The Rise and Fall of H&L Coffee

Jenna Miller, Opinion Editor

If you found yourself in the new student space in early October, you might remember a small business by the name of H&L Coffee. This small business was run by Cade Lowrance and Jackson Hilger, two like-minded sophomores with a shared knack for entrepreneurship. The two sold coffee, tea, and snacks before school began in the morning, and according to Lowrance, they “found their real profit in Honey-buns and Little Debbies.”

Hilger and Lowrance began to plan their business as the school year picked up in mid-September. By October, they had set up shop at the counter in the new student space. There, in the early hours of the morning, they found their customers. They made a decent profit off of the sleep-and-breakfast-deprived teenager. However, early mornings and a sudden spike in school work made Lowrance and Hilger feel as though their business pursuit was not reaping the reward it should have. In the end, the business fizzled out and by the end of October they stopped selling all together.

Small businesses often see situations like this— 20% of small businesses close within one year and 30% fail in come the end of their second year running. However, this statistic is nothing to a generation of entrepreneurs. 41% of Gen-Zers intend to be small business owners, according to the 2017 U.S. Report Global Entrepreneur Monitor. The same report showed that 74% of young entrepreneurs have started their business out of pursuit of an opportunity, not necessity.

Despite their business’ early closing, Lowrance and Hilger continue to keep themselves busy. Lowrance plans to continue a small chain lawn mowing business into this spring and summer. Hilger also runs a successful lawn mowing business, sells shoes out of his home, and does odd jobs on the side. These entrepreneurs might have stopped selling coffee, but the small business aspirations they once had never left them. So can CCS plan to buy from H&L Coffee once again? Lowrance hinted at a possibility, saying the two “have discussed it,” and “still have two more years.”

Cade Lowrance, above, and Jackson Hilger, below, the two businessmen who tested out entrepreneurship at CCS with their company H&L Coffee. (photo by Tori Peterson)

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