Today I had a pleasant surprise at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Instead of the usual generic national brands I found a familiar face. The Cartel Coffee Lab sat where Burger / Pizza / King / Hut used to be.
The Cartel Coffee Lab is one of those small businesses that makes no sense in an internet world where ideas can be cloned at the speed of light and familiar trumps quality.
Don’t get me wrong – Franchising is an amazing way for many people to get into their own business and find success fast. However mavericks like the coffee labs are more likely to find their way to the business actuary tables than the airport.
Yet there they were. Fresh, shiny and magically ready to deliver an amazing cup of joe.
What makes the Cartel so special? Aside from a plywood and iPad ambiance – (it reeks of college creativity born of limited funds) they roast their own coffee beans. I remember a friend waxing on about the magic of freshly roasted coffee. At the Cartel Coffee Labs they bring it to you steaming hot in every cup.
And… it… is… AWESOME.
From a business perspective I am truly impressed with Sky Harbor management. Rather than another me too airport they elected to (quite literally) promote the local flavor of Phoenix. It makes me proud to live in a place where other entrepreneurs can live their success and we can all participate and benefit.
Way to go Cartel Coffee Labs and way to go Phoenix. Doing something different always takes courage. And encouragement.