Cups - Business Matters - - The News for South Mississippi

Cups - Business Matters

For many, a cup of coffee provides fuel to get the day started and for others it is the centerpiece of a friendly conversation. Whatever the reason, a local cafe has been serving up "Cups" for 20 years.

The flagship Cups Espresso Cafe has called Fondren home for two decades.  It was opened by Janice Cameron and her husband Dennis in 1993.

While there are 11 cups locations across the Metro now, the Fondren location has a special place in their hearts.

"It was the first one, so it's like the baby and they are babies," Cameron said.

You could say Cups is all grown up now as they celebrated the cafe's 20th birthday.  The milestone is evident with the number "20" printed on mugs and t-shirts marking the occasion.

Through the years Cameron has been careful to maintain her cafe's identity. 

"People just get comfortable and relax and just sort of enjoy each other and to me that's what Cups is," Cameron said.

For Cameron it has always been about the simple combination of coffee and people. As a an entrepreneur her focus is not just on the people drinking the coffee but the people pouring it too.  Cameron looks at her baristas as coffee artists.

"Encourage them to give me ideas and to use their own personal identity as part of the experience that people have here," Cameron said.

With Cameron's crew creativity goes beyond the cafe. For instance the manager at the Fondren location, Cody Cox, is a musician and Cameron allows him to sell his CDs in store.

Cameron says allowing her workers that freedom has a positive impact on customer service.

"To me that brings out the best in all of us, and it really makes a difference in how we treat people," Cameron said.

Of the 11 locations, Cameron owns five of them.  She is able to employ 32 people at those locations plus their local roastery.  The additional franchises employ about 35 more.

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