I caught up with Chris Shelton, founder of Cure Coffeehouse and Brasserie and Managing Director of the Old Dominion University Innovation Center for a Facebook Live session. I’ve known Chris for a few years now and I still managed to get even more insight into his success and what drives him personally and professionally. Chris and I have many things in common. We both are Merrill Lynch and Old Dominion alums. We both also own businesses and we are passionate about entrepreneurship.
I summarized my key takeaways from speaking to Chris.
Cure – Chris is a 50% partner in Cure Coffeehouse. He has a great staff and he talks about the genesis of the idea. He talks about the early roasted pastrami was before the expanded build out that its customers enjoy today. He walks us through his supply chain and the grower relationships that he has cultivated over the years.
I was interested to learn that there was such a high level of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. I also did not know that the location was in one of two cobblestone streets remaining in Norfolk. I even got a glimpse into his marketing. There’s no surprise that the word of mouth marketing is the main growth engine.
Innovation Center – Chris wears two hats, he also spends time as Managing Director of the Old Dominion University Innovation Center. He recommended that we check out two companies to check out are Alerta and Rocket Science. Chris and I are of the school of thought that we are moving into a more sustainable economy.
Startup – I really like what Chris has done to diversify his products. As if he wasn’t busy enough he is launching a coffee liqueur. The innovation that he demonstrates is a good reminder for me that the game is growth. It is about scaling and positioning a venture to succeed. We finished our talk with some reading materials that Chris recently read. Here they are.
The entrepreneurial ecosystem in Hampton Roads Virginia is alive and better than ever. I look forward to exploring more businesses in depth and hopefully adding some value to them.
For a close up of one entrepreneur's journey follow along at instagram.com/hamiltonperkins.com.