What’s in a Coffee Shop Name?

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What should I name my coffee shop?!? It’s one of the most popular questions that I am regularly asked and surfaces with alarming frequency and urgency on online discussion boards. First things first: don’t panic!

The trend in coffee shop names these days from cutesy to outright absurd, are you naming a business or a boat? I suggest that rather than come up with the latest coffee pun, consider something that more appropriately captures the essence of your business and tells potential customers what they are likely to expect when they walk through your doors.

Let’s take a look at some of the popular categories of coffee shop names and their representative examples (these are REAL):

Medical Side Effects

 

  • Trembling Cup
  • Permanent Addiction
  • Jitters (also, Jitter Bean, Jitter Java, Jumpin’ Jitters, etc.)
  • Diuretic Delights (okay, so I made that one up)

The Puns

  • Bean Around the World
  • Daily Grind (also Back to the Grind, Nose to the Grind Stone, Breaking Ground, Sacred Grounds and so on)
  • Brewed Awakenings
  • Brews Brothers
  • He Brews (a Christian Coffee Shop – this one is growing on me)

The Crowd that Misspells Espresso with an “X”

  • Premium Expresso
  • Heavenly Expresso

The Unfortunately Named

  • Mud Puddle
  • River Brew
  • Java Trout Expresso Internet Bar & Gifts (I attempted to contact this company and congratulate them on their naming achievement, but alas, they were out of business or perhaps in hiding)

The frustration associated with naming a business is probably the result of competing in an escalating battle of wits. Let’s think about this rationally, consider:

  1. Who are your customers? With proper business planning, this one should come rolling off your toungue. Are your customers morning commuters? Students? Couples out for an evening of entertainment? Office workers? All of the above? Knowing who your customer is will help you to understand how your name will be perceived.
  2. What is your business identity? What do you want your customers to think about when they read your name? (coffee – doh!) we’ll get to that in a moment: IN ADDITION TO COFFEE, what do you want your customers to think about? This is a question only you can answer. Is it an emotion? a place? a memory? There are plenty of words other than “bean,” “cup” or “java” that you can use to get your point across.
  3. Now we can tell them it’s coffee. You should always keep the image of coffee present so that customers can quickly identify what you do. Picture driving by a business at 40 MPH and seeing the name or logo; in the blink of an eye it should be readily apparent that you serve coffee as a primary business. On the topic of that logo make certain that the logo is clear, not overly elaborate and has a crisp and easily identified color scheme.
  4. Make it unique – Unless it is your intention to masquerade as part of some large chain (such as a coffee shop I once visited named “Starbean,” written in bold green and white text), you’re going to want a brand name that can be uniquely associated with your company and product. Do a little search on Google for “Daily Grind.” Go ahead, I’ll wait. At the time of writing this article there are over 1.4 million mentions of the words Daily and Grind, and nearly 700,000 for the phrase “Daily Grind”; I can identify about 150 unique listings that are coffee shops or other coffee and tea related businesses. How will your business possibly be identified, recognized or remembered through all of that noise and confusion? Also consider possible legal setbacks to having such a similar name. Daily Grind-A is not going to be very happy when Daily Grind-B opens up down the street and will probably have something to say about. Always have your attorney research your prospective name(s) for possible infringement on another’s trademarks or business names – you can do a cursary search through the US Patent and Trademark Office website and the corporation or business division of your Secretaries of State offices.

Oh, there’s one more category that I failed to mention above:

Popular Culture and Literature Names

  • Bean Me Up
  • Hill of Beans
  • and Starbucks

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What’s in a Coffee Shop Name?

641 Responses

  1. Hi Java,

    I am planning on opening a bookstore/cafe in Abu Dhabi, the UAE (where Dubai is located also since that seems to be more popular). I am having difficulty coming up with an appropriate, unique, and memorable name for it.

    The idea for my bookstore is that first and foremost it will be a standalone place. All the bookstores in my country are situated IN a mall. And so I want to change that. The demand for books is not great here, hence the idea of adding a cafe to it in order to lure people in, cause everyone loves coffee and a muffin!

    Secondly, I want it to be very cosy, warm, homey, i want it to be very rustic and traditional. Think brown. I want people to walk in and smell the books (and the coffee). For a slight modern twist, I’m thinking of having a twitter wall, so you can tweet about the place and see your tweet come up in front of you. It’s going to have blackboard menus tho, today’s special, that sorta thing.

    Any ideas for a name? So far I’ve come up with:

    papermuffin (all small letters, but each word in a different colour)

    Delectus (which means book in latin)
    Once Upon a Cafe (but I hear that exists in NJ)
    Paperback’s Cafe (but again that exists)
    Brewed Tales (I didn’t get positive feedback for this one tho)

    Help! Thanks!

    Suad

    Suad February 20, 2012 at 8:55 am #
  2. Hello,
    I’ve been working on this idea for a coffee shop and its really cool, but the name i came up with (REGGAECAFE)i randomly just googled it to see if there was any similar name out there and disappointedly, there is…….but other names i have in mind are CABASHCAFE, URBAN KING, RAGGAMUFFIN BREWS!!!!!! ———

    I’d be grateful for alot of help!!!
    Thank u!!!!

    February 28, 2012 at 11:31 am #
  3. Hi there
    I’ m opening a coffeeshop in a Garden Centre.I was thinking of Serenity Place.Do you think it will work.Blessings
    Marita

    March 5, 2012 at 9:30 am #
  4. Hello guys

    I wanted some help, am from the UK looking to open a coffee shop in the business end of town, near solicitors, job centre, lawyers lots of passing trade, business and local shoppers.

    i want something that appeals to everyone, so business users, free wifi etc, bucket seats for people who want to relax, and news screens on for people to come in and lounge,

    also will be not only doing coffee etc, more like sandwiches, wraps, food, snacks and cakes etc.

    it is in Coventry, west midlands. UK

    Suggestions please?

    March 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm #
  5. Hi, i need your advice.
    I’ m opening a coffeeshop near the airport and other near the central bus station. The local language is spanish.

    Please help me with the name!!!

    thanks,

    Claudia

    March 23, 2012 at 12:58 pm #
  6. I am looking to open a coffee/music venue soon in AZ. Having a hard time thinking of a name so I can start getting the license I need to operate. With the new strip mall going up and the cardinals stadium I see alot of potetional in that area. Want to do more like a sit down coffee house that features local artists. Does Anyone have any other ideas that might help me. Thanks!

    March 25, 2012 at 11:38 am #
  7. Hi everyone,

    I just spent the last few hours reading every post on this site, you’re all so creative. Java Moe I think its awesome how you help others!

    Like many of you I am also looking for some help with names but I’m planning on opening a bakery there will be coffee and tea but I would like for my bake goods to be the focus. I live in Mexico the bakery will be downtown. Nearby there are tons of bank corporate buildings, tattoo shops, hippies selling cool crafts they make such as earings, clothing stores, very small typical mexican food restaurants, a really cool urban 2o story apartment building and two large chain restaurants sort of like dennys in the US. I’m in my late 20′s about to graduate as a chef; really excited and extremly scared as well. I like cute, eclectic and bold. Thank you in advance for all of your help!

    March 27, 2012 at 11:12 am #
  8. Good Luck Emma. I am 28 and looking to open my business in the fall when everything opens up. I am getting ready to go to Barista school next month. The research and planning is taking up all my time but I am enjoying doing what i enjoy. I hope all the other post has succeeded in their business have not heard lately how they have done.

    March 27, 2012 at 11:22 am #
  9. Thanks David! Congratulations on going to barista school it sounds really interesting, I bet you’re gonna love it! It really is a ton of work and investigation, I have to present a business plan in order to graduate which has been really helpful in this process. It’s really nerve wrecking its not as easy as it sounds although it’s a weird and good kind of nervousness. Do I sound crazy?It would be great to hear how everyone has been doing so we can cheer them on. Good luck with your new business and barista school, I’m sure everything will turn out much better than you expect!

    March 27, 2012 at 11:46 am #
  10. Thanks Emma! There is nothing crazy about doing what you love. I will have fun I get to learn the whole business and how to creat a business plan. Going through a consultant company. There is so much to do in this business if you just go in it with a plan. I bet alot of them did and have open more than one shop. I will keep you posted on everything.

    March 27, 2012 at 11:58 am #
  11. Great Site-Lots of good ideas, and I need one :) My son is opening a Carquest Auto parts store, on a huge corner lot, with Hwy frontage in Coos county Oregon. His is the first building you see coming into town. He is going to put in a drive up coffee shop. May put in other towns, franchise? so name must be unique. Could use Rogue or Tank in the name. Thanks!

    April 28, 2012 at 7:57 pm #
  12. ~!!!!!! i am so in the right place!!!!!!~

    coffee/bakery shop opening up in a month’s time…we already have some thoughts of coffee shop names but now we’re LOOKING FOR A SUPER CREATIVE & CATCHY TAGLINE that goes with it!!

    aside from coffee/bakery stuff, we’ll have pasta/salads/wraps/pancakes-waffles-french toast /nacho salad and all that jazz!

    we’re in bangkok (thailand)!! =)) our shop is beside a local steak house and a few other local cuisine…most 70% of residents in this area eat out & love the “chilling” feel to relax and just hide out…our deco is mostly a dark chocy tone with cuts of calm pastel colors on the rusty/vintage/retro pinch.. we’re hanging some of our photography artworks & playing with lightbulbs to add a cozy touch…

    any tagliners out there pls? =))

    May 5, 2012 at 10:25 am #
  13. Hi Bally = have you thought of the name “the Writs” ?

    May 27, 2012 at 11:21 pm #
  14. cuddle a cup cafe

    June 6, 2012 at 10:16 am #
  15. Hi All,

    This might be somewhat off topic, but I’m not sure where else to put this. You all have had some great idea about coffee business naming. My question is about where to find my business niche. I’m planning on starting an internet only (no brick and mortar store) coffee business where I will take the best of the best single variety coffees, roast them to perfection in micro batches and ship them immediately to my customers. I’m aiming for consistent top quality. I know it takes some time to build a reputation, but where do I find my customers in the first place? Do you all feel this market is saturated, or is there always room for the best? Thanks for all of your comments.

    –Guy

    June 14, 2012 at 6:57 am #
  16. Hi I am after a name for a cafe shop I’m opening up. It will be open from 11pm to 9am so would like a name around these trading hours. Its situated in the Markets where truck drivers and delivery crew are constantly passing

    So far i have come up with:
    The Allnighter
    Night Owl
    Night rider
    Cuppa

    Please help :)
    Mel

    July 29, 2012 at 6:16 pm #
  17. Hi. I will soon be opening a coffee shop in a holiday resort on the beachfront in South Africa. I need help with a name. my clientelee will be the residents of the resort. i am offering coffee with home made bakes and pastry. Ice cream, popcorn and toast sandwiches with various cold salads.

    September 26, 2012 at 9:14 pm #
  18. im only 19yrs of age and have my own cafe / juice bar and have no idea what to call it . if there are any suggestions please help me ? something that turns peoples heads, and something that really stands out …. ??

    October 23, 2012 at 9:46 pm #
  19. planning a coffee/ light lunches shop in Windhoek Namibia,Independence avenue down town…mostly business people, but very accesable from the street…any suggestions on names?
    any suggestions will be appreciated

    January 8, 2013 at 10:06 pm #
  20. My dream is to open a large community based coffeehouse. A place for people of all ages and stages of life. Family and friends near and far come to gather for community events, a good chat, and delicious coffee, tea, smoothies, snacks, and yummy food. I want it to have great healthy, all natural options. I would also like to have a small portion of the profit go to a local non-profit or at least host fundraiser events. I will be moving soon, so I do not know the location. It will most likely be in the Pacific Northwest where there is alot of natural beauty (ocean, lakes, rivers, mountains, wildlife). Ideally it will be open from 6am-12am daily, if it’s in an area I can afford to do that. More about me….. I love the colors blue, green, and red (not together! haha). I love cleverness and wit. I like simple elegance, as well as traditional and vintage, as well as contemporary!! So the style is TBD, but I’m leaning towards just a comfy feel. I am often complimented for my big smile and joyful attitude. I love to work hard, but also love to have fun and laugh.

    Names I like, but are already taken:
    Jubilee Coffeehouse
    Family Tree Cafe
    Bluebird Cafe
    Kindred Cafe

    Name not taken, but not sure if I like:
    Cozy Community Cafe (can call it C3 for short)
    Give and Take Cafe

    Words I like:
    Delight, Twilight, Sunrise, Sunset, Divine, Family, Friends, Home, Hope, Kettle, Joy, Happy, Adventure, Cheer, Tree, Bird, Natural, Nature, Love, Grand, Gather, Roots,

    I want something simple and unique. Also, easy to say and spell. Only letters, so I don’t have url issues. (example, please no names like, “DELI-CIOUS Cuppa’ Coffee” or “Coffee N Tea Shop” or “BEV-2-GO”)

    I love one word names, plus cafe or coffeehouse at the end.
    (For example “Jubilee Coffeehouse” or “Kindred Cafe”)

    Anyone have ideas for names or motto/slogan? Thanks in advance :)

    Jessica

    PS: Awesome post and comments, you all are great…. JM is king of names!!

    January 13, 2013 at 11:00 pm #
  21. i am looking for a name starting( S) some one can give me a iadia

    January 14, 2013 at 12:06 am #
  22. I am opening a drive through espresso and sandwich stand. I am a county girl and the decor will be camo, pink and firearms. I live in a logging, fishing and hunting town in Washington state USA. And the majority of our customers will be log truck drivers. I’d like the name to be girly to an extent. I have been racking my brain and can’t think of anything. I was thinking of Double Shot Espresso. But it doesn’t scream girl owned. Please help.

    January 18, 2013 at 10:05 pm #
  23. Krisi- Your coffee stand sounds fun!!

    What about Double Barrel Espresso? :)

    January 26, 2013 at 2:31 pm #
  24. Krisi-

    Your Coffee Stand sounds great! This is not more girly, but it is more original…

    Double Barrel Coffee

    Or to be more girly…

    Caffeine Girls Coffee

    Or to describe your stand…

    Pink Camo Coffee

    January 26, 2013 at 10:23 pm #
  25. I am planning to open a coffee house in a university in India.Please suggest me some names

    February 28, 2013 at 8:44 pm #
  26. Hello friends I just got me a blog. However you will need to enter wordpress to look for it ( javamoe ) as I have only been on it for less than a week and it takes google six weeks to recognize my blog and rank it. Please note that what ever you ask here on Andrew Hetzel’s web site ( coffee strategies ) will still be answered regardless if you ask it here or on my blog.

    Please be aware that this is Andrew Hetzel’s web site and I am just here to help you people out figure out names for your shop!

    It’s been a long vacation so lets begin! If you happen to have stopped here by accident your in luck as I can make a few suggestions about names.

    Java Moe

    javamoe December 19, 2013 at 11:52 pm #
  27. Merry Christmas everyone!

    Java Moe December 24, 2013 at 2:08 pm #
  28. I’m hoping to set up an appointment with my SBDC Rep this Friday to discuss this, but I’d appreciate your input as well! I have a name picked out that I’m going to keep to myself because it’s totally unique on Google and I want to keep it that way, but my problem is I won’t only be selling coffee. My business will start out selling specialty cookies and whole bean coffee, then progress to iced coffee and tea concentrates, and if all goes well I’m going to open a Hot Cocoa shop, and if that goes well I’m going to open a cafe. I’m concerned that my Awesome Coffee Company name won’t apply to my Hot Cocoa business or my cookie business, and I really want it to be all encompassing. Is it odd to buy cookies from a Coffee Company, or would you stop at one for an awesome cup of cocoa? I suppose I could get multiple DBAs, but that would just scatter my brand and confuse my patrons. What do you think? Awesome Cocoa, Coffee, Tea and Cookie Company? Awesome Confections? Awesome Coffee & Comestibles? Who even knows what comestibles means besides me? Your two cents is appreciated! :-)

    January 7, 2014 at 2:21 am #
  29. Hello Dowe,

    If you can tell me where the shop is located and the type of clientele and a little bit about yourself so I can make better suggestions. :)

    JM

    javamoe January 8, 2014 at 2:02 pm #
  30. Awesome cup and confections.

    If coffee was the main product confections will cover the rest. Perhaps 2 DBA’s one for the coffee and one for the rest for the rest of your products. But that would be expensive.

    javamoe January 15, 2014 at 3:51 am #
  31. Java Moe you are a coffee naming master!! I need your skills!
    My hubby and I are in the planning stages of getting a coffee roasting business off the ground, but we’re stuck on the name part, of course.
    We are going to start roasting at home and sell at our local farmers market. Eventually our goal is to own our own coffeehouse, roasting/brewing our own coffee. We are based in Noblesville, Indiana. We do not really want to be defined by where we are located. We want a name that will grow with us. We love the idea of rustic with modern flair. We love the outdoors, adventure, fun. We want to bless people with our products and create an atmosphere where we can create relationships and know our customers. We have lived in Colorado and Alaska, both very active places. We are in Indiana to be close to family. We love the thoughts of hiking and mountains, but not sure those words would grow with us.

    Some ideas we have kicked around are:
    Affinity Coffee – love what we brew
    Moxie Coffee – get up and go (I think the slogan is trademarked)
    Journey Coffee Company

    Thank you so much in advance for your help!!!

    S

    February 1, 2014 at 8:50 pm #
  32. Let me have a think about it and I will get back to you.

    javamoe February 9, 2014 at 2:56 am #
  33. I am planning to start a cafe (coffee shop with small eatery) in bangalore, india.
    I want to name it after my son Vikramaditya who passed away at a small age of 10 months.
    Adi’s cafe is what came to my mind (we called him adi, adu)
    Please suggest any innovative yet loving way to name the cafe. Thanks

    June 21, 2014 at 2:17 am #
  34. Hi there, My partner and I are looking to open a small coffee shop in Glasgow,Scotland. We will be doing lots of home baked cakes too. Food wise our menu will be fairly limited, sandwiches, paninis, baked potato, salad, that kind of thing. We are really struggling with a name and would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks :) x

    July 2, 2014 at 2:47 am #
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