First-time coffee shop owners hope to brew up new business

The shop has a different flow of traffic since restrictions shut down on-campus schooling.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The coffee and lattes are brewing inside Collect Coffee Bar at Campus Pointe Shopping Center near Fresno State as employees sell to-go orders.

"We signed the contract, and about a week and a half later, that's when the first lockdown happened. From there, we had so many things set up for the shop and so many expectations. We wanted to do so many more things," said Fatima Rasheed, the shop's co-owner.

Rasheed and her family own the Collect Coffee Bar. The shop has a different flow of traffic since restrictions shut down on-campus schooling.

"I had breaks between my classes, so I was coming, getting my coffee and doing some writing or doing something for the next day," said student Anahit Hovhannisyan. "The pandemic happened and we started to teach from home, so that's why I started to come very rarely."

Students and staff were about 50% of the sales. While the business changed overnight, the owners worked on new ideas.
They developed an app and offered curbside service to sell their coffee. They've even started their own coffee and tea lines.

"We wanted to make something exciting, so we started making our own blends of teas. Then we partnered up with Q29, which is a local roaster, we picked our beans and flavors and notes, and we've developed our own coffees," Rasheed said.

The shop employees about eight people.

While the movie theater is closed and school traffic has decreased, nearby businesses are doing all they can to reach customers.
The owners say the landlords have been helpful, too.

"So what keeps us going is that we're always hopeful, hopeful for the future to get better and bring out all these new things to our customers," Rasheed said.

A future that can't come soon enough for these first-time business owners ready to serve their loyal customers.

The owners hope to brew up more business in the future. Collect Coffee Bar is open seven days a week.
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