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A Better Bakery in Bethel

Access to Capital: The Catalyst Needed to Get One-of-a-Kind Coffee Shop Brewing

Sarah McCoy's journey to entrepreneurship began when she moved her family to Hartford in 2015, and felt like something in the community was missing. With perseverance and funding, Soil and Story Coffee was born.
Sarah McCoy, Co-Owner of Story and Soil Coffee
Meet Sarah McCoy

Co-Owner, Story and Soil Coffee

The Backstory

When stay-at-home mom and freelance photographer Sarah McCoy moved her family to Hartford in 2015, she and her husband couldn’t shake the feeling that something in their new community was missing. “We felt like the city needed a place where people could build community and connect with each other,” she said. “The idea had been brewing in our heads for a while.”

Sarah and her two partners (including husband, Michael and friend Michael Acosta) signed a lease on a Frog Hollow storefront with the intention of converting it into a specialty coffee shop. “It had been vacant for seven years,” she explained, “and it needed a whole lot of love.”

The team put together what they believed to be a solid business plan to present to potential funders in the hopes of finding the capital they would need to fulfill their dream.


How Women's Business Development Council Helped

“We were turned down by a few places that we were really optimistic about,” Sarah said. “It was disappointing, but then I remembered Janet Siegenthaler at WBDC whom I had met at a seminar. So I came to Derby several times to talk through our business plan. She showed me that it was strong and that it just needed a few tweaks to get funders’ attention. Most importantly, she gave me pointers on how to present myself and my ideas in a business-savvy manner.”

Through Janet’s connections, Sarah and her team were granted funding through a local bank and within five months the blighted, vacant space was transformed into “one of the best-looking storefronts on the block.” Today, Story and Soil Coffee has become a popular destination center for specialty coffees sourced from around the world. It’s a success that Sarah attributes largely to WBDC’s guidance.

“As an entrepreneur, you ride through so many different emotions and sometimes you feel like the craziest person alive. Janet gave me the pep talk I needed at the perfect time. She was also important in helping me and my two partners leverage our talents to help us determine which roles we each should fulfill in the business.”

“Every woman entrepreneur is going to have her own story,” Sarah reflected. “But I know that the mentorship and modeling that WBDC can provide to each of them is a necessary thing.”


Find Out More About Story and Soil Coffee

For more information visit www.storyandsoilcoffee.com.