Certified public accountant (CPA) Troy Hailpern didn’t set out to run a coffee business, but an entrepreneurial spirit compelled him to take the leap when the opportunity presented itself in 2009 when Halipern was consulting for some friends who were launching Elevate Coffee Co., in Phoenix, Arizona.
During the following year, Troy transformed from consulting to running the business.
Elevate’s mission then — and now — is to offer delicious coffee and create a warm community. Despite the ups and downs that come with turning any business dream into a reality, Hailpern believed in Elevate’s mission and didn’t look back when he was asked to become the company’s general manager.
His first task was to help grow the business and refine its product line.
“Our focus is on delivering excellent customer service,” Hailpern says. “That’s why, every time you walk into Elevate, you’re greeted as a friend and served high-quality food and drinks. When you leave, we want you to walk out with a smile.”
Today, the company continues to fulfill its mission to provide great products in a welcoming atmosphere, thanks in part to the early vision of its founders and Hailpern’s business skills. For example, as part of its community-building efforts, Elevate renovated part of its 3,400 square-foot space to create a multi-purpose venue. The space, called the Norterra Room, is used for rentals for corporate events, networking functions, seminars, music recitals, parties and more.
Hailpern’s previous experience as a consultant in the food service industry gave him familiarity with gift card programs, so it was natural for him to recognize the incremental sales opportunity they could provide the shop.
“I was familiar with the cash-flow benefits that can come from a gift card program,” Hailpern says. With his background in food service, Hailpern also recognized that the key to a successful gift card program is promoting and marketing it aggressively. Treating gift cards like a product—displaying them in card holders and using point-of-sale displays, for instance—are important to promoting branded gift cards, he says.
Asked for any other tips he might share, Troy said you should start selling holiday gift cards in
the early fall to help customers know they are available — and to provide cash-flow benefits.
Spoken just like a CPA turned coffee roaster and community creator.