Barista's Battle Scars


  • This case was presented by the authors at the Midwest Academy of Management Conference, St. Louis, Missouri in September 2008.

Susan M. Jensen, tel.: (308) 865-8189; e-mail:


This case tells the story of an entrepreneur couple who launched an upscale retail coffee business in a mid-sized college town in the Midwest. Barista's enjoyed immediate and overwhelming market acceptance and was even named “Entrepreneur of the Year,” yet had tremendous difficulty in obtaining expansion capital. The choice of legal advisor also proved to have enormous impact on the future viability of the business. Written from the perspective of the entrepreneurs, the case provides unique insight regarding the importance of cultivating the effective professional relationships needed for business success.