We had the good fortune of connecting with Karlie Warne and Liz Schwartz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karlie Warne and Liz Schwartz, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
We were 23 years old when we decided to take the leap and move across the country to pursue our dream of opening a coffee shop together. We had both recently graduated from college and were working within our degrees, but were constantly having the conversation of “am I really happy doing this for the rest of my life?” Ultimately it was this question (over and over again) that really pushed us to start our own business. We both realized life is way too short to not pursue a dream that we’d been so passionate about since we were kids. We ran into many bumps in the road and hiccups while starting up, but what really helped us was knowing exactly what we wanted our brand to be. We both had plenty of coffee shop and customer service jobs in the past to put together a clear vision of the experience we wanted our customers to have and the product we wanted to provide. We really wanted Ebb + Flow to feel like a home away from home for our customers. We wanted it to be fun, warm and welcoming. We put a lot of thought into the little details- from the quirky names of our smoothies and bowls, to the wallpaper in the bathrooms, to the name “Ebb + Flow”. These are all details that start conversation and ultimately builds relationships with customers. And we believe relationships is what it’s all about.
What should our readers know about your business?
I am most proud of our story, the relationships we’ve created with our customers, and the reputation we’ve established in our community. We took a big risk when we decided to become young entrepeneurs in a town we knew nothing about, but we have truly evolved into a town staple. Verrado, Buckeye has welcomed us with open arms from day one and we are very grateful for that. We really try to offer a wide variety of products for our customers. Our 8 tap kegerator system really sets us apart because we are able to offer 2 nitro cold brews, one CBD nitro cold brew, 2 regular cold brews (one being a small batch brew we make in house), 1 nitro botanical tea, 1 kombucha, and 1 fresh brewed rotating tea. Another item that sets us apart is our smoothie bowls. We offer an Acai bowl, Pitaya bowl, Tropical Mango bowl, and Matcha Green Tea bowl. They are all made with locally sourced fruit and topped with fresh fruit, agave, and local granola. Our bowls are popular year round, but are extra refreshing in the hot summer months. Another aspect that really sets us apart is that we use real plates and mugs to serve our food/drinks. We love to go thrift shopping for our mugs and find the most eclectic and fun mugs we can. We love the way they spark conversation and we really believe coffee tastes better in a real mug 😉 We have had to put our plates and mugs away for the time being because of Covid, but we are anxious to bust them out again and get back to our homey vibe.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Our favorite places to eat: Nami, Taco Guild, Cornish pasty Co., Flower Child, and Windsor Favorite places to grab a drink: The Churchill, Arizona Wilderness Brewery, Angels Trumpet, The Whining Pig, and Bitter and Twisted. Favorite local coffee shops to support: Songbird, Jobot, Be Coffee, and Lux. Favorite events and hang outs: Roosevelt Row, First Friday, Phoenix Flea
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We would not be the successful business that we are today without our huge support system of family and friends. They all really pushed us to follow our dream and live our lives without regret. From washing dishes on opening day to making our bank runs for us when we’re too busy to leave the shop to changing our air filters for us, they’ve really been there through it all. Liz’s parents have been our business mentors throughout this whole process and have really helped us grow as owners. It’s important to have a support system that you can bounce ideas off of, challenge you, and pick you up on those hard days when you’re feeling defeated. I think it’s also important to shout out all of our old bosses too (good and bad). Each job and boss we had in the past helped dictate what kind of bosses and owners we wanted to be for our own shop.
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