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Striving For Third Place

We all have three places in our lives where we spend a majority of our time: where we live, where we work and then the conditional ‘third place.’ The third place is the meet-up. The hang-out. The place where you set your business meetings, get coffee with old friends and work remotely from. The place where you choose to be when you’re not at home or work. That third place can be anything from the beach to the library, from the gym to the church.

For entrepreneurs in the coffee industry, the goal is to establish a third place facility. In 2019, when How You Brewin’s owners Dan and Lori Malay set out to double the size of their flagship Surf City location, it was with this goal in mind. 

“We want to be an extension of everyone’s living room and office all wrapped up into one. To truly be LBI’s meeting place,” said Dan. 

So what does it take to become a third place? The LBI-based coffee company owners believe there are many factors at play when it comes to establishing oneself as the go-to ‘third place.’ 

“It’s everything. It all matters,” said Lori. “Of course it’s product quality, but it’s much more than that.”

It’s comfortable seating, it’s a suitable facility temperature, it’s tasteful background music and volume, it’s facility cleanliness (especially in bathrooms) and, of course, it’s a friendly and inviting staff. In a world where the third place has shifted from physically anchored destinations to virtual ones, it’s absolutely crucial that a coffee shop like How You Brewin pays extra care and attention to establishing a strong sense of place. 

“It’s a constant process of assessing and refining. We don’t always bat a thousand, but we sure strive to everyday,” said Lori. 

Dan and Lori’s passion for the coffee industry and the community-focused foundation that comes with it, is evident the moment you enter one of their two locations on Long Beach Island. Welcoming interior design, ample seating, pristine facilities and abundant amenities promote a long and comfortable stay. 

“At How You Brewin,’ we don’t serve coffee to people. We serve people, coffee. This means maintaining a quality environment and striving to provide more than just a product, but rather an experience,” said Dan. “We are the antithesis of the ‘turn and burn’ strategy. We want people to hang out. It’s about fostering relationships and building community.” 

Dan believes so much in what the coffee industry offers its local communities, that he and Lori have decided to make How You Brewin a legally filed franchise. Of this recent endeavor, Dan bubbles over with excitement. 

"If I can come alongside a budding entrepreneur and help them discover their sweet spot - that intersection of their giftedness and passion - and to experience all that endeavor can afford, man that's rewarding. I'm all in." 

For more information about How You Brewin franchise opportunities, visit 

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