The first recorded mention of a coffee house is set in the early 1500's in Damascus.  It immediately became a place of concern for the rulers because the coffee houses were a natural community center where people shared stories, news of their families and political ideas.  Later as coffee houses began to spring up in Europe they also served as a place where people conducted business over a cup of java. Lloyd's of London started in a coffee shop and early stock market exchanges began in coffee shops. Today the coffee shop is still a heart of a community.  It is like a church or a spiritual center - people feel comfortable there, find their friends there and recharge their energies.  But it's not like a spiritual center in that it is a great social leveller, all are welcome regardless of any ideology or social status.  It is a place of comfort and a place of change. But coffee shops are notorious for being a tough business to get into the black.   Red Tree Art Gallery and Coffee Shop is a great example of such a place.  Listen in and find out how they've done it.  And why.


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