How a cold call three years ago to Scooter’s Coffee Co-Founder Don Eckles led to a partnership focused on creating economic opportunity in North Omaha
Growing up in North Omaha and seeing the prevalence of poverty and hardships in his community, Julian Young, executive director of The Start Center and a Scooter’s Coffee franchisee, would wonder to himself constantly why things were the way they were. What he began to understand was the role economics played in creating opportunities for communities, families and individuals. This led to the establishment of The Start Center as a way to cultivate entrepreneurship, creativity and talent to foster long-term economic sustainability in the urban communities.
“The goal is to help individuals and families in urban and inner-city communities start businesses, grow jobs, gain financial stability and build generational wealth to stem the cycle of poverty,” said Young.
Wanting to lead by example, Young saw huge potential in being a franchise owner as another avenue to fuel economic opportunity and community engagement.
“The idea of franchising a business in North Omaha was something I wanted to do for a very long time. The franchise business cuts the learning curve down and increases the chance of success.”
Being a long-time and avid Scooter’s Coffee customer and feeling like his values aligned well with Scooter’s mission and values, Young focused his attention on the prominent Omaha-based coffee brand. After many rehearsals, Young cold-called Don Eckles and pitched the potential of a partnership. Lo and behold, Eckles called Young back and thoroughly agreed.
“Once (my wife and I) decided to partner with Scooter’s and after we met the founders, we investigated the company through their website and other sources and it validated everything we have come to know.”
Young opened his Scooter’s Coffee, located at 2928 Ames Avenue, Omaha, Nebraska, on March 23, 2018. The location has not only positioned itself as a place to get a great cup of coffee, but also as a community center, a business incubator, job training center and an inspiration for the members of the community at large.
“The intent to open the Scooter’s was not simply to start a business, but be a light; create positive energy in the community… we’re always working on efforts to engage the community to use the space. We have been tremendously successful out of the gate. We have had dozens of organizations that have booked our networking and conference spaces. We host staff retreats, workforce development seminars all while serving a great cup of coffee.”
In conjunction with the opening of Young’s location, Young and Scooter’s partnered to create a video to inspire other prospective candidates and investors about the possibilities and impact a Scooter’s could have on a community.
“Digital video content tells a story that other content methods can’t. People who choose to buy a franchise are taking a risk. They need to know the story behind the business in order to make an informed decision. They need to have a better understanding and I believe video helps with that.”
For Young, the goal is to replicate this model with Scooter’s Coffee in urban communities in the Midwest and throughout the country.
“The store is doing well and we’re focusing on making sure it's successful, but we're doing the background planning and scouting other locations and communities to help create jobs and economic sustainability for others.”