Connecticut Coffeehouse Attracts New Customers and Keeps Tech-Savvy Commuters Connected
- Family-owned Connecticut coffee shops
- Two locations service regional and commuter customers
- Differentiation in competitive coffee market
- Attract new, tech-savvy customers
- Scalable WiFi service that Ashlawn provides complimentary to customers
- Happier clientele
Century-Old Farm Expands to Coffee Business
Since 1909, Ashlawn Farm in Lyme, Connecticut has been owned by the same family. Today, the 110-acre farm has grown to include Ashlawn Farm Coffee, a socially-conscious roaster and café founded in 2002. Over the years, Ashlawn Farm Coffee has become a destination for both local and regional customers. Based on its success, Ashlawn recently opened a new location approximately 10 miles down the road in Old Saybrook, Connecticut that is adjacent to the Shoreline East/Amtrak train station to reach commuters traveling along the Connecticut Commuter Rail between Old Saybrook and New Haven, and regionally between Boston and New York City.
High-Speed Internet Becomes Magnet for New Customers
Consumers today make decisions about where to shop, eat and linger based on key amenities. As successful as Ashlawn Farm Coffee had been at both locations with its in-house chef and gourmet food offerings, kid’s nook, and private conference room area, the company wanted to give its customers another reason to stick around – complimentary WiFi access. Ashlawn knew this would give the coffee shop a competitive edge and help attract more customers, but the service had to be dependable, scalable and seamless to install.
Ashlawn’s goal was to provide a comfortable, friendly atmosphere for commuters to be able to relax while staying connected via email, video chatt and phone, so they could enjoy themselves without having to sacrifice productivity. For non-working patrons, Ashlawn wanted to provide a way for them to stay connected with friends and family via social media, catch up on the news and surf the web.
“Coffee shops are a dime a dozen, so coffee owners who want to stand out need to set themselves apart somehow. We wanted to offer a fast WiFi service that could support the growing volume of customer traffic being placed on our network, as well as offer the scalability to grow as we continued to expand,” said Carol Dahlke, owner of Ashlawn Farm Coffee.
Comcast Business WiFi Puts Modern Spin on a Traditional Industry
In the interest of attracting and retaining more customers, Ashlawn had Comcast Business install a Comcast Business Internet connection and Comcast Business WiFi at the Old Saybrook café.
Today, some clients use the coffee shop as a transition spot during the mad morning and evening rush while others park themselves in the shop for hours. With the new service, patrons can take advantage of the hotspot and enjoy fast WiFi speeds to get work done while they wait for their trains. They can also power up with smart phone charging docks at each table, and watch video of the incoming and outgoing trains. The fast WiFi connection also lets customers shop and stream TV shows and movies to their mobile devices while enjoying a cup of coffee.
Based on the success of its Old Saybrook café, Ashlawn Farm Coffee also added Comcast Business WiFi to its original Lyme location. This has given the café the ability to offer a live “Goat Cam” that can stream real-time footage from its farm in Lyme to Old Saybrook to not only entertain their patrons, but also “to bring them a little bit of home before starting their morning commutes,” added Dahlke. “Comcast Business WiFi is the perfect complement to the other amenities we were already offering to our tech-savvy customers.”