Conversations Over Coffee with Flo’s Cafe
By: Leanne Cobb
Turning a coffee business into a method of shining a light and bringing awareness to mental health is not an easy task, but Lauryn Witcher is doing that successfully in Anderson with her mobile coffee cart business, Flo’s Café of Anderson. At just 22 years old, Witcher, who was born and raised in Anderson, has discovered that her calling is to serve others. But she does not just want to serve others coffee. She wants to serve up encouragement, faith, and conversations that lead to real community and connections. How better to do that than over coffee?
Originally, Witcher wanted a career in Criminal Justice, but soon realized that entrepreneurship and the ability to make meaningful connections with people who are struggling with mental health or any of life’s challenges, was the passion she really wanted to pursue. To do this, Witcher had to be willing to take a risk by developing her business in an already competitive market that is constantly evolving.
“I think that when you are passionate about something, it is easier to evolve as the world evolves. It’s easier to remember your “why” and to stay inspired,” says Witcher.
During the early planning stages of her business, Witcher had her heart set on Flo’s being a juicery, despite the fact that she knew nothing about juicing. However, she knew a lot about the coffee brewing process and could easily tell anyone what blend would suit their taste buds.
“I decided to stick with the knowledge I already had, start small, and continue to learn as I go,” Witcher says of her business plan.
Witcher learned all about coffee by working as a Barista for 4 years before opening Flo’s Café. She worked under the Owner of Unlocked Coffee Roasters in Greenville, who she credits with teaching her everything she knows about coffee as well as how to run a business. Additionally, Witcher read books about business operation and spoke a lot with other small business owners who have a lot of wisdom.
When it was time to pick a name for her coffee business, Witcher knew exactly what it would be.
“The name Flo’s came from my great great great grandmother,” Witcher notes.
In addition to serving amazing coffee, Flo’s Café also offers lemonade, including their award-winning strawberry lemonade. Beverages can be customized as well. Events that Flo’s Café can be booked for include church events, school activities, office events, parties, showers, festivals, meetings, conferences, community yard sales or other community and neighborhood events, and sporting events. Flo’s has even been booked to provide coffee for the customers and employees of other small businesses.
Flo’s café is unique because it is essentially a coffee shop on wheels, designed to caffeinate others indoors or outdoors.
“Everything you’d see in a brick-and-mortar coffee shop, you’ll see on my cart,” Witcher says.
You may have seen Flo’s Café if you have visited the main branch of the Anderson Library over the last 3 months. Witcher was offered the opportunity to have a temporary pop-up café in the space where the original library café was located.
“Although I am no longer there, I’ll take everything I’ve learned with me and apply it to the needs of the mobile cart. It was an honor to be in the Anderson County Library for three months,” reflects Witcher.
In the present, Witcher knows that Flo’s will continue to operate as a mobile coffee cart. When asked what the future holds for Flo’s, Witcher states, “It’s in God’s hands.”
“Flo’s is more than coffee. I use my social media following to encourage others and remind them that they’re going to be okay. While Flo’s is Christian based, I also share my struggles with mental health and allow others to open up about their experience too. I love to connect with other coffee lovers on this topic,” Witcher notes.
One of Witcher’s favorite parts of serving in the library was having conversations over coffee.
“Because of that, I’d like to continue to make connections, have conversations, and of course, drink lots of coffee!”
To learn more about Lauryn Witcher and Flo’s Café visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FlosCafeofAnderson or check them out on Instagram at @floscafeofanderson.