For Alexandria Deapen, a junior business administration major, owning a coffee shop has been has been a dream that has been growing since middle school. Now, several years later, that dream has become a reality.
Deapen’s coffee shop is currently undergoing the interior finish-out and is expected to open in her hometown of Weatherford, Texas by the end of this May. The coffee shop will be called Café 23:5, after Psalms 23:5 which states “my cup overflows with His blessings.”
“It’s a very modern style [shop],” Deapen says. “And the menu will have speciality coffees along with a few pastries, crepes, and a few croissant sandwiches.”
Deapen’s vision for Café 23:5 is a shop that will bring the community together. “I just love coffee shop atmospheres,” Deapen says. “I love that you can go there to have some personal time like read a book or that you can go to hang out with friends or even on a date.”
As expected with starting a business, there have been many difficulties and challenges involved. Deapen noted that this was especially true since she has to set up her business while studying in Nebraska. “[The process] consists of a lot of phone calls and emails. If you see me on my phone, I’m most likely doing something for the coffee shop,” she says.
One of the biggest challenges, Deapen noted was getting the location spot for her shop. “I had to go up against a few other shops for the spot,” she says. “So for that we all had to put together a business plan and present it to them so that they could choose their favorite and they luckily chose me!”
The other challenge Deapen has run into has been has been having to learn as she continues setting up her business. “I’m still in college obviously,” she says. “So I’m not an expert on opening up a coffee shop, but I’m learning as I go.”
When asked what advice she would give to other students, Deapen answered, “The advice I would give someone who wants to start their own business is to make sure it’s something you absolutely love. Because when you’re starting your business you will eat, sleep, and breathe your business. So make sure it’s something you have a passion for. And lastly don’t give up, it’s very challenging but if it’s meant to be, God will open those right doors for you too.”
Deapen says the most surprising part of her journey is how God has opened the right doors for her and closed the wrong ones. “You just have to trust Him,” she says. “I’ve seen this now more than ever. He opened all the right doors for me to start my coffee shop at this moment.”
As the school year approaches its end, many students approach new beginnings using the skills they have learned. For Alexandria Deapen, the end of the semester brings her not only a step closer to her degree, but also towards her goal of opening coffee shops where all people can come together.
Amanda McCarter is a junior studying biomedical science.