Joanne Shaw didn't get into the specialty coffee industry because it was hip. Indeed, when she launched Flushing, Michigan-based Coffee Beanery Ltd. 20 years ago, coffee was anything but the cup of caffeinated chic that it is now.
"Those were the days of freeze-dried and instant coffee," Shaw recalls. "There were few, if any, retail coffee stores--let alone coffee chains."
Of course, the industry has since percolated its way into the forefront of American culture. Yesterday, coffee was just your average joe; today, it's downright trendy. But even as the cafe lattes add up, so, too, do the competitors. And Shaw must face a dilemma that, frankly, many entrepreneurs probably wouldn't mind facing themselves: What do you do when your business becomes the darling of the marketplace? Or, to put it another way, how can you ride the wave of a hot trend without burning your own business out?