand.

Starting as a barista in 2007, Turner worked her way up from working the opening shifts to managing her location. In the past decade, she has turned those experiences into a career with Scooter’s Coffee, moving into regional manager role and then to a franchise support role in addition to owning her own franchise locations.

Now, her experiences as both a corporate employee and a franchisee in large and small markets provide her the perfect blueprint to offer guidance to existing, new, and prospective franchisees.

“Every month, I’m part of the ‘Amazing Day’ and meet people who want to get into this franchise system,” Turner said. “I love having the opportunity to share that connection with other franchisees to help continue the family environment that attracts so many of them to Scooter’s Coffee. We’ve really gone from a small mom-and-pop establishment to a nationwide brand, and we do a lot of things differently now, but I love that it still has that family feel.”

That culture is exactly why Turner believes Scooter’s Coffee can continue its rapid expansion – now well over 300 locations across the United States – while maintaining its success in smaller markets that might otherwise be skeptical of national brands.

“Even in our first year, we’ve hit over our breakeven mark every month and it’s already paying all the bills,” she said of the Schuyler location. “That’s a real marker of success, especially here. Everybody in the community is so close-knit and is so determined to support local business.

“You really get to know the community with Scooter’s. We really want to get close with not only our customers but other business owners as well. While it’s a perk we have a captive audience, that’s really motivation to keep meeting the same standard.”

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