Our Origin Story.
If you've been following us since the beginning, then you know that our original idea was to be Orlando's 1st dog cafe where we allow visitors to sip on coffee while interacting with adoptable dogs. This idea came from visiting multiple cat cafe's around the world (before they were brought to the US). We wanted a space that created that cozy, homey environment for both the adoptable pups and their potential adopters. Shelters can be cold and crowded (not anyone's fault) and some pups might be overlooked. We knew this concept would pose challenges, but we were ready and started conversations with the right people.
When we started in Nov. 2019, our vision was different. This journey began as a mobile coffee stand with the intent of spreading our brand and raising capital through events and the GoFundMe. By the end of 2020, we hoped for our own brick and mortar. With success working plenty of events at the beginning of 2020, COVID hit, affecting us all and forcing many businesses to restructure and change quickly.
Our 2020 Story.
COVID changed our operations almost instantly. With events being cancelled into May, we felt the only way we'd stay "relevant" or continue sharing our brand would be to do deliveries. We delivered beans, grounds, and cold brew all over Orlando but were left with a big concern: were we losing the vision and mission behind Sam & George?
As the city and state began to reopen, we noticed a natural decrease in orders and considered putting our business idea on hold until next year. That's when the idea of a pop-up "popped" into our heads. A few phone calls later and we were signing a month-long lease in the Curry Ford West district.
With word getting out about our pop-up, we quickly learned that people had a desire for there to be an uber dog-friendly coffee shop where people can enjoy coffee while in the company of their pup. We've learned to listen to our customers so we restructured our vision for our company. We have become a place where you can come with your pup and still enjoy the comfy and cozy setting while sipping on coffee. However, the heart of our company has always been adoptions, so we brainstormed ways we could incorporate this into our pop-up. We were thrilled to learn the Pet Alliance still wanted to partner with us, so, we decided that on certain weekends, we'd host them --allowing them to take the reins on the adoption event while we served coffee and planned out the events. It all worked out almost too perfectly.
After two successful adoption events and a great month, our lease was ending, but we weren't ready to leave -- we were just getting started. We took a chance and asked to stay and our landlord graciously accepted. We managed to stay open for a little over four months! We met so many faces and pups and our experience in that little Curry Ford West spot will be one we never forget.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it's that the unexpected can happen. All that happened for this business has been unexpected and we look forward to all that is to come. Even though our search for a permanent space has taken longer than we expected, we are certain that this isn't the end for Sam & George Coffee Co. We hope to serve you soon!