Tom Vincent of Texas Coffee School Delivers the Most Fantastic Cup of Coffee
What's your favorite local coffee shop?
Frogg Coffee Bar and Creperie in Allen. It has the best crepes ever and they sell Oak Cliff Coffee. It's my favorite place to go in all of DFW for coffee.
What's a good way to rate a coffee shop?
The first way to evaluate a coffee shop is to order cup of drip coffee because I find that if they're not willing to put the energy into doing that well, they're probably not going to do anything else well either. That's just basic.
What's one piece of advice you give future coffee-shop owners in your classes?
It's important to really keep things simple. Don't have a huge menu, focus on simple things but do them really well.
I also read a lot of books by chefs and I find that one universal thing that ties all chefs together is not trying to be all things to all people. It's about focusing on what you love. If you look at your menu and there's one thing you don't love, then it shouldn't be on there. Passion is the number one reason people succeed or fail in business.
When you tell your students that in class, honestly, do their eyes glaze over?
Oh. They glaze over every time. And I look forward to it. The whole point of my coffee class isn't just to teach coffee skills; I'm not just a passionate coffee-nerd, I'm also a passionate entrepreneur. I read a lot of books about businesses and the one thing I've learned that ties all entrepreneurs together is passion and tenacity. People who just won't take no for an answer. So, I really try to inspire them during the class.
Did people tell you no when you told them you wanted to open a coffee school in Texas?
They still do. It's funny when I'm out and people will ask what I do, "I run Texas Coffee School." And they're like, "Oh... how's that going for ya'?" But, it's worked out great for me.
Who are most of your clients at the school?
People who are looking to open coffee businesses.
Do you get a lot of clients from out of state?
A lot. The majority of my out-of-staters are opening coffee business. The owners will come here before they open a coffee shop, then later on often they send their baristas here to get trained as well. Barista training is just one aspect of what we do. We also have a one-day class just for home coffee makers, which is a lot of fun. The science is the same no matter what you're doing...
Because it's just beans and water.
Yep, it's just beans and water...
(Not really. We both know this, but it's fun to say anyway.)