Lori Williams

Clewiston, Florida

Common Grounds Coffee Shop

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Learn about Florida Entrepreneur Lori Williams:

Lori Williams, founder of Common Grounds Coffee Shop, did what every coffee lover would do in the event there was no good coffee shop in town – she opened her own.

"I originally taught high school and was always a coffee-holic," she said. "There was nowhere to get a good cup of coffee in Clewiston ever so my husband and I threw the idea around about starting our own. We did it and it took off from day one really. There wasn’t anything like it in town and there still isn't."

Common Grounds is coffee house serving a full line of coffee, tea, and pastries in addition to a light breakfast and lunch.

"We are the only locally-owned coffee shop for about 40 miles," Williams explained. "We have our own special blend of coffde that I have roasted just for us. It's always fresh and we always have whole beans, never ground. We have specialty coffees that no one else has anywhere in the world because they are our own. We've had people come from the coast who are disappointed that we close at 2p.m. We get people from all over like Germany and Hawaii who say they heard about us and had to stop by."

Williams' advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is that you have to be supremely dedicated to your business and treat people well. "It's tough so if you really want a successful business, you have to be married it," she said. "You will be married to it, but you give it all you’ve got. Keep it clean; be friendly; and if you fail, at least you know you've tried."