Fusion Coffeefouse and Crema Design Studio
Photo by Michael Barrett
What led you to open a coffee shop?
We kicked around a lot of different ideas and concepts in college, but I really felt God leading me to open a coffee shop specifically because of the social aspect of a coffeehouse. We wanted to create a community hub. And I loved the idea that we could create relationships with the regulars. Coffee shops are unique because you have regulars that come almost every single day – far more frequently and consistently than just about any other type of business.
Why did you decide to open Fusion in Ridgeland?
We really wanted to find a new up-and-coming area where there were no other coffee shops. And ideally we wanted an area that had a great mix of both residential and commercial traffic. When we were in the planning phase (in 2002), Highland Colony Parkway fit that description perfectly. We saw the plans for the Township, and we thought the whole Parkway area was primed to become a major development area, and we wanted to get in early. Back then there were almost no other coffee shops in Ridgeland or Madison.
What is the most unexpected challenge you’ve faced running Fusion?
I’ve been surprised by the continual struggle of making people aware of Fusion. We knew that it was going to be tough in the beginning, because the area was not fully developed and traffic was low. But we had this idea that once the area was built up business would just increase exponentially. The reality is that as the area has gotten more crowded, there is an increased chance of being drowned out in the noise. I would encourage all to make a conscious effort to support local businesses! Local businesses help give our community variety and character.