“My Number 1 priority was not leasing my building. I didn’t want my power in business to be held in someone else’s hands. This was also the recommendation of the Louisiana Small Business Administration to me as I looked at securing my future: ‘You need to own the building!’ So I tell others: Own the building. When you do that, you stay to work a little bit longer. You pick up the slack where needed. For me….this investment is my whole retirement on the line.”
Our guest is Denise Champagne-McClure, owner of The Coffeeweed Cottage in Lafayette, which opened on May 18, 2023. While Denise never earned a college degree, her business acumen can be put up against any individual who has earned an MBA. She works hard, she’s humble, she’s an incredible business entrepreneur, and has an eye for creating a successful business model.
Coffeeweed Cottage’s name is derived from the term for chicory, the name of a coffee substitute from the roasted root of the chicory plant. Denise loves the taste of chicory coffee and wanted something unique and different associated with her shop. And trust us….the coffee is delicious!
Denise’s store is at 410 Poydras Street, at the corner of W. Simcoe and Poydras Street in North Lafayette, not far from University Avenue near the Four Corners. She purchased the 3000 square foot property in 2022, the site of the oldest mechanic shop in Lafayette owned by a multi-general family business whose roots trace back to Cecilia where Denise grew up. Before finalizing her site selection, she drove around all areas of Lafayette Parish and knew that this oldest neighborhood in Lafayette, in the original Vordenbauman Addition, in the area close to the Fightingville and LaPlace neighborhoods, was the exact right spot.
With the help of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center and Lafayette Economic Development Authority, Denise was given guidance on how to open the business of her dreams. She brought a rich and varied business background that made her a good candidate for opening up this unique endeavor: she was trained in horticulture and had worked for Coburn’s for 15 years in bath/kitchen fixture sales, having moved up the ranks from the bottom up. Note: Denise shared her gratitude to Coburn’s for the experience they afforded her, as well as to the people at LEDA, especially Mark Mouton and Lauren Titus who helped her navigate the process of developing a three-year business plan and qualifying for a loan.
Denise was inspired to reach her full potential when attending an Unleashed event by Dirk Beveridge. She realized that she could do anything she put her mind to when she heard his message about creating transformation through creating a culture of innovation and growth. For more information on Dirk please visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/dirkbeveridge/
As with any entrepreneur, Denise has had to put all of her savings on the line, as well as mortgage her house to make this endeavor a reality. When you think about shopping options in Lafayette, as well as any other town, this is why it is important to think about shopping locally. Local vendors not only offer unique products, they give back to their community through donations to charities and in-kind contributions, and also sacrifice personally to ensure that employees who live in Lafayette are paid.
Coffeeweed Cottage offers a unique array of services. One of the most unique services is their Grow Bar, where you can schedule a ‘plant bar’ for events as diverse as a bachelorette party, a team building event for work, a family get together, or birthday celebration. A $50 deposit for your event will go toward the cost of the event, where you and your friends can pick a favorite plant, a cute pot, and learn how to care for it. If your plant doesn’t make it, you have a 30-day guarantee to swap it out for another plant or have Denise and her team nurse it back it health!
You can also shop till you drop at Coffeeweed Cottage! A beautiful selection of mugs, vases, books, candles, pots, and plants are available for purchase. In addition, businesses hold meetings at Coffeeweed, vendors share their treasured creations, and friends meet for coffee and pastries all the time!
Words of Wisdom from Denise that she would share with her children as well as entrepreneurs: “Failure in something you believe in doesn’t mean you are a failure. It just means that that one venture didn’t go well. If you want something bad enough, you can do whatever you believe in……I want them to know that.”
If you are looking for a unique place to be inspired, visit Coffeeweed Cottage. But be ready to have some time to enjoy a beverage, shop, find a plant to take home, and be inspired to make your home a more beautiful place.
For more information about Coffeeweed Cottage, please visit https://www.coffeeweedcottage.com/. Or call (337)607-1410.