Scooter's Coffee Franchise Partners with First African American Owner - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

Julian Young never thought he would own a coffee shop – it never even crossed his mind. But a single phone call changed all that. Young and his wife Brittany are now the first African American franchise owners of the Scooter’s Coffee franchise.

In 2013, he launched The Start Center for Entrepreneurship, a community nonprofit designed to train and help North Omaha residents become entrepreneurs. Young was intimately familiar with the poor economic conditions of his community and believed he could be instrumental in changing that.

Through the process of running the nonprofit, he saw how challenging it was for aspiring business owners to start businesses in underserved communities and when they did, the learning curve was incredibly steep.

“I knew that following a proven model would be a way to cut down on the learning curve, so franchising came to mind,” he shared. In late 2014, he reached out to Don Eckles, CEO and co-founder of the Scooter’s Coffee franchise, to explore an opportunity to partner with The Start Center.

The two immediately hit it off and began discussing ideas on ways to improve the community through business ownership. As their relationship developed, Eckles became more and more impressed with the Youngs; he wanted to help them move the economic needle in their personal lives by economically benefiting from ownership. “It was a paradigm shift from teaching to doing,” said Young.

Eckles shared: “I had for years been thinking ‘how can I make a difference in communities where a difference can be made? Successful companies owe it to the community to give back in some way. This is a great opportunity to make a positive difference in our community. My hope is other businesses will say ‘You know what, yes, there is a good opportunity to have a successful business in North Omaha,’ and help revitalize the community.“

Not Just A Coffee Shop

Scooter’s Coffee already had locations in Omaha, Nebraska, and throughout the Midwest with focus on drive-thru. “I was looking to do something much bigger – something for our community that spanned beyond coffee,” said Young. He had his eye on converting an old bank that would not only be a great location for Scooter’s, but had space where people could meet, plan, and work–a true community coffee house.

Scooter's Coffee

Brittany and Julian Young

In March of 2018, the new Scooter’s Coffee opened on Ames Avenue in North Omaha. The Youngs’ goal was to learn everything they could about the business without being overwhelmed by the immediate financial pressures that come with a new business.

In July, the transition from corporate-owned to franchise began, and by the end of September, they were franchise owners – employing 15 people in the community.

In addition to providing jobs, the store is fulfilling the promise Young set out to do – bringing the community together. His Scooter’s Coffee has been a catalyst for community events, community meetings, and meetings such as “Coffee with a Cop.”

Up Next

Since opening the franchise, the couple has also launched Urban Coffee Partners, L.L.C., the organization’s goal is to help entrepreneurs in economically distressed areas become business owners.



Nancy E Williams

Nancy E Williams is a Certified Franchise Consultant specializing in helping women and minorities fulfill their dream of owning their own business by purchasing a franchise. She represents over 400 brands across the US. While her title is Consultant, she views herself as a client advocate and educator, because her first priority is to ensure that her clients understand everything about the process of buying a franchise, and partner with them throughout the process so they ask the right questions and feel confident about their life changing decision. Nancy graduated from UCLA with a degree in Sociology with a specialization in Urban Studies and Business. After owning an independent record label, partnering in a non-profit, and 14 years in Management at Sprint, she started NValuable Franchise Consulting. Coming full circle as an Entrepreneur, Nancy is passionate about educating others on the empowerment of business ownership and the tremendous impact it has on individuals, families and communities.