• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 25s

Coffee company carves niche in caffeinated market

By Kirsten Swann 6:00 PM December 12, 2013

Just a year after going into business, Cabo Coffee employs 25 people at five locations and has big plans for expansion.

ANCHORAGE – Molly Bates’ career in coffee began with a four-cup-a-day habit and a love for business.

Today, Cabo Coffee includes four drive-through huts and plans for a new café inside City Hall. In the community where coffee stands line every major roadway, the burgeoning new brand has managed to carve its own niche in an already-saturated market.

“Business is just really fun for us,” said Molly, who also operates several medical businesses with her husband, Kyle Bates.

From an unassuming office tucked into a Tudor Road strip mall, the couple described how it all began. Molly would buy several specialty coffee drinks every day. Kyle would add up the receipts. Maybe they should open their own coffee stand, they mused. Kyle surfed Craigslist for huts for sale, and the more they considered the idea, the more realistic it seemed.

It was August by the time they bought their first shop – an old stand on the corner of Spenard and Minnesota. Two months later, they were open for business.

The journey was only just beginning.

Through a combination of strategic branding, targeted customer engagement and business savvy cultivated through years of experience, Cabo Coffee took off. Just a few months later, the Bates’ were on the hunt for a second stand. Then, a third.

“I looked at it like, you know what, I’m gonna try and take the market,” Kyle said.

By the summer of 2013, less than a year after opening up for business, Cabo Coffee was operating four stands from South Anchorage to Government Hill.

When the small coffee shop space on the first floor of City Hall opened up for lease shortly thereafter, the Bates saw yet another opportunity.

“It’s been a lot of legwork,” Molly said. “A lot of knowing who to talk to.”

But the legwork paid off. With 25 employees and steady, daily business, Kyle said his company’s secret to success was simple, albeit surprising.

“I’m not really worried about anyone else,” he said.

Not Kaladis, not Café Del Mundo, not Common Grounds or any of the other drive-by stands dotting street corners and parking lots around Anchorage.

Molly said her company focuses on delivering consistent customer service and a quality product from accessible locations. Customers come to expect things like chocolate-covered espresso beans on cup lids and coupons for local businesses printed on cardboard sleeves, and Cabo employees are rewarded for their success by financial incentives and other perks.

She said the company aimed to become a desirable brand, not just another quick cup.

“It’s a different attitude, but I think it appeals to people,” she said.

While data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows more than 50 percent of small businesses fail within the first five years, Kyle Bates said his company still had big plans for upward expansion.

“Honestly, my goal is to have 10 to 15 of these bad boys,” he said.

 

Latest Stories

  • Sports

    Local Seahawks fans voice their support ahead of Super Bowl Sunday

    by on Jan 30, 23:11

    The Seattle Seahawks continue preparing for Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Ariz. Fans back in Anchorage are sending a loud message to their favorite team hoping the Seahawks win their second straight championship. Fans staged a rally early Friday night at Flat Top Pizza. It took place after they took part in another event at […]

  • Sports

    Former NFL player helps teens become successful, avoid trouble with the law

    by Dave Leval on Jan 30, 22:50

    Former defensive end Mao Tosi has tackled many people during his playing days in college and with the Arizona Cardinals. However, being home in Anchorage may provide his biggest obstacle. Tosi created AK Pride 10 years ago, a program in which he teams mentors with kids in a variety of programs ranging from arts to […]

  • News

    Alaska Regional Hospital announces plans for Mountain View clinic

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 30, 21:48

    The Anchorage Community Land Trust and Alaska Regional Hospital have signed an agreement to open a community health clinic in Mountain View to better serve residents in the area. The clinic would provide primary care services for residents in the Mountain View community, many of whom may not be getting the level of healthcare they […]

  • News

    Mayoral candidates address recent Anchorage violence

    by Kate McPherson on Jan 30, 20:34

    With the recent surge in violent crimes in Anchorage, some of the candidates in the upcoming mayoral race are speaking out against the actions of perpetrators and looking for ways to protect other residents. Candidate Andrew Halcro says the recent shootings in Anchorage need to be addressed with dedicated gang and drug task forces. “When […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Jan. 30

    by Carlos Faura on Jan 30, 19:23

    Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound Lots of sunshine and mild temperatures as a ridge builds into the area. Because of such a stable atmosphere and because there is little wind, conditions are ripe for some fog to develop overnight into the morning hours. It should just be patchy in nature and be gone by […]

  • News

    Last man on the moon lands in Anchorage

    by Lauren Maxwell on Jan 30, 17:40

    The last man to walk on the moon visited Anchorage on Friday, and spoke with students enrolled in the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut Capt. Eugene Cernan, 80, was the invited speaker to help celebrate the ANSEP’s 20th anniversary. He told […]

  • News

    APD releases traffic fatality stats for 2014

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 30, 17:06

    Anchorage saw an uptick in traffic fatalities last year compared to 2009-2013, according to data released by the Anchorage Police Department Friday. Twenty-three people died in traffic collisions in 2014, which includes all collision types involving vehicles, pedestrians, or bicyclists. Of those, alcohol or drugs were a factor in 15 of the cases. The department […]

  • DayBreak

    Mic Check in the Morning: Jolly Good Fellow

    by Daybreak Staff on Jan 30, 15:04

    With a mix of indie pop and rock, Jolly Good Fellow stopped by Daybreak Friday for a Mic Check in the Morning. Based in Anchorage, the band includes vocalist and guitarist Kyle Harrington, bassist Mapy Preskitt and drummer Brandon Echols. For more information on Jolly Good Fellow, check out their Facebook page. You can also listen […]