Megan Wold loves coffee.
Not just the taste or the variety of options, but the experience and atmosphere that coffee brings to the world. Whether it’s enjoying a cozy, warm cup on a winter day or going out with friends to a local coffee shop to catch up over a favorite drink, she loves it all. Even more so, she loves the process of making coffee. So, in 2011, she decided to quit her job, open a coffee shop of her own, and share this love with the world. And she’s never looked back…
Megan officially opened Meg-a-Latte in her hometown of Williston in February of 2012, and it has been a hit ever since.
She has grown her coffee shop with two additional locations – one inside New Hope Church in 2013 and the Harvest Hills location, equipped with a drive through, in 2016 – and worked to expand her menu to include smoothies, teas, salads, sandwiches, and baked goods.
Throughout it all, she has focused on providing great customer service and creating an environment that breeds community and relationships.
“I’ve always loved coffee, but I began to realize that what I loved even more so was the experience and environment that coffee creates for people. Meg-a-Latte works to bring that experience to anyone who comes in or enjoys a cup of our coffee. I can’t help but share that passion with the world.”
As the Meg-a-Latte enterprise continued to grow, the original local was outgrowing its current space. Megan knew that she needed to find not only a large building to operate from, but one with a drive through in order to continue to meet the needs of her customers.
That’s when an old Pizza Hut building went up for sale in Williston. “When my husband and I saw the building was up for sale, we knew it would be the perfect fit for Meg-a-Latte,” Megan shared. “It was crazy to think that we had grew up going to that Pizza Hut and were now looking to purchase it for my coffee shop.” She needed to act quickly, so Megan reached out to her banker to discuss financing options.
It was at this time that Megan was introduced to Dakota Business Lending and the SBA 504 business loan program. In partnership with Dakota Business Lending and American State Bank, Megan was able to secure a 504 loan to purchase and renovate the building to now house Meg-a-Latte’s original location – all at the below-market fixed rate, low down payment, and longer term. She also utilized the Bank of North’s Dakota’s interest buy-down program to get a lower interest rate on the loan. By 2019, the building was completely reconstructed to meet Megan’s needs and Meg-a-Latte’s new location was officially open for business.
“The SBA 504 loan program was such a good opportunity for Meg-a-Latte. The ability to be able to provide a little less up front and use the capital for the building and renovation was huge. The process was very smooth and really made the transition to the new building as seamless as possible.”
Since then, Megan has been able to open another location in Watford City and expand her reach to new communities. At the same time, Meg-a-Latte remains a local favorite and continues to serve the community of Williston that has supported them since the very beginning. “I give all the credit to our community for their continued support in allowing us to grow like we have,” Megan shared gratefully. “To be able to share this passion with my hometown that I know and love is so special, and I’m forever grateful for them.”
Megan works to give back to her community in any way she can, including making donations for various benefits and organizations throughout the city, as well as setting aside days where she donates a percentage of Meg-a-Latte’s sales to nonprofits like Relay for Life.
One of Megan’s favorite parts of owning Meg-a-Latte is the relationships she forms with both her customers and her employees. “Getting to know new people and building relationships is what drew me to a coffee shop in the first place, and I love knowing that I could impact them in some way,” explained Megan. “It’s fun to meet people from so many different walks of life and being able to serve them with something I love.”
For those who are looking to start a business and share their passion with the world like Megan, she has just one piece of advice: do your homework.
“You have to reach out to resources and get a lot of outside knowledge if you’re going to do this. Do your research, look for ways to gain experience, and never be afraid to ask for help.”
Meg-a-Latte was voted “Best Coffee Shop” by the Best of the Baaken awards and Megan was awarded “20 Under 40 “in 2019.
For more information on Meg-a-Latte, visit their website.
This article was written by Dakota Business Lending with permission from Meg-a-Latte and is not to be edited or redistributed without permission.