If you’re looking for a new place to study, read a book and especially a place to get a cup of coffee, your options for places to do just this in the Athens downtown area have grown by one this week.
The new coffee shop will now have to compete against seven already established cafés in the downtown area.
1000 Faces Coffee, already opened and running in one location, has expanded from their Barber Street location, and they are now located downtown on N Thomas Street.
“We had our location for almost 10 years on Barber street, and it was the owner’s decision, they really wanted to expand our coffee program and our house, and create more space for our whole company. This building opened up and they could do all their dreams,” said Nicky Jones, manager of the coffee shop.
The shop is a brand new space, filled with modern and trendy designs, including a window for a wall that provides the customer with a look into the roaster that makes the coffee right in store.
However, the real question is whether or not this café will be able to stand out from the crowd of already successful coffee shops just down the street.
So far, students are saying yes.
“I think their biggest competition are places like Walker’s and Hendershot’s. I still went to 1000 Faces on Monday to try it out, and it was already packed that first day it opened,” said Meg Eaton, a marketing major at the University of Georgia.
Shops like Walker’s, Hendershot’s and even the Graduate’s coffee shop, Iron Works, across the street from 1000 Faces Coffee, are local businesses, with more eclectic and indie aesthetics and atmospheres that appeal to college students and Athen’s locals.
All three have the same style that 1000 Faces Coffee is working towards, a place that isn’t a chain, where people can come in and study, read or socialize.
According to Jones, the store plans to do this by advertising in a slightly different way from their big business competitors.
In fact, they showcased their first week, which they café is calling their “soft opening week” with, of course, an Instagram post.
1000 Faces Coffee also relies on their customers posting Instagrams of their experiences at the coffee shop, which usually include a cute, staged cup of coffee, located somewhere in the shop, surrounded by the trendy decorations, or perfectly placed books, calendars and pens.
This is word of mouth in the digital age, and 1000 Faces Coffee is taking full advantage of this opportunity and the free advertising.
This is also a different way to appeal to a younger demographic, which, like some say, may just give the coffee shop a leg up over the better known cafés in downtown Athens, like Starbucks and Jitter Joes.
However, social media may still not be enough.
“If it wasn’t for it opening within walking distance of my apartment, I don’t know if I would know that it opened at this new location,” said Meg Eaton.
This is a problem Jones and her team are already trying to solve with their official grand opening.
“Well our super grand opening is on Sunday. We imagine that to be really wild and crazy just because we are going to have the foam cart here and a dj,” Jones said.
The owners are hoping this super grand opening will lead to more business.
Not only is the shop hoping to attract customers, specifically a younger demographic, through social media and their grand opening, but the Small Business Research Report’s coffee shop research report says that coffee shops in general are drawing in the 18-24 year old crowd.
The report also revealed that speciality coffee consumption, which is what 1000 Faces Coffee is focusing on, has risen from 9 percent in 2000 to 16 percent in 2016, and is continuously increasing.
This may just be what will set this shop apart from the chains, like Starbucks and Jittery Joes, like it has been doing for Walker’s and Hendershot’s.
While chain coffee stores may have the advantage of being more well-known, according the report, younger people are more likely to go to places like 1000 Faces Coffee, giving them a unique advantage for the downtown area of a college town.
1000 Faces Coffee seems to have a social media presence and statistics on their side, but only time will tell if the coffee shop can hold their ground amongst all the competition in the downtown area.