Ever been stuck in a new city or neighborhood and need to find an espresso rapido? That's where The Local Coffeehouse, the Denver-founded national directory of coffeehouses, comes in. It's launching a new version of its site and mobile app.
The guide has more than 16,000 coffeeshops, cafes and coffee roasters across the U.S. Users can search for local coffeeshops via The Local Coffeehouse site or they can download it to their smart devices. With the app, users can input a city or town and state into their smart device and quickly find the closest place to get a cup of joe, latte or croissant.
You won't find Starbucks, Peet's, Seattle's Best or other national chains on The Local Coffeehouse: Although it will list businesses with up to 10 locations, it only covers locally owned independent businesses in the U.S. In addition, the shops must offer espresso drinks a primary beverage or they must be a small-batch roaster.
The Local Coffeehouse points to Specialty Coffee Association of America figures that show there are nearly 30,000 independent coffee retailers in the U.S. Many of them are involved in local events, providing a venue for community gatherings and are always conscious of how they can and do give back. Still, it's hard for small companies to compete with the coffee juggernauts. By focusing on the local companies, the resource gives them a chance to better compete with the chains.
The company gives coffeeshops and cafes free listings on its site and app. With that they get a map marker that geo-locates the shop on the map, a listing displaying information about the address, a brief description or story of their location and a link to their site.
"We highly encourage our retailers to share their personal story in order to really connect with people even before they walk through the door. This feature truly separates us from the rest," says Lisa McIntyre, the company's founder.
"In early 2016, we will be offering three levels of paid membership," McIntyre says. The company will also offer its tools to its a la carte members. Beyond the free features the company offers cafes and coffeehouses it offers push notes to users showing them what kind of foods or other offerings they have.
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