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Melissa Villanueva of BREWPOINT COFFEE on Creating Avenues for Café Owners of Color

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Brewpoint Coffee Founder Melissa Villanueva is the author of “Starting and Running a Coffee Shop”. Like the title suggests, the CEO has aspirations to grow Brewpoint Coffee (@brewpointcoffee) and teach other people of color how to effectively find their way in the café space. Watch this interview to learn about balancing big ambitions, creating opportunities for others, and equity and inclusion in business.

WHAT DID YOU LEARN on this episode of the Restaurant Influencers podcast, sponsored by the Toast point of sale and restaurant management company? Let us know by leaving a YouTube comment below!

• Improve Your Restaurant with Toast: https://bit.ly/3vpeVsc

CHAPTERS:
[02:16] - Melissa Villanueva 2-Minute Drill
[10:37] - Asking For Help
[17:26] - Learning from Starbucks
[23:48] - Secret to Opening a Coffee Shop
[28:13] - Advocating for Underrepresented Women

Melissa Villanueva is a Restaurant Influencer —

“If I was to say there were two words I would want my ecosystem to be defined by, it's a system that is equitable and a system that's inclusive.”

Melissa Villanueva is the CEO and Founder of Brewpoint Coffee and author of “Starting and Running a Coffee Shop”. Like the title to her book and her quote above suggests, she has aspirations to grow Brewpoint Coffee and teach other people of color how to effectively find their way in the café space.

Villanueva’s personal journey to open a coffee shop mimics the trajectory of Brewpoint Coffee’s growth from a shop to a company.

Just that quickly, she and her then boyfriend, and now husband, were in business.

Always the dreamer, Melissa Villanueva jumped headfirst into the venture with the idea of incremental improvement. Her blissful ignorance, or self proclaimed “delusion”, of what it took to run a coffee business allowed her to act on her dreams. Unlike most business owners, though, she was more interested in big ideas than simply generating income.

“At the core of it was because I had amazing staff that I wanted to see if they could have a career in coffee,” the Brewpoint Coffee founder says of her initial motivation behind expansion. “I started dreaming about, okay, let's have a second space. And can the second space be a place that we roast coffee and we have a second cafe within this? We could have enough cash flow to justify higher wages to be able to have a career in coffee.”

Brewpoint’s core values continue to evolve as the company evolves. Drawing inspiration from famous real estate couple Chip and Joanna Gaines, Villanueva wishes to grow Brewpoint while remaining true to the core value of community. In addition, it has become increasingly important for Villanueva’s company to harbor an environment that is inclusive and equitable from top to bottom. They look internally to ask the right questions to ensure the plan is being executed.

Now eight years in, Villanueva is no longer delusional about starting a business, but remains as bold as ever in her endeavors. One thing is for sure, Mellissa Villanueva and Brewpoint have made their mark in the Greater Chicago area and have plans of taking their ideas global by empowering others to embark on their own journeys.

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EPISODE LINKS:
Brewpoint Coffee Online: https://brewpointcoffee.com/
Brewpoint Coffee Instagram: www.instagram.com/brewpointcoffee
Speaking & Consulting: https://brewpointcoffee.com/pages/speaking-consulting

ABOUT MICHELLE VILLANUEVA (@brewpointcoffee):
Melissa Villanueva is the Founder and CEO of Brewpoint Coffee, which started after a self discovery trip to the Philippines and a Craigslist search. Brewpoint quickly grew from a shop to a company and continues to do so. With a desire to help other aspiring café entrepreneurs on their journey, the “Starting and Running a Coffee Shop” author continues to ensure Brewpoint Coffee is equitable and inclusive on all levels.
• Michelle Villanueva on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissa-villanueva-95579340/

ABOUT RESTAURANT INFLUENCERS:
Welcome to the Restaurant Influencers podcast and video series. Every week host and restaurant owner Shawn P. Walchef (@shawnpwalchef) talks with leaders about their secrets to Smartphone Storytelling and how to show up and engage where customers are spending time online. https://restaurantinfluencers.media

• Published by Entrepreneur Media - https://entreprenuer.com
• Produced by Cali BBQ Media - https://calibbq.media

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RESTAURANT INFLUENCERS IS PRESENTED BY TOAST:

Restaurant Influencers is brought to you by Toast, the powerful restaurant point of sale and management system that helps restaurants improve operations, increase sales and create a better guest experience.

Toast — Powering Successful Restaurants

• Learn more about Toast at https://bit.ly/3vpeVsc
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