Learning never stops. Not when you’re in elementary school. Not even when you’re the owner of a Midwest-based drive-thru coffee franchise that is on track for another record breaking year of growth. The equation for success is a simple one for Todd and Catherine Gerch, owners of two San Antonio, Texas, area Scooter’s Coffee® locations. The Gerches believe in faith, family and a commitment to learning and growing.
The Gerches opened the doors to their first Scooter’s Coffee about a year ago in Boerne. “We wanted to have more control over our livelihood,” says Catherine Gerch. “The idea of being your own boss, with the support of a nationally recognized franchise was appealing to us.” The Gerches settled in the San Antonio suburb after moving from California where Todd had a career in finance. Catherine was a professor. Their young children, two daughters, were instrumental in their move.
“We wanted to give them a more family-friendly upbringing,” says Todd Gerch. “Catherine and I re-evaluated our personal family situation and made the determination that moving to Boerne was best for our well-being, professionally and personally.”
So how did they settle upon Scooter’s Coffee? Todd is from Nebraska and had become familiar with the brand. With the lack of quality drive-thru coffee opportunities in their blossoming bedroom community, the Gerches made the bold decision to deliver Scooter’s Coffee to the neighborhood. “It’s a pretty straightforward business model compared to owning and operating a restaurant,” says Catherine. The idea of a coffee shop gives us the ability to be actively involved with the community.”
The Gerches love to collaborate with several entities in the community. They’re particularly fond of activities dealing with churches and schools. “We jump at the chance to do a day of giving where we partner with a church or school,” says Catherine. Their locations also support Scooter’s Coffee’s commitment to honor military, veterans and first responders. Todd and Catherine relish the chance to chat with the local police officers and firefighters when they make surprise pastry drop-offs.
There are perks that come with entrepreneurship. “Being your own boss gives you freedom and more flexibility with your schedule,” says Catherine. It also comes with its own set of challenges, including what they call finding the proper work-life balance. But the Gerches are up for the task. They’ve learned to appreciate planting the seed of the entrepreneurial spirit and watching it grow.
“It’s exciting to be a part of the process of introducing the Scooter’s Coffee brand to San Antonio and watch it grow,” says Catherine. “The brand is taking off here in San Antonio and across the country. It’s giving us the opportunity to be out in the community and establish great relationships with customers who we truly call our friends now.”
Their daughters get in on the act as well. You’ll find their children, ages seven and five, in the shop putting stickers on the cups. “I hope to teach our daughters that starting anything new takes a lot of work,” says Catherine. “With a lot of work, you can have success, and you can have a positive impact on people’s lives.”
Ultimately, the Gerches’ plan is to have at least five Scooter’s Coffee shops in the San Antonio area. That plan leans heavily on their faith. “We are firm believers in God’s plan,” says Todd. “We’ll continue to have faith in His plan, and always look back at the new opportunity as a learning experience. Every step happens for a reason.”
In the present, their plan involves helping to produce excellent coffee while making Scooter’s Coffee a household name. While she’s traded a classroom for a coffee house, teaching remains close to Catherine’s heart. She loves the opportunity to work with the baristas and give them guidance. Her lesson to them and all who are willing to learn is quite simple. “My advice is to work hard. You can have the American dream if you’re willing to work for it.”
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