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Sunrise Coffee: Serving Up Coffee, Community and Connectivity During COVID-19

For Juanny Romeo, coffee has always been brewed with a little bit of hardship and a whole lot of community.

A former barista, Juanny opened her first coffee shop on the first day of the Great Recession in 2008. Now, she owns three (soon to be four!) Sunrise Coffee cafes and couldn’t think of anything she’d rather be doing more.

“It’s like Cheers, everybody knows your name here,” Juanny says. “The community we have is so important to me. These aren’t just my customers and my coworkers – they’re my friends.”

When the COVID pandemic came to Las Vegas, it was terrifying. Juanny asked herself: what would happen to her? Her employees? Her company? Her community?

“I’d survived one recession already, but this was just a different beast altogether,” she recalls. 

Thankfully, the digital side of the business had been established for years. Juanny had been proactive in updating her company’s information on Google Business Profile and using tools like Google Ads, Analytics, Docs, Calendar and Drive to stay organized, process paperwork and reach new customers.

Thanks to the online ordering capabilities Juanny implemented prior to the pandemic, Sunrise Coffee’s stores were able to continue doing business digitally. She turned to Google Trends to help formulate a new social media and online advertising strategy on Facebook and Google Ads: driving customers to buy sustainably sourced beans online. Juanny also added a web function that allowed visitors to donate coffee to first responders and healthcare workers – staying true to Sunrise Coffee’s coffee-based community.

Customers started flocking in droves, and the media took notice as well. Now, Sunrise Coffee is “the coffee shop of Las Vegas,” turning a profit during the pandemic while offering caffeinated pick-me-ups for essential workers.

“I feel like I discovered a superpower when I found these digital tools,” Juanny says. “I’m excited to continue using them to enhance my company and community.”

Learn more about small businesses are using digital tools to create success stories, even during unprecedented hardship.

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