No, you're not likely to find "that" Alice at The White Rabbit Coffee & Tea Shop, which is indeed where the shop takes its name. Learn a little bit more about, "The other place in Odenton." You're definitely gonna want to visit; order a "Dirty Sanchez."
It was such a joy and truly interesting to sit down and speak with Melissa Carnell, the owner of The White Rabbit Coffee Shop. If you have never been there you definitely need to check them out. However, you will have to make sure you check their hours. This quaint little coffee shop caters to commuters. They are located on the Southbound platform of the Odenton MARC train station. They are open in the morning to fuel to commuters on their way to work, closed for several hours mid-day, and then reopen to catch the evening commuters on their way home. However that is not the only thing that makes this Alice in Wonderland themed coffee shop such a unique business. The shop is inside a historic building. I don’t want to give it all away, however, even if you do not drink coffee, you should try and check them out! They also serve delicious tea and some fantastic hot chocolate.
Tell Us a Little About Yourself
How did the idea for your business come about?
Starting chapter 2 of my life, I took a cooking course of How to Open a Retail Food Store. In that class, the best suggestions were to not be so invested in your idea that you overlook an opportunity. The other was if you see a business you like, ask if it is for sale.
Describe a typical working day for you.
Oh my, a typical Monday: Open the shop at 430am-ish, leave between 6 & 7am to take my bonus daughter to school. Get supplies to restock or order for delivery; contact vendors for new products, pick up my bonus daughter, back to the shop to drop off supplies.
What motivates you?
I really love the energy of the shop. On days when my enthusiasm is waning, I spend time with my customers and I am re-energized.
How do you define success?
Taking on this shop , I knew this was not going to generate retirement income. With this in mind, I consider success to be the contentment of my staff, the satisfaction of my customers and the joy of working for me.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
My father showed me how to use humor to diffuse difficult situations, my irreverent attitude, and ability to work long hours.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Every time I get a happy note from my staff that they are enjoying their work, that they appreciate my management style.
In one word, characterize your life as a small business owner.
Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years? 20 years?
My dream is to open another location with seating and real breakfast. Twenty years I should be near retirement...
Will we be drinking coffee or cocktails?