The simple way to open this story would go something like this: “We’re going to shine a bit of light Lumina Coffee Co. today.” The thing is, light is a big part of what Lumina has in mind when it opens this fall at the entrance to Braves Boulevard off the Bypass in Rome.
The intent is to “be a light” for customers, whether it be a quick refuge from the day, a place to camp out during homework sessions or some social time with family and friends.
How serious are Mike and Matt Schieffer about the Lumina effect and feel, perhaps best described as ambiance? The business day (6 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday) will be divided into four “day parts,” complete with distinctive lighting, heat and air, and even music.
Mike Schieffer, Matt’s father, says the two of them sat outside Mellow Mushroom one day, struggling to find the right business opportunity for Matt. The one caveat: Creating a business that would also be something of a legacy from father to son. Matt had his recently awarded finance degree from the University of Florida and was anxious to apply it. Mike had the coffee and service knowledge, first from 18 years of work with Starbucks from Seattle to the Bahamas to South Florida, and later leading a Fort Lauderdale-area, 21,000-member mega church before being summoned to WinShape as president to work with the Cathy family of Chick-fil-A fame three years ago.
Outside of a pizza shop, they settled on coffee.
Which is good as Mike hasn’t lost his coffee taste or need to serve from those Starbucks days. Our interview was at another independent in town, Honeymoon Bakery, and he opened it chat with an invitation for a cup of coffee. When was the last time someone asked you, “Columbian or Sumatra?” Or, for that matter, ensured the paper cups had those cardboard-like protectors on the outside.
All those qualities and skills are blending as Matt — serving as general manager — prepares for the building and opening of Lumina. The business plan is based on customer service, akin to a hybrid of Chick-fil-A (“my pleasure”) and Publix Super Market (“where shopping is a pleasure.”) Whether it is a blend of coffee, some of the unique pastries and wraps they plan to offer or other items, the message to staff will be to serve the customer.
And if you’re planning to apply (“all ages welcome,” adds Mike, not just college kids), here’s a “cheat:” Be prepared to be asked a not-so-tricky question: “What job do you want to do here?” Big difference, says Mike, as the plan is to treat the staff as associates, not hourly labor.
The overall message, says Mike: “We want to give back to our community… serve others, serve our community,” he says. The goal: To help Rome “flourish.”
With Lumina, they hope to share the light to do exactly that.
What to know:
About the shop: 65 seats inside, another 24 outside.With drive-through service.
Location: 608 Braves Blvd., across from the new RiverPoint apartments (just off the bypass).
Opening: August or September.
Hours: 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday; closed Sundays.
Employees: 25 to 50.
Website, Facebook and menus: On the way.