NEW PORT RICHEY, FL — A New Port Richey entrepreneur is introducing a new concept that combines a place for business people to work remotely with the universal favorite drink of office workers — coffee.
Located at 5500 Main St., NEAT Coffee Bar hosted a soft opening Monday.
NEAT is an acronym for New Environment for Asset Transformation.
Wayne Scott, owner of NEAT Realty and Investments LLC, came up with the idea after noticing an increasing number of people holding interviews and business meetings at area coffee shops.
While working from home has its advantages, there are times when remote workers need to meet with people face to face, and coffee shops that provide free internet access have become the go-to places to conduct business.
“But oftentimes, teleworkers need to conduct formal interviews or have confidential discussions, and a public coffee shop doesn’t always lend itself to those conversations,” Scott said. “It occurred to me that it would be more professional to have a space where you could go to conduct business with a little privacy.”
With the assistance of the Pasco Economic Development Council’s SMARTstart incubator program for businesses, Scott began developing a plan for a business that would offer private space for group meetings for up to eight people and one-on-one meetings as well as other services for remote workers such as printers and scanners, fax machines, video and Zoom conferencing and multimedia services.
And since no workspace is complete without coffee, Scott included a coffee bar at his work space. He even went through barista training along with his employees to learn how to make the perfect cup of coffee, espresso and cappuccino.
The 850-square-foot business also includes space where remote workers can simply get away from their home offices and work around others.
“Sometimes you just want to be around other people,” Scott said. “Instead of going to a coffee shop, you can come here where you have access to WiFi and office services, and can work around like-minded people. We would like people to use the space as a networking location, which goes hand in hand with our slogan, ‘Where we do business.’ Entrepreneurs like to talk to other people, share ideas and collaborate. They can do all that here around a cup of coffee.”
Scott will offer memberships at NEAT Coffee Bar that will “provide quality service at a reasonable price,” Scott said.
Scott said SMARTstart not only provided him a loan to start his new venture but provided the expertise he needed to succeed.
“I would recommend SMARTstart for any business,” Scott said. “They have so many resources where you can research subjects like operating a coffee shop. I spent weeks breaking down the price of coffee beans and I learned to make 10 different types of coffee.”
Scott said more than 75 percent of new businesses fold within three to five years because the entrepreneur hasn’t thoroughly researched all aspects of the business.
“The people at SMARTstart were so helpful. They have mentors that will work with you on all aspects of operating a business from human resources to payroll to compliance,” Scott said. “The health codes to operate a coffee bar are similar to opening up a full-fledged restaurant, so the advice I received was invaluable.”
In addition, SMARTstart mentors critiqued his business plan.
“They challenged me on my marketing and, quite honestly, the feedback and expertise I received was invaluable,” he said. “By my third year in business, I’ll be out of the incubator stage, and then I’m planning to open franchises.”
For information on NEAT Coffee Bar memberships, click here.
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