082: How to Run a Successful Coffee Shop with Tom Billionis

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Tom Billionis

Every day millions of us start our days with our morning cup of joe, many of us from local coffee shops. Joining us today to share his experience in the coffee world is Tom Billionis, owner of The Coffee Ethic.

Tom spent 12 years in the non-profit industry working for Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which eventually led him to a new town. One day at work a colleague asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up and jokingly he replied he’d like to own a coffee shop.

Two weeks later that friend called him back and said he found the perfect spot. And the rest, as they say, is history!


  • How Tom got the name for his coffee shop.
  • How to tell when your hobby becomes more than just a hobby.
  • What should you do first if you want to start your own coffee shop?
  • The most valuable thing Tom and his partner did to launch.
  • How do you make the transition from your day job?
  • How The Coffee Ethic became part of community revitalization efforts.
  • How do you create an ambience that appeals to a variety of interests?
  • The toughest part about getting started.


  • What’s the one thing Tom would do differently if he started over?
  • What’s the biggest surprise about running a coffee shop and what can it teach you?
  • How do you build fierce loyalty with your customers?

If you enjoyed this episode and want to hear a few additional minutes of the interview, Click here to get the exclusive bonus material.


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