Running a coffee shop is a bit like juggling.
It’s a non-stop, fast-paced balancing act that involves keeping customers happy, staff on task, orders flowing, inventory stocked, appliances humming, and the shop itself clean and welcoming.
Former Rutgers University football star Eric LeGrand does much of this juggling from his wheelchair. LeGrand, who has been partially paralyzed from the shoulders down for more than a decade following a neck injury in a football game against Army, focuses on the tasks of running the shop, and smart home devices from Google allow him to oversee much of what goes on at LeGrand Coffee House directly from his
“Because Pixel is so reliable, I can focus less on the minute-to-minute action of the shop, and focus more on building our business and bringing people together,” he says.
LeGrand came up with the idea for a coffee shop during the pandemic. “Like everyone else, I was sitting at home,” he says. “I kept thinking ‘What can I do to bring people together? What does this community want and need?’” The answer: coffee and conversation. The cafe opened in May 2022 to a line out the door and around the corner from its Woodbridge Township, New Jersey location.
Since he gets around in a wheelchair, LeGrand naturally wanted his cafe to be accessible to all. To that end, the space was designed with wide aisles and doors, and with tables of various heights to accommodate people with different levels of mobility and different needs.
While smart home devices were designed primarily for use in homes and apartments, a growing number of entrepreneurs are finding ways in which they can help run their businesses, too.
At LeGrand Coffee House, two
Because no modern coffee shop is complete without powerful Wi-Fi, LeGrand installed
LeGrand also relies on a
The coffee shop had a little help from Google in getting started. “The accessibilities team had been working with Eric,” says Michelle Cheng, enterprise marketing lead for devices and services at Google. “We showed him how Google could be helpful to him as a business owner.”
From home, Google Pixel still allows Eric to be connected with his business. Each morning when he wakes up, LeGrand checks the
It’s energizing, says LeGrand, to see his dream come to life – even in the quiet hours of the night. “Sometimes, it’ll be 9:30 or 10:00 at night and I’ll get the urge to check and make sure the alarm is activated,” says LeGrand. “It gives me such peace of mind to be able to take a quick look and see that everything’s okay.”
For more information about how Pixel can be used at your business visit:
Independent studies conducted in the US showed that Nest thermostats saved people an average of 10% to 12% on heating and 15% on cooling. Individual savings are not guaranteed.
Learn more about savings with Nest thermostats.
Voice control with Google Assistant requires a compatible smart device.