Every Monday, we discuss a cool marketing idea happening online and off. If you have an idea, contact the BE Blog. You’ll get the credit, promise.

Note: The Maine Grind is a client of Breaking Even Communications.

The Maine Grind is a coffee shop in Ellsworth Maine that markets itself as ‘Ellsworth’s living room’. They are in a three story historic building (yes, I include the basement) on Main Street with lots of different kinds of spaces. They host a monthly poetry meeting, dance classes, workshops, craft sales, dances, parties, and all kinds of other events in the community. For the Grind, it can be a challenge to decide which events to publicize and how to publicize them to the right people when they have limited bulletin boards, newspaper space, and radio ad time.

Recently, I convinced them to use their Facebook page as a way to help organize all the events going on at the Grind at a given time. With so many rooms, it is possible that multiple events are happening at the same time. It’s hard for people who work there to keep track, let alone people who aren’t there every day. And ecause Facebook allows you to RSVP and otherwise puts upcoming events in your calendar as a reminder, Maine Grind fans never have to try to keep straight what’s going on at the Grind on what day ever again. It subconsciously reminds me to go there more than I normally would for events I always meant to go to but forgot about.

The Maine Grind is also working on developing their website. They have their own indie radio station that they stream online (something people don’t expect) and their menu online (something people do expect). It’s always nice when you offer users both what they need and a little something different. I do see a few typos on the menu and some ‘we’re changing this- check back later’ sections on the site but I know they are in the process of revamping so that’s to be expected.

So if you are going to be a coffee (and more) shop and be online:


  • Have your menu, printable and with prices.
  • Have lots of events and publicize them. Partner with local businesses and groups to offer more.
  • Do something a little different to set you apart from your competitors.
  • Have large format photos (I want to see your space).
  • Offer free wi-fi. It’s just what your customers expect.


Anyway, here’s to the Grind for being my office when I’m in Ellsworth and recently becoming a client of mine. I guess all that drinking of Rock City Jet got me somewhere!

So where’s your favorite place to have coffee and what are they doing online that’s interesting?

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