It’s a simple concept. Ice cold, specialty coffee on a college campus.
“Which is really, really cool. It’s this niche that we have. Coffee is kept on this scale of 1-100. 80 to 100 is considered specialty. And this Honduran coffee is cupping at 85,” said 23-year-old Amy Schatzmann who started Seaside Brew on her alma mater’s campus, Palm Beach Atlantic in downtown West Palm Beach, in August.
“It has almost twice as much caffeine as normal coffee. Which is also perfect for college campuses,” she said.
Amy is part of a growing trend. Women are owning businesses, in particular in South Florida, according to a new census-based study by American Express. It found Florida is the top state for growth and South Florida as one of the country’s top regions for growth.
“When you ask why Florida? It’s because there’s a wonderful support system among businesses, government and education set up to encourage women to start their own business here,” said Kelly Smallridge, the President of Palm Beach County Business Development Board.
Amy’s journey to business owner started last March. She contacted the president of PBA.
“I presented this to him as a business plan and I said look this is what I want to, this is where I want to go, what do you think? He said we’d love to be a part of that,” she recalled.
Amy has four employees. Seaside Brew, which is on a bicycle, on campus in front of the cafeteria Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tonight, she’s working the volleyball game. She played here for four years.
Oh yeah, she also works part-time as a financial analyst.
“My boss honestly has been instrumental in even helping me make this. Planting the seed in me that you need to think outside the box,” she said.
With a strong support group, and a drive stronger than the caffeine she serves, she makes sure to empower her employees, too, as a new fixture on campus.
“It’s been a cool avenue to even encourage them even in their dreams. So all of those things have made it so rewarding and that’s been the biggest lesson I’ve learned,” she said.
Amy and her team work on farmer’s markets on the weekends, and recently landed their first wedding. She hopes to grow her business to other college campuses.
You can find her business on Instagram @Seaside_ _Brew.