Café Grumpy

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Caroline Bell headshot
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Location: Brooklyn, NY
Founded: 2005
Industry: Food service (roaster/retailer)

Café Grumpy

Caroline Bell
Co-founder and CEO


Café Grumpy is an independently owned and operated specialty coffee company. Starting out with one neighborhood cafe in 2005, the company has grown to eight retail cafe locations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, as well as an in-house roasting facility. “Café Grumpy’s vision has always been to serve great coffee in a socially and environmentally responsible manner, and we achieve this by maintaining transparency and developing positive relationships with the people we work with along every step of the process,” says co-founder and CEO Caroline Bell. “We have never compromised our vision and passion for serving great coffee throughout our growth, and I am convinced that because we were unwavering with this, we were able to grow as we have without the help of outside investors.”

Quick Tip: “A great leader is a hard worker who will be responsible and make decisions that benefit the team before herself.” 

A lack of capital from outside investors, however, has sometimes been a challenge for Café Grumpy. “To fund our growth, we have had to turn to … advances on merchant services and high-interest-rate lenders that cater specifically to small business,” says Bell. “We also rely heavily on working capital to fund our growth, and in doing this, it is necessary to streamline and cut all unnecessary expenses from both the business and our personal lives.” Nevertheless, driven by perseverance and belief in her vision, Bell has been able to grow the company successfully.