The mother-son duo that opened Urban Buzz, a drive-through coffee shop off Del Prado Boulevard in Cape Coral, has plans to franchise the business and open a second location off Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.
Sharene Eble and Alex Eble began their search for a second location a year into the business and will be receiving the keys to the new location in July or August. Once they're done remodeling, the new drive-through will have its grand opening. The Fort Myers location will not be a franchise.
"At this point, it's just a matter of getting the building in ready condition," Sharene said.
Sharene and her husband, Jeff Eble, have been working on creating a Franchise Disclosure Document for franchisees to run the business exactly as they do. They started the process about five months ago.
"We're building for the future because what we see is not what this area looks like today but what this area is going to be like," Sharene said.
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Details on the Fort Myers location
The new location will maintain a drive-through style similar to the original. Northbound and southbound traffic will be able to turn onto a side street to gain entrance to it.
The location will be less than 1,000 square feet. The current Cape Coral location has a front bar and sidebar equipped with machines and areas for baristas to make drinks. The new location will have three bars.
"We don't do the double bar every day. It's primarily Friday, Saturday and Sunday, at this particular location, but the next location does have about (two and a half) times the traffic flow that we have here," Jeff said
The process has taken longer than usual because the new location is in an economic redevelopment zone.
"The city is really taking a long time with the permitting process because the city gives our landlord money to invest in the property and fix it up. When they do that, they're a little bit more stringent on the plans and how it's going to look," Jeff said.
The owners do not plan on making any changes to the menu items that they developed at the original location. They also want to keep the employee culture and happiness at the same level.
"I think that is always the goal, create a spot where you can impact people's lives, and then impact the community," Alex said.
Plans for franchising
Sharene said the company will be sticking to its strengths when it comes to franchising: quality of coffee and friendly attitude.
They will require franchisees to buy coffee beans from Urban Buzz. They're also planning to have a warehouse operation that will function similarly to a cooperative to ensure franchisees pay fair prices.
They plan to keep the positive culture that they built into the Cape Coral location alive in all other locations.
"That's probably the biggest challenge of franchising is making sure those who we sell franchises to maintain the culture and drink quality," Jeff said.
How Urban Buzz grew
Urban Buzz opened in April 2020 after Sharene offered to partner with Alex on a business venture.
Sharene, Jeff and their younger son Adam moved to Florida from Colorado. Alex had worked in the coffee industry in Colorado for five years.
Alex hit what he described as an all-time low when his dog died and his life was disrupted by other events and obstacles. In 2019, Sharene told him about an "opportunity to spread happiness": opening a coffee shop in Southwest Florida.
"If I'm gonna take a risk, it can't go any much lower than here. I figured, why not? We'll take a shot," Alex said.
Alex sold his car and donated everything that didn't fit into his two suitcases. A year later, Urban Buzz opened with one espresso machine and one soda gun.
"Alex wanted to open a second location within a week of opening. As his mom, I said, 'You gotta be crazy.'"
The Cape Coral community instantly welcomed their newest edition to the local business family.
"The small business community in Cape Coral is the best of anywhere I've lived, and I've lived in five different states. This is hands-down the best," Alex said.
Eight months into the opening, Urban Buzz won a “Best of Cape Coral” award.
"We weren't even on one of the 'checkmark here' options. People wrote us in under 'other' so they check-marked other and wrote Urban Buzz Coffee," Alex said.
Alex wanted to give back to the community around him and started fundraising for different Cape Coral organizations. Since its opening, Urban Buzz completed about 10 fundraisers. Their latest project involves adopting a turtle's nest in North Captiva.
"Giving back to the community has been the main thing, being able to help people who are going through a hard time and really being able to have an impact on the same people who support us," Alex said.
Every member of the Eble family has dedicated their time and resources to help it grow. Even Adam, who graduated from high school in May, worked as a barista from the first day the coffee shop opened.
This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Urban Buzz will open a second location in Fort Myers and franchise