“What we do for the community and how we give back, as well as how we treat every single guest and employee is why we want our guests to come back.” -Baylee Thorburn, HERO Coffee area manager
As the world slowly opens back up, people are starting to travel and look for new places to enjoy. This works well for new small businesses in need of clients, many of which are targeting college students.
One popular place to travel is HERO Coffee Bar on Jackson Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. This coffee bar was started by two best friends in 2014 and has continued to grow in business since. All the seating is outside of a small shop with some baked goods, bagels and coffee.
Baylee Thorburn, area manager for HERO Coffee Bar, was excited to talk about the beautiful aesthetic of the shop on Jackson Avenue and felt that it embodied the restaurant. Most importantly, she mentioned that what sets them apart from other coffee shops is the “hero” aspect of the shop.
“We do charity events, employee volunteer days and charity coffee bag donations,” Thorburn said. “Any time you purchase a bag of [coffee] beans from HERO, you can choose which of our charity partners you want a dollar of the purchase to go to.”
HERO Coffee Bar donates to several charities and supports people from many different backgrounds and walks of life. Few coffee bars do charity work like this, but Thorburn said it’s even rarer to find one that treats their guests as well as HERO does.
When asked how to describe HERO Coffee Bar in a few words, Thorburn said hospitality and service.
“What we do for the community and how we give back, as well as how we treat every single guest and employee is why we want our guests to come back,” said Thorburn.
Thorburn mentioned that many of their guests come back to strike up conversations with the baristas, and coffee is the second thing on their minds. HERO’s guests also have the opportunity to purchase HERO art and merchandise from them.
Annika Aurora, customer of HERO Coffee Bar, said that she loves their mission of serving their guests and she looks forward to going into the city specifically for this shop.
“HERO Coffee is always an essential stop when I visit Chicago,” Aurora said. “I love the photo ops and the amazing drink menu.”
Overall, it is clear that HERO Coffee Bar’s main focus is its guests. Thorburn was passionate about how intentional all of the baristas are when getting to know their guests.
She wants the guests to have an unforgettable experience when they come into HERO, which is primarily shown through how they treat each person who comes into the shop.
“We want [our guests] to leave our shop having a better day than when they came in,” Thorburn said. “We’re excited for this next year because we can continue to grow and get to know more visitors.”