We were lucky to catch up with Barbara Safina recently and have shared our conversation below.
Barbara, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. How did you find your key vendor or vendors? Maybe you can share the backstory and share some context and the relevant details to help us understand why you chose them, why they chose you, etc.
We wanted to make a difference, so we went 100% local. We now support more than 60 local brands, more than 280 families, more than 80 local entrepreneurs and more than 20 women-owned local businesses. Everything we have at GROU is made in Miami. How do we find vendors? We make sure they are local, we meet with them, we learn about their story, who’s behind the brand, what motivates them, and what’s their why. We then try their product, talk numbers and lastly we let our customers decide if the product is temporary of stays permanent on our menu. When a vendor becomes a partner, we add their information to our wall so everyone can see them and learn about who they are!
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your background and context?
Orlando and Barbara are the founders of GROU coffee + cowork. GROU is locally sourced, family owned and operated, offers plenty of healthy food and drink options. We are the first affogato bar in Miami, we are the first café + coworking space in Coral Gables, and we are one of the first restaurants to accept crypto currency payments.
Our coffee shop, is where we showcase the best of our community: local bakers, farmers, producers, roasters and shops.
Our coworking space is where creative freelancers and small businesses can work together to develop ideas and help their customers grow. Here we offer private offices, shared spaces, meeting rooms and phone cabin.
How do you keep your team’s morale high?
We feel very lucky to say we now have a very loyal, strong, motivated and truly passionate team. It’s 8 of us and we complement each other very well. We are respectful to one another, understand we are all different but work hard towards the same goal. Most importantly, my husband and I as leaders have tried to identify the strengths and motivators of all our team members, including ourselves. By doing this we make sure we assign tasks that they enjoy and set them up for success and put them in a position where they feel productive and accomplished. At the same time, we reinforce our mission as much as we can. We remind them about why we are here, our goals, our identity as a family business and how we impact the lives of more than 280 families in our community. This motivates them, makes them feel part of something bigger than their personal dreams, and this gives them space to create, collaborate, come up with ideas, and find new solutions to help our business thrive.
Can you tell us the story behind how you met your business partner?
We are partners in life and business. We met in 2005, 17 years ago in Venezuela and we’ve been married 7 years. We have a 9 month old baby and we opened our business when he was 2 months old. We always knew we wanted to do things differently and help people around us but it wasn’t until 2019 that we realized how important it was to help our local community and support local business. At that time, we were living in Fort Worth, TX and we learnt so much about what a real community was. People were truly loyal to local businesses, they supported dreams, families and hard work. Business owners were true to their story and the community and they all work together to help the city. In 2020 we moved back to Miami with the idea of opening up our very own business: the first locally-sourced coffee shop with private offices. Since then, it’s been a great experience to get to grow professionally and personally, keep learning and work alongside with Orlando, my husband and business partner. We’ve got to understand each other even better, and appreciate what each one of us does for our family and our business. We have identified our strengths and weaknesses, what motivates us and how we communicate, to then be able to assign each other the right rolls and responsibilities to help the business.
- Website: www.groucommunity.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/groucommunity
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groucommunity/
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/65451133
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/grou-coffee-cowork-miami-4
- Tiktok: @groucommunity
- Other: Google: https://www.google.com/maps/place/GROU+Coffee+%2B+Coworkfirstname.lastname@example.org,-80.2604468,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x85eb2f81785541e5?sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjtjvi9i7_4AhU0JEQIHVR5AzQQ_BJ6BAhrEB8 TikTok: @GROUcommunity