Bellingham Coffee: Red Barn Coffee

Bellingham Coffee: Red Barn Coffee

Did you really think we really had it in us to not include COFFEE in our #BossLady features?  Common now. Introducing, the ladies of Red Barn Coffee! 

Mandy and Cailey were on our very first short list of ladies who we wanted to do a feature on back when Streets of Gold was still a dream floating around in our heads. They did not disappoint! Looking through their photos makes us smile, (Lj Shepherd Photography has that magical happiness capturing skill) but can you imagine how seeing these ladies for your morning coffee would make your day so much better? 

How and when did your business take shape? 

We had previously worked at a coffee stand together. We would often dream about having a stand to call our own, and had a good time brainstorming and dreaming up fun, cute, and trendy ideas we could do. Early in 2014, there were a lot of changes taking place at the stand where we were both working. So when this opportunity was brought to our attention the timing couldn't have been more perfect. We originally heard about the stand being for sale through Cailey's Mom, Candys. After a bit of research and a few meetings we bought the existing building and equipment, put some work into it to make it our own, came up with a name, got our licenses and opened up on May 12th, 2014. We have just recently hit our two year mark! It's been so fun! 

Women in business, Boss Lady, Wisdom.
Everyone is special when they are here and we appreciate their business.

Aside from enjoying all the cutesy fun drinks, treats, and specials that are available, we are really emphasizing going out of our way to make sure our customers feel noticed and are not just another face in the drive through. Just flat out being kind to others. We have the majority of people's drinks memorized and that puts a big smile on their faces being remembered. We want that small town feel here at our stand!  

When it comes to being kind, Tim McGraw was on point with his song ""Humble and Kind". It's the simple little things we often forget that can make a big impact on others and influence their day in a positive way! It could be a smile, giving a compliment, being a good listener, or when someone in line wants to pay it forward and leaves $5 bucks for the car behind them. We get the exciting part of delivering the good news! It has been truly amazing at times to see the reactions of others, it has brought people to tears and is something that truly touches your heart! We have the greatest customers ever, which we are thankful for! And we try our best to provide a welcoming positive environment for everyone. 

What is a hardship or challenge you have had to overcome and how did you handle that?

It was challenging getting started! All we knew was the making coffee/customer service part of it and the business side was a learning experience. It didn't stop us though and we were determined to soak up as much knowledge as we could. And here we are two years later still learning as we go! 

In moments when there may be chaos and things are hard to grasp, handle or understand... I use my faith. My favorite verses I reference from time to time are-

I can do all things though Him who strengthens me. -Philippians 4:13

-Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. -1 Peter 5:7

-“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord “Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11

It’s comforting and reassuring that we will get through our challenges.
— Mandi, Co-Owner of Red Barn Coffee

How do you balance being a #bosslady with having a family/life? 

Mandi: Being a business owner makes for a very busy life, you are always thinking in the back of your mind about new things you'd like to do or how to improve things... even if you're not physically there. Fortunately for me, having a business partner is super helpful! It allows me a little more flexibility as we share the work load and tasks that need to be done. I feel Cailey and I are a good balance for each other we both have naturally different desired areas that we focus on in our business which works well together. Being a single Mother to 4 very active kids feels like I'm in a tornado always on the go LOL! It takes a bit of planning ahead. We also have our schedule set up so we can enjoy large chunks of time off to spend with our families. Cailey and I have found a great balance with the flexibility between the two of us that I'm so thankful for which allows us to maintain the important things in life. 

Cailey: It's definitely challenging at times. Some things we just have to be okay with missing out on! But Mandi and I try really hard to be flexible with each other and our schedules to make sure we can make it to most everything! We also have another employee who can help out with covering shifts, which we are so grateful for! We also decided in the very beginning of starting our business we would be closed on Sundays to keep that day for church & family time.

If you could give someone starting their own business any advice what would it be?

If we were to offer advice to anyone starting a business of their own it would be to not get discouraged with all the fees, licenses, taxes etc. It can be overwhelming at times but just remember your passion and why you wanted to start the business in the first place and let that drive you. Don't ever give up on your dreams! If you want to own your own business, go for it! Don't let anything stop you no matter how many walls you run into. It's the most challenging and rewarding thing.

We are thankful how God has orchestrated this whole thing, from the timing, to what, with who, the success, just everything. Even the hurdles that made us stronger, it’s just a constant reminder that He has great plans for all of us. We’re excited to see what He has in store for our future.