COVID-19 and the more than year-long shutdown that followed blindsided businesses all over the state of California. Many veteran businesses were forced to close their doors. Which is what makes Voyager Craft Coffee’s five-year anniversary all the more remarkable. On Sept. 17, co-owners Lauren Burns and Sam Shah officially marked five years since the craft coffee brewer opened its doors on Stevens Creek Boulevard.
“It’s kind of surreal. I think, just in the times we’re in, it’s kind of a weird celebration. I think it’s a neat accomplishment,” said Shah. “It’s been quite a journey since we started. So, every year has been pretty significant for us. I think we haven’t really looked back and reflected on it at this point, to be honest, but we will at some point.”
Shah and Burns have had to be resilient and innovative over the past year and half. They opened a new location on The Alameda near Santa Clara University, just as the COVID-19 shutdown happened. They had to deal with the short-term closure of their San Pedro Square Market location in San Jose and the loss of foot traffic at their Stevens Creek location due to the shutdown. Though it was tough, they found innovative ways to stay afloat, keep their employees and serve their customers.
“We did have to cut down some of our hours at our other locations, but here [at Stevens Creek] we didn’t actually cut down our hours. Not even one day,” said Burns. “We wanted to try and be as some kind of sense of normalcy in this crazy COVID world. So, being open until seven and not changing our hours just felt like something we could do to make it seem a little bit more fun for people.”
With California now open, Shah and Burns have had to tackle running their business in a post-COVID world.
“It’s been challenging in a very opposite direction. I think the hardest parts have been, basically, we’ve had to just reset up all of your shops to allow customers to actually come in now. So, it’s really like setting up a shop from the start,” said Shah.
During the pandemic, the company also found a new voice.
“We tried to make a concerted effort, during the pandemic to become a little more socially conscious. I definitely struggled with that. I was like, as a business owner, who cares what my opinion is…But I think it became more about our team, their opinions on things and trying to bake those into our business,” said Shah.
“I think in the last year, we’ve really discovered our voice and our team’s voice to be able to say like, ‘Hey, this is what we believe in and this is what we support.’,” said Burns. “So, we want to do it through not just supporting [through] donations and things like that, but also just by speaking out about things. It’s very important to us.”
Voyager Craft Coffee has three locations: 3985 Stevens Creek Blvd. in Santa Clara, 2221 The Alameda in Santa Clara and 87 N. San Pedro Street in San Jose’s San Pedro Square Market. To find out more details, visit voyagercraftcoffeeorders.com.