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A Brew Attitude

It takes more than your average Joe to go up against the likes of Starbucks.

This story appears in the April 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Though John and MaryAnn Larson, 39 and 40, respectively, sold their chain of muffler shops and left Chicago to retire in Windsor, Colorado, their franchising days were far from over. Despite John's protests, MaryAnn wanted to open a coffeehouse in their new town. With the help of a designer, she brought her vision to fruition and won John over.

Why would the Larsons enter the specialty-coffee market dominated by Starbucks, with more than 7,000 company-owned locations?

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