Junior Bobby Sanderson Establishes Café Aromático


Courtesy of Bobby Sanderson

Sanderson runs Café Aromático while pursuing his undergraduate degree.

Madeline McCarthy Staff Writer

Starting his own business had been something Villanova junior Bobby Sanderson was seriously considering for about a year before he officially bought the license for Café Aromático in May. Even though he has just begun selling his own coffee, Sanderson has already had lots of experience in the coffee industry. 

It all started a few summers ago when Sanderson started working as a barista. There, he was introduced to the behind-the-scenes aspect of coffee shops, from the making of the ambiance to a newfound love of latte art, and of course the base of it all: coffee. Since his first barista job, he has worked at three different shops. During quarantine, Sanderson noticed a spike in demand for coffee, and he finally decided to commit to his passion of starting his own business. 

“I love drinking coffee and the coffee shop environment, so I looked for a way to spread the coffee passion,” Sanderson said. “I saw the opportunity to deliver an amazing product in a growing market.”

It has not been an easy process for him, but he has learned a lot along the way. Sanderson shared some important tips that any future entrepreneur should consider before opening his or her own business.

Find Your Niche

Anyone who is thinking of starting his or her own business should base it around something they are passionate about. Create something that is specific enough, so you can differentiate your products from other businesses but broad enough so it can reach and appeal to a larger consumer base. 

“Find a specific consumer to market to,” Sanderson advised. “Mine is high end coffee connoisseurs, people who typically go to local coffee shops rather than a typical chain. People who are interested in supporting small businesses and checking out new options.”

Pick a Unique Name

When naming your business, you should do research to make sure there are not any other pre-existing companies with the same or similar name. You should also pick something that is easily marketable and will stick with people. When Sanderson was brainstorming, he knew that it was important for him to highlight the importance of a high quality and fresh smelling coffee, and he wanted people to be reminded of that smell when buying his products.

“People often associate foreign names with a higher quality product,” he said. “I speak Spanish, so I thought Café Aromático was a perfect fit for my business and what I wanted to highlight about the product I sell.”

Be Patient

Sanderson started his business during the COVID-19 pandemic, so he found that he had a lot of time to devote to his new venture. He also talked about how he would experience days where he would have bursts of productivity and make a lot of progress. Other times, he would be waiting for calls and emails back from people in order to move forward.  

“Expect lots of processing time,” he said. “I would turn to other activities that make me happy, like cooking and running, to get my mind off things. It can be easy to get consumed with small aspects and details of your business.” 

Use Social Media 

Sanderson was first introduced to how the algorithms of social media work during his Global Interdisciplinary Studies class last year. He did a research project on Facebook algorithms and saw the extent to which Facebook tracks data of its users.

“E-commerce is one of the fastest growing markets in our economy,” he said. “It allows people to buy products from the comfort of their couch and allows the producer to ship it right to them, reducing costs and cutting out the middleman. It lets more people try startups with way less risk.”

Sanderson is dividing his time between being an economics major with a global business concentration and having a minor in psychology during the week and running Café Aromático on the weekends. 

He is also a member of the Business of Fashion Society on campus and sees a future career in marketing and e-commerce upon graduation.

Sanderson hopes to continue Café Aromático as a hobby until he has enough savings to open up a real brick and mortar coffee shop. After all, the dialogue between the barista and customers stopping in to grab a cup is what got Sanderson hooked in the first place.