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Meet Susana Allen of The Fainting Goat Coffee

Today we’d like to introduce you to Susana Allen.

Hi Susana, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Alex and I grew up drinking coffee, definitely part of our culture! Coffee to us is the bridge between lunch and dinner on a relaxing Saturday afternoon where our families would get together to eat lunch, sit and talk over coffee about anything and everything and before we knew it, it was dinner time! Coffee represents relationships and family time so that has always been what has drawn us to it. We have worked in the Music Industry since moving to middle TN in 1993. We have lived everywhere from Bellevue, Antioch, Brentwood, Franklin and then made our way farther down to Spring Hill with our two small kids in 2008. This is where our boy (now 19) and girl (now 16) grew up, where we found our people and our community. We have homeschooled our kids all the way through. Through the years, every time we passed through this cute little house on Main St, Alex in particular would feel the pull of it and would dream about that type of business would work there. Through the years, we have tried our hand and different ventures and learned so much through each and every one. One day, we discovered specialty coffee, the creamy, perfectly foamy lattes and high-quality beans rocked our world and we wanted to know more and everything about it and wondered why Spring Hill did not have something like this…eventually, the perfect little White House became available for rent and we felt it was time to dive into it and here we are!

We knew Spring Hill needed a place for people to sit and talk bc we ourselves didn’t have a place for that. We dreamed of opening all the little rooms, each a bit different, so you could sit and work, have a meeting or catch up with a friend. Friends and family came together and helped us get this place in shape, we had friends hanging hand towel holders, putting together legs for tables, adding pictures and toilet paper holders, scrubbing bathrooms and floors and everything in between and opened the doors October 2017. The rest as they say is history, we have worked really hard and have given it all we have (so have our kids, who were 15 and 13 back then). We have had so much fun coming up with drinks, food items, finding and training amazing employees and navigating every issue and covid times as best as we can. Our dream for this place is for it to be a neighborhood place where people can come and visit, study, play board games, catch up with friends and get the best cup of coffee that we can make.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I wish it was but no it has not! A small business will always have its struggles, from the beginning we realized we needed to move the point of sale to the other side of the room and that was the tip of the iceberg! There is so much to do, manage social media, come up with new merchandise, continually training and teaching new employees, target and fix specific issues that come up, listen to customers and find ways of addressing their needs and concerns, all while balancing a home and a family. Being a small business owner is not for the faint of heart! Then once we started feeling like we were falling into a place where we could start forecasting sales or recognizing patterns, COVID came along and threw us for a spin! Wishing days we figured out a way to change our whole business plan into a curbside operation and had to manage changing the way we did everything to accommodate the changes necessary that were completely out of our control. At some point, a storm came and knocked out our power and internet in the midst of covid so all our systems were down including our phone, we had to get creative and figure out how to run our business in spite of all these challenges coming at us.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about The Fainting Goat Coffee?
We are proud to be a family run business, we set ourselves apart by serving freshly roasted coffee with the highest quality milk. Many of our syrups are made in house or sourced locally.

Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
Alex and I are definitely creative, out-of-the-box thinkers. I love people, I love talking to people, keeping up with employees. Alex is more the thinker, the creative, most everything you see at the coffee shop was conceptualized by him, from the color of the walls to the signs, light fixtures. We do all our marketing in house, drink names and recipes. We have so much fun coming up with all that together.

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