In order to make it in business today companies have to find a way to stand out. This is exactly what West Palm Beach based Subculture aims to do in order to make it in today's coffee market. In an industry largely dominated by well-known corporations such as Starbucks - currently with a market cap of $78.97 billion - the pressure exists to attract business and remain relevant.
Not only are small, local coffee shops like Subculture up against established brands, but also the ready-to-drink coffee trend. In a survey of U.S. consumer behavior and attitudes, the National Coffee Association reported, "out-of-home coffee consumption reached a high of 46 percent in 2017."
In order to combat these challenges, Subculture markets itself as having a high standard for coffee. Starbucks gets their coffee beans from farms all over, and typically dark roasts all their coffee, which results in a loss of individual flavor, and causes it to all taste largely the same, explained Jon Wills, the manager of Subculture.
"However, we get coffee beans from one farm at a time and roast in small batches, in order to ensure that we can maintain those individual flavors," Wills said.
It is not only their high-quality coffee that has allowed them to establish themselves in
downtown West Palm, but also their pursuit of community. Customers insists that it is this combination that keeps them coming back.
"I originally came to Subculture when it first opened in 2014 because of their quality coffee. I have continued to go since because Subculture has fostered a community, and it's become like a home. Everyone there feels like family," Cara Sentelik said.
Subculture does not just aim to attract the caffeine addicts in the area, but an array of individuals.
"I keep coming back to Subculture because of the community. They have created such an easy environment to meet people and make new friends," said Bri Bock, a Subculture regular.
Not only do their everyday operations open the door to a variety of consumer preferences, but the events they hold also create a space for a range of people to enjoy. For example, Tacos and Hip Hop has become a well-known event held at Subculture, designed to reach people in the community the company otherwise would not.
"Whether you're a student, a lawyer, or a designer, and whether your drink of choice is a coffee black, a white mocha, a beer or wine, you're invited to be you at Subculture," said Drew Frazier, a barista at Subculture.
For the event, Subculture invited Zipitios, a local food stand, to come make tacos in their alley way, and they invite everyone to come out and spend the night dancing to a live DJ, and socializing with friends, new and old.
Sean Scott, one of the co-owners of Subculture, used to travel to different coffee shops all over as a musician, and realized that most places had a good vibe, and bad coffee, or vice versa.
“Which is what eventually sparked his desire to open a place like Subculture, and create a coffee shop that provided both," Wills said.