Category Archives: News

Indie Coffee Shop Day 2018

Okay, so I suck at marketing. Which is weird, because I’m a professional marketer. I’m just so busy with client work that I can’t even promote the events that I come up with.

I came up with the idea for Indie Coffee Shop Day four years ago, promoted it for a while in 2014, and then didn’t do anything with it for the next three years. This year, I got distracted by client work and other side projects that I haven’t done much with it at all.

Still, that doesn’t mean I’ve lost the meaning of Indie Coffee Shop Day. The goal is to promote the idea of visiting your local independent coffee shops instead of Big Chain Coffee.

When I lived in Indianapolis, I had a few favorites. I loved Hubbard & Cravens in Broad Ripple, and could be found there at least twice a week. I also loved B Java and Bee Coffee Roasters, and think they had the best coffee in all of Central Indiana.

Inside Duo 58 in Oviedo, Florida. One of my favorite indie coffee shops in Central Florida.

Inside Duo 58 in Oviedo, Florida.

Now that I live here in Orlando, I have three favorites I visit constantly: Duo 58 in Oviedo, Vespr in the Waterford Lakes area in east Orlando, and Stardust Video and Coffee in Winter Park. I have a few others I enjoy — the Drunken Monkey, Achilles Art Cafe, Downtown Credo — where I can be found for a couple hours, working and enjoying the local coffee scene.

If you’re in the mood for coffee today, and you normally only drink Big Chain Coffee, do yourself a favor. Do a quick search on Google Maps for a nearby independent coffee shop and give them a try. Ask them questions, ask for recommendations, and get to know the people behind the counter.

And remember, for every dollar you spend at a local merchant, $.40 of it stays in the community. At a chain store, only $.13 does. Support your local merchants.

The Official Indie Coffee Shop Day Is. . .

I was struggling with deciding when to officially declare Indie Coffee Shop Day. When I picked the day, I had decided “the day before Record Store Day,” because my wife, Toni, and I believe in the philosophy of Record Store Day and everything they stand for.

However, from a calendar standpoint, “the day before Record Store Day” is a terrible way to set up an annual event. Besides, I don’t want the RSD guys to file an injunction or anything.

The other option was “the third Friday in April,” but that led to a different problem: once every 5 or 6 years, April 1 falls on a Saturday. That means the third Friday comes six days after the third Saturday, which totally screws up the “day before RSD” vibe I was going for. We face this problem in 2017, 2023, 2028, and 2035, and so on.

But — official announcement music, please — I decided to suck it up and just pick the third Friday in April as the official Indie Coffee Shop Day. We’ll just have to be six days after Record Store Day. Maybe we can turn it into a weeklong festival those years.

Does anyone know if there’s a Food Truck Day?

Indie Coffee Shop Day 2014 Recap

Indie Coffee Shop Day 2014 is now in the books, and for a first celebration that was actually launched a week before it happened — note to self: launch new holidays 6 months early — I was pretty pleased with the reception.

Without analyzing any of the numbers (mostly because my computer kept saying “Insufficient data to proceed. Are you kidding me with this?!“), we had a few coffee shops join up, several people from around the US and even Canada were tweeting the #IndieCoffeeShopDay hashtag, and I even made a contact with the Indianapolis Coffee Association and may be speaking to the group in May about social media marketing.

I’ve also gotten a lot of great ideas from people as a way to promote Indie Coffee Shop Day 2015, including flyers, postcards, and other materials that shops around the world can use to start promoting the event. I’m also going to start featuring coffee shops and letting them tell their stories so we can continue to add to this blog during our down time.

If you have any ideas or suggestions, please make them in the comments. And if you’d like to help volunteer to promote the event next year, let me know, and we’ll add you to the list.

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Remember, It’s “Indie” Coffee Shop Day, Not “Indy” Coffee

The one problem living in Indianapolis — Indy, to all the cool kids — is that it rhymes with “indie.”

This makes it hard when you’re trying to promote “Indie Coffee Shop Day” to all your friends, because everyone thinks it only applies to coffee shops in Indianapolis.

Venetia's Coffee Shop, 55 Chatsworth Road. Lower Clapton, E5, London, England

Venetia’s Coffee Shop, 55 Chatsworth Road. Lower Clapton, E5, London, England

It doesn’t. It’s about independent coffee shops all over the world. (And I’m confident in saying “all over the world,” because we have a new supporter, @TheMamaRuns in Alberta, Canada, which makes this an international day of observance!

Several years ago, I created a map and website called The problem is, I can never remember which Indy/Indie goes first, so I always have to look it up.

And I started worrying that people would think it only applied to Indianapolis coffee shops. (I used to run into the same problem when I was a music reviewer for — they thought I was only writing about bands in Central Indiana.

So, the official word is that this day is not about coffee shops in Indianapolis, Indiana. It’s about local, independent coffee shops in any part of the world.

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When Exactly IS Indie Coffee Shop Day

The best way to remember Indie Coffee Shop Day, and its spirit of community, I picked “the day before Record Store Day.” That makes it pretty easy to remember. If you know when Record Store Day is, you know when ICSD is.

Except there’s a problem.

Record Store Day is always the third Saturday in April, no matter what. So it makes sense that ICSD is also the third Friday in April.

Because that makes sense, right?

Except the third Friday is not always the day before the third Saturday.

As my friend, Heather Sokol (@JustHeather), pointed out, sometimes the very first Saturday is April 1, which means the third Saturday is April 15th. However, that also means that the first Friday is the 7th, which puts the third Friday on April 21.

Six days after Record Store Day.

This will happen in 2017, 2023, 2028, 2035, and so on.

This presents me with a problem:

  1. Do we continue to list Indie Coffee Shop Day “the day before Record Store Day”? That would make it difficult for people to schedule, plus I don’t want to ride on RSD’s coattails like some caffeinated remora. My joke has been “ICSD officially happens the day before Record Store Day until they file an injunction.”
  2. Do we go with the third Friday of every April? That makes it easier to schedule, easier to count, and easier to remember. However, it completely ruins the whole “day before Record Store Day” thing for one year out of every 5 – 6 years.

What are your thoughts? When would you schedule it? We have a couple years before it’s an issue, but why wait until 2017 to solve it? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

New Indie Coffee Shop Day Logo

We have a new logo for Indie Coffee Shop Day, thanks to the Marketing Mercenary, Jerry “J.R.” Renkenberger.

Indie Coffee Shop Day logo

Big thanks to Jerry Renkenberger, the Marketing Mercenary in Kokomo, IN, for the great logo.

Jerry just emailed me on Saturday and said “Hey, I’ve got an idea for your logo,” and sent me a quick mockup. One quick color change later, and we were all set.

Jerry is a fellow marketer, based up in Kokomo, Indiana, and I’ve known him for several years. And now this is our first time working together. Thanks, Jerry!

Remember, Indie Coffee Shop Day is Friday, April 18, the day before Record Store Day. It’s the day people should forgo Big Corporate Coffee and support their local independent coffee shops. (Also, if you want to visit another indie coffee shop after you’ve hit your local record stores the next day, feel free.)

Indie Coffee Shop Day to be Held Friday, April 18, 2014

(Indianapolis, Ind.)—It’s one of the small pleasures of life. Sitting in a coffee shop with your favorite beverage, meeting with friends, reading a book, or getting some work done. For many people, a regular coffee shop is their home-away-from-home, or office-away-from-office. Independent coffee shops are often more highly prized because their presence in a neighborhood is often an anchor and meeting place.

So Indianapolis entrepreneur Erik Deckers created Indie Coffee Shop Day as a way to celebrate independent coffeehouses, and to encourage more people to find a favorite indie shop.

“Independent coffee shops contribute a lot to the local community,” said Deckers. “They add a flavor to their neighborhood, serving as an anchor point for people to connect.”

Indie Coffee Shop Day will be observed on Friday, April 18, the day before Record Store Day. All anyone needs to do to observe it is to forgo their traditional “corporate coffee” and buy from a local independent coffee shop instead.

“It’s wonderful timing,” said Deckers. “Record Store Day celebrates independent record stores and the rich musical heritage of vinyl records. Indie Coffee Shop Day is about celebrating the rich heritage of coffee and the shops that support Fair Trade coffee, single origin coffee, as well as the local roasters who provide the beans for our local shops.”

There are economic benefits of buying local as well. For every dollar spent at a local, independent business, $.40 of that money stays in the community. But every dollar spent at a large chain whose headquarters are in another city, only $.13 stays in the local community.

“Entrepreneurs and small business owners who have business meetings in coffee shops should be meeting in the local shops, not corporate ones,” said Deckers. “If you depend on the local community for your business, you should also support the local community.”

Deckers says that even small chains can be called independent, as long as their shops are local.

“Two of my favorite coffee shops in Indianapolis and Louisville — Hubbard & Cravens and Heine Brothers — have more than one shop in their areas. But I would still call them independent, because their stores and their money stay in the community.”

For more information, or to contribute a story, visit

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