North Riverdale coffee shop owners optimistic amid supply change shortages
Two Riverdale mothers who opened a coffee shop in June are remaining resilient in the face of supply chain shortages and an uncertain future.
Heather Kim and Katie Mayer seem more like family than business partners.
"We live in the neighborhood and we both just randomly wanted a coffee shop," Mayer says as she and Kim laugh along -- and they say that's exactly the energy they try to bring to their business, Early Bird Coffee Shop in North Riverdale.
"We're two people from two totally different backgrounds," Kim says. "And I think this coffee shop is just such a symbol to when you work together, beautiful things happen."
The community has embraced the two mother's coffee shop since its June opening. But recent supply shortages brought on by the pandemic have made running their new business a challenge.
"To-go cups and bowls and spoons, and those things right now are sold out. There's no inventory anywhere. Something that would normally cost $50 a case is now $75, $100," Kim says.
They say they don't want these issues to impact their customers so they've had to get creative and think ahead, like stocking up on large cups that can be used for both big and small drinks. They want to see small businesses get more support at the local and federal level.
"They give a lot of grants and loans to bigger players, so those bigger companies, they get a lot of money, but the small businesses don't," Kim says.
But despite these obstacles, they have high hopes for the future.
"We're very fortunate to have each other and I just feel blessed that we were able to accomplish this and keep it going," Mayer says.
"The sky's the limit. We don't know what will happen tomorrow, but we're only putting the most positive vibes into the now," Kim adds.