U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > North Carolina > Coastal North Carolina
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 10-20-2012, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Cordova, TN
145 posts, read 204,688 times
Reputation: 47

Advertisements

Hello everyone...

I'm looking into opening a coffee shop on the coast somewhere (yes I have a niche' that is very unique, I would just rather keep it to myself for now!!)

I wanted to know if there were any areas in specific I should check out. Preferably an area that doesn't have a cozy, home away from home type atmosphere. I was thinking about Wilmington. This Christmas, I plan on doing a little road trip along the coast to scope out which towns I should look further into.

I am a single mom with 2 kids, so an area with good schools is definitely a factor. I want a smaller town with a homey feel.

Also, anyone know about the rules for converting an old house into a coffee shop, where I can live upstairs, and work downstairs? Or something like that. Any help would be great!!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-20-2012, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,253 posts, read 19,786,471 times
Reputation: 5087
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdweaze View Post
Preferably an area that doesn't have a cozy, home away from home type atmosphere. I was thinking about Wilmington.
Wilmington is certainly not a small town. It had 106,000 people in the last census. In my opinion, it is already overloaded with coffee shops. I suggest you try a smaller town like Southport, Burgaw, Leland or Shalotte. Hampstead has good schools, but it is also overloaded with coffee shops, IMHO.

I'm no expert on zoning regulations, but I suspect you would have problem starting a business that serves food in an ordinary house. You are going to have to have the kitchen comply with commercial sanitary standards, and make the house comply with fire code regulations for a public building. Furthermore, the house is going to have to be in an area already zoned for business.

I don't want to throw cold water on your dreams, but please do some research on the zoning laws in Pender, New Hanover or Brunswick Counties. Don't waste your money on a road trip unless you know it's feasible to start that sort of business.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-20-2012, 07:17 PM
 
104 posts, read 213,133 times
Reputation: 92
If you want to go as far as Manteo. There are some shops that have apartment over then. I believe the shop and apartment go together so the shop owner can live over their shop. Most of the buisness is seasonal, but there are enough locals that you should be able to get enough costomers in the winter. It is a small town with good schools, and friendly people. You might want to do a little more then just a coffee shop. Like a coffee shop with a deli.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-21-2012, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Cordova, TN
145 posts, read 204,688 times
Reputation: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenage1 View Post
Wilmington is certainly not a small town. It had 106,000 people in the last census. In my opinion, it is already overloaded with coffee shops. I suggest you try a smaller town like Southport, Burgaw, Leland or Shalotte. Hampstead has good schools, but it is also overloaded with coffee shops, IMHO.

I'm no expert on zoning regulations, but I suspect you would have problem starting a business that serves food in an ordinary house. You are going to have to have the kitchen comply with commercial sanitary standards, and make the house comply with fire code regulations for a public building. Furthermore, the house is going to have to be in an area already zoned for business.

I don't want to throw cold water on your dreams, but please do some research on the zoning laws in Pender, New Hanover or Brunswick Counties. Don't waste your money on a road trip unless you know it's feasible to start that sort of business.
Well I do appreciate your input... but this is all part of the research process! I'm aware that you can't just open a cafe in a regular house, which is why I am looking for a real estate agent that is familiar with multi-zoned properties (properties zoned for commercial AND residential) and I know if I bought an old home that is zoned for both, I would have to do a lot of renovations to make the downstairs into a cafe', and then convert the upstairs into an apartment. I certainly don't plan on spending all of this money on renovating a place if it won't be legal! But I had to start my research somewhere, and City-Data has always been a good source.

Wilmington is small compared to some of the other cities I have lived in (Seattle and Phoenix for example), but it's big enough that I could still have a social life. But if you have any other suggestions on where in North Carolina I should look, that would be great!

Thank you!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-21-2012, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Cordova, TN
145 posts, read 204,688 times
Reputation: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elwyn View Post
If you want to go as far as Manteo. There are some shops that have apartment over then. I believe the shop and apartment go together so the shop owner can live over their shop. Most of the buisness is seasonal, but there are enough locals that you should be able to get enough costomers in the winter. It is a small town with good schools, and friendly people. You might want to do a little more then just a coffee shop. Like a coffee shop with a deli.
This is very helpful!!!!! Thank you! Do you have any other information on Manteo?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-21-2012, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,253 posts, read 19,786,471 times
Reputation: 5087
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdweaze View Post
I'm aware that you can't just open a cafe in a regular house, which is why I am looking for a real estate agent that is familiar with multi-zoned properties (properties zoned for commercial AND residential)
I'm glad you have done the basic research. I think it would be much easier to start with a property that already has food service facilities installed. The Manteo suggestion is interesting, but it has a tiny permanent population of 1400 people. See the profile here: http://www.city-data.com/city/Manteo...-Carolina.html

I think you should consider Morehead City and Beaufort, as well as the ones I previously mentioned: Southport, Leland, Shalotte. Maybe Surf City and Jacksonville. Wilmington is the largest city on the coast, but I think it is saturated with coffee shops, esp. Starbucks. I would love it if you came to my town (Sneads Ferry), but I don't think there would be enough business to support you.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-21-2012, 02:24 PM
 
104 posts, read 213,133 times
Reputation: 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdweaze View Post
This is very helpful!!!!! Thank you! Do you have any other information on Manteo?

It's been years sence I lived in the area. But you can contack the owners of the Mellow Dog Gallery. They are down town Manteo, and could answer your questions better then I could. Contact Us
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-22-2012, 01:21 PM
 
75 posts, read 195,968 times
Reputation: 32
I know Manteo fairly well and would guess the off season population would be quite small and that the majority of those folks wouldn't be premium coffee drinkers, if you get my drift. Plus, there is already at least one established, what I'd call upper-end, coffee shop there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-22-2012, 03:11 PM
 
104 posts, read 213,133 times
Reputation: 92
That's one reason why I suggested adding something to the coffee shop, like a deli. That would attract a more diverse clientel. And you can always give a local discount. Many of the shops already do that, giving 10%-15% off the listed prices for locals.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:



Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > North Carolina > Coastal North Carolina
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top