Small businesses have unique needs — and at UBT, we’ve got the services and support to meet them.
Introducing the UBT Small Business Spotlight! We’re profiling our local clients whose businesses boost Lincoln’s economy and tap into our sense of community. Our first blog features the Harbor Coffeehouse, located in the Piedmont Shopping Center and now with a second location in the Haymarket.
The Harbor offers espresso and a variety of specialty coffee, pastries, breakfast items, and a complete lunch menu of freshly made sandwiches, soups, and salads. They boast a cozy atmosphere that makes everyone feel welcome. With plenty of space and free Wi-Fi, Harbor Coffeehouse is a home away from home and an office away from the office. Learn more in our interview with owner Cindy Nabb.
UBT: What did you do before starting your own business?
Cindy Nabb: Before my husband and I bought the Harbor Coffeehouse, I was a stay-at-home mom for 20 years with eight children, and I worked part-time as a barista at the Harbor when the opportunity to make a dream become a reality came our way.
UBT: What was your process of turning an idea into a reality? Did you do research? Follow a gut feeling?
CN: I researched what it takes to make a coffeehouse successful extensively with my husband. We wrote a plan and created a budget. It was also a gut feeling, though. We love people, creating food and drinks people enjoy, and being hospitable; this business checks a lot of those boxes. We also wanted a business that our kids could actively participate in with us. As of right now, five of our children work at the Harbor!
UBT: What would you tell someone else looking to open their own business?
CN: It’s harder than it appears! We work long hours and sometimes there is little immediate reward. We believe, however, that we are building something strong for our family’s future and the community. If you want to own your own business, make plans to work yourself “out” of the business. Take steps to create an asset that doesn’t require your full attention all the time, or the business will own you. This may mean sacrifice at the beginning as you work to build a team you can trust and systems that function without you.
UBT: Why did you decide to work with UBT for a small business loan?
CN: UBT has always had an excellent reputation as a supporter of small businesses in Lincoln. We did not even look at other options. Once we connected with Stephanie Dinger and shared with her our passion for making this work, she helped us put it all together and continues to be a strong advocate for our success.
UBT helped us get started. Not only are we loyal to our partners, but our relationship has grown as they have given us guidance and encouragement when we’ve needed it. When opportunities come our way, we want to share in that success with UBT as they supported us from the beginning.
UBT: What do you like about your business locations? Why there?
CN: Our original location is Piedmont Shopping Center at Cotner and A. Our coffeehouse has been a staple in this community for over 20 years. We have friends that come in every single day. We have a loving community of customers and staff that enjoy each other’s company, and we strive to put others first. Our little neighborhood coffeehouse has a culture that, we believe, should be something everyone can experience.
With that in mind, we chose our second location in the business district of the Haymarket. It’s an entirely different demographic, but it’s still people! Everyone deserves to share life with people that are warm, friendly, and happy to see them. So, we’re excited to share our hospitality and love for good coffee and the friendship around sharing with this new community as well. At the Harbor Coffeehouse, we love people — and coffee!
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