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How Gregorys Coffee Created Buzz and Brewed Success (Podcast)

Gregory Zamfotis had a business and law degree, but while sipping coffee at a Starbucks, he decided to pursue something he loved.

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This week’s guest owes a lot of his success to me. At a previous job, I worked across the street from the Gregorys Coffee on W. 46th Street here in New York City, and I’m pretty sure I personally paid their store’s rent for an entire year with the number of espresso shots I purchased from them on a daily basis.

Anna Meyer

If you’re in the New York area, you’re likely familiar with Gregorys Coffee (and by the way, for any grammar police out there who want to have me arrested, there is no apostrophe in the name). It started with one location in 2006 and has since expanded to 30 locations in New York, New Jersey and a couple in Washington, DC.

Related: Want to Open a Coffee Shop? Keep These Owners' Tips in Mind.

In 2006, then 26-year-old founder, Gregory Zamfotis, (now you know why it's called Gregorys) had a business degree and a law degree, but he didn't want to go through life just earning a nice paycheck; he wanted to do something he loved. Talking about his future with his dad while sitting in a Starbucks, he realized that the answer was sitting right there on the table: coffee. He wanted to make and sell really good coffee. And he wanted to create a coffee-drinking experience for people who love the artisan flair of boutique coffee shops, but want the speed and convenience of Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. Not everyone has 20 minutes to wait for that perfect pour-over cup, after all.

The idea worked out, as evidenced by the aforementioned 30 locations. Gregory stopped by the Entrepreneur office to talk about his highly-caffeinated journey and shared his tips for building a brand and a business. He also talked about the company’s accidental sale of an illegal substance. Whoops!

Thanks, as always, for listening!

Dan Bova

Written By

Entrepreneur Staff

Dan Bova is the editorial director of digital content at Entrepreneur.com. He previously worked at Jimmy Kimmel Live, Maxim and Spy magazine. Check out his humor writing at Planet Bova.