SBDC Helps Launch Successful Business in Southwest Virginia region
The Well Coffee Shop
Owners: Mike and Venus Laney
211 East Main Street
Mike and Venus Laney, owners of The Well say, “Good coffee is more than just a drink…it is a moment. Sometimes, it’s a moment of peace to escape the demands of daily living. Other times, it is a good excuse to connect with a friend and share that moment”.
The Well, an internet café located on Main Street in Tazewell, Virginia, offers gourmet coffees and expresso drinks freshly ground from Zazzy’z, located in Abingdon, Virginia. The Well also offers healthy smoothies made from all natural ingredients, Italian sodas and light breakfast and lunch items.
The Laney’s started their business with a vision to provide a venue for the community to connect and realized that Tazewell and the surrounding area did not have a coffee shop. They began searching for the perfect spot and soon found an historic building in the center of Tazewell’s Main Street which was being renovated by the owner who also shared their dream. The exposed brick and plastered walls provide a warm, welcoming venue for the community as well as tourists traveling through the town.
The owners created a social media buzz prior to the opening of The Well and had a couple of soft openings before they officially opened on June 21, 2017.
Mrs. Laney states, “The Small Business Development Center is a blessing to anyone that has a dream for small business in their heart but requires assistance in understanding how to turn that dream into a reality. Margie Douglass patiently walked us through the practical steps in transitioning our vision into an attainable goal. We are so grateful for the suggestion of our friend and fellow small business owner, Vickie Boothe, for suggesting the program. This is a valuable resource to our community in many ways. We were amazed that the program is available to the community, at no charge! Margie went even further in assistance by helping us locate a grant program funded through the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority. Without her guidance, we would not have known that this program was even a possibility for us. Because of the additional resources available to us through this funding, we were able to launch our business on a greater scale that would have otherwise taken much longer to achieve. We look forward to increasing our staff and serving our community in greater ways. Since the opening of our shop, we have been able to employ 5 additional part time staff members and help expand the customer based for other small businesses by offering locally roasted coffee and prepared pastries. All of this was contingent upon the solid business plan and practical know-how that the Small Business Development Center assisted us with in establishing a good foundation for our business to grow.”
The excitement continues to build as they post new offerings of coffee, smoothies and menu items. The Well not only adds a new dimension to the business sector in Tazewell but also invites tourists to stay longer and spend more dollars into the local economy.