Local restaurant doubles seating, grows menu and adds 4 full time jobs
Cafemantic owner and founder Andrew Gutt, a graduate of Eastern Connecticut State University, was drawn to Willimantic’s potential to become a vibrant college town. The first order of business, he determined, was starting a coffee shop on Main Street “where people can gather, work, share ideas, plan events and enjoy great coffee and great food.”
Since opening in November 2009, business has boomed. Cafémantic has grown from 6 to 10 full time and 15 part time employees and has doubled seats to 100, and evolved from a coffee shop to a 7 day a week, 3 times a day, farm-to-table restaurant with a favorable New York Times review.
In October 2013, Andrew contacted the Connecticut Small Business Developments (CTSBDC) for assistance and with the help of Business Advisor Gregory Lewis, Andrew followed through on suggestions to locate, select and hire an accountant to reorganize his books. Andrew also shifted focus from low-to high-margin products and negotiated with his landlord to contain rent costs and expand into additional space to house catered affairs.
“Andrew is a visionary. He looked at Willimantic with fresh eyes and energy, and could see how much this town needed the coffee shop and the farm-to-table restaurant he created — Cafémantic has become the heart of Main Street.” explained Greg. “Andrew is passionate about his company, employees and customers, so building a solid foundation was crucial for him. He recognized the need for and appreciated every action we took to do just that. And I’m delighted I could help him on his exciting path to enliven downtown Willimantic.”
“Cafemantic’s growth in the past four years has been fantastic. But Greg helped me look at my business in a new way. Before I can take the next steps to expand, I’ve got to ensure I know where I am today financially—and protect my company so I can stay in control and grow profitably. Huge thanks to Greg for helping me get my arms around everything and pointing the way forward!”
Andrew is a visionary. He looked at Willimantic with fresh eyes and energy, and could see how much this town needed the coffee shop and the farm-to-table restaurant he created.