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Ranking spills the beans on why large cities like Austin are the best places to start a coffee shop

Lisa Dreher

More and more Americans are seeking out and sipping specialty coffees in local cafes near their homes, according to the Specialty Coffee Association’s 2017 report.

Related:New coffee shop happily puts 14 people with special needs to work

But if you want to sell that coffee instead of just drink it, you’re in luck. Austin is one of the best cities to open a coffee shop, according to Frontier Business. 

Their latest list put Austin 19th out of 50 cities surveyed, and 14th in the Southern region. 

The best spot was also in Texas — Laredo took home the top prize.

Related: Best Austin coffee shops near Central East Austin

Why were cities like Austin considered some of the best spots for coffee capitalism? Frontier Business’ methodology compared and ranked cities with the fewest coffee shops per capita and the best large cities to start a business. It also factored in rent affordability, labor costs, cost of living, number of highly rated coffee shops, household income spent on coffee and coffee shops with free Wi-Fi.

More: Best Austin coffee shops near Northwest Austin

Frontier Business used data from WalletHub of the best large cities to start a business, focusing on “startup opportunities.”

In that WalletHub ranking, Austin ranked number eight out of 150 large cities, with its winning factor of low business costs, according to the chart and methodology.

The other aspect - fewest coffee shops per capita - was highly influential, and cities with the fewest coffee shops per capita were given twice the weight in rankings.

Frontier Business also highlighted brands that sell their coffee in Texas supermarkets, but don’t have any brick-and-mortar stores in the state.

More: Best Austin coffee shops near South Congress Avenue

Copper Cow Coffee, a L.A.-based Vietnamese coffee business featured in the Frontier Business article, said Texas is one of the best places to start a coffee business because of the ability to distribute its products through chains.

“People in Texas seem to love coffee!” Copper Cow Coffee CEO Debbie Wei Mullin said in Frontier Business’ cited expert quotes. “We are currently in over 2,000 retail locations including Williams-Sonoma, Cost Plus, and many other specialty grocery chains. Our BEST account is Central Market/HEB in Texas.”