From the May 1998 issue of Entrepreneur

Call it java. Or bean juice. Or its scientific name, coffea arabica. A cup of coffee by any other name is just as welcome by the millions of Americans who consume 440 mil-lion cups of it every day, according to Coffee Cavern Inc., the Moraga, California-based franchise that's adding a new twist to traditional coffeehouse allure.

To stand out from the crowd, Coffee Cavern store designs come complete with tropical caves, trickling waterfalls--even rolling fog. Customers can put their feet up on a rock and relax to tropical tunes.

The idea started percolating when franchisors Theresa and Steve Selover, 37 and 41, respectively, were vacationing in Hawaii and toured the Hilo Lava Tubes. Amid beautiful foliage and dripping dew, Theresa said the only thing missing was a good cup of coffee. The couple spent the next two years brewing a business plan; in 1994, they opened the first Coffee Cavern near San Francisco.

Coffee Cavern began franchising last year and plans to expand to several states and Canada. In addition to a full range of coffees and an award-winning espresso, Coffee Cavern's menu includes sandwiches, soups, salads and gourmet desserts. And don't forget Cavern Critters, the life-sized stuffed animals displayed throughout the store. Says Steve, "People love our store because we're different."

Contact Sources

Coffee Cavern Inc., P.O. Box 6280, Moraga, CA 94570, (800) LATTE-2-U