How to Name a Coffee Shop
Step-by-step guide to coming up with a creative, memorable, and timeless coffee shop name.
Start a list.
Write down any ideas you already have.
You may already have some ideas for a coffee shop name. If so, go ahead and write them down.
Highlight or star your favorites as you go.
This will make it easy to narrow down the list later on, while letting you jot down all ideas that may spark something further down the line.
The words you add to the list don’t have to be fully formed coffee shop names. They can be words or concepts related to the coffee shop that help you get to the final name.
Review your business plan.
If you’ve got a business plan for your coffee shop, the research there should give you ideas for words, phrases, and concepts that fit your brand.
Talk to likely customers.
This is something you’ll want to do, no matter what, to learn more about the people you’ll be catering to. While you’re meeting with them, be sure to write down words, phrases, and concepts that they associate with your coffee shop.
Review words specific to the coffee shop.
Think about your offerings.
Consider the types of coffee you intend to serve, where you might source your supplies, and how the coffee will be prepared.
Try translating your ideas into different languages. "Cafetière," for example, sounds more interesting than "coffee maker."
Try not to get too invested in a particular supplier. While you may intend to source your coffee beans from, say, Ethiopia to begin with, this could change down the line.
Consider cultural and historical influences.
Your coffee shop may be inspired by particular cultural practices, historical events, or other social phenomena. Be sure to jot down the keywords and/or phrases tied to each of these.
Reflect on your desired ambiance.
If you haven't already done so, you should think about the atmosphere that you'd like your coffee shop to have. Are you aiming for an air of sophistication, or a more laid-back feel? These considerations should guide your choice of keywords and phrases.
Brainstorm region-specific vocabulary.
Try city and state names and nicknames.
City and state names, as well as their nicknames, can sometimes work well for local coffee shops. Examples include "Seattle Coffee Company" (a registered coffee chain), "Little Manila Café" and "Chico."
Consider your street name if you’ve got a location.
A street name can help people find your coffee shop, make naming easy, and connect it to a neighborhood or sense of place. Examples include "Cherry Street Coffee House" and "Milk Street Café."
You'll want to be sure you'll be at this location for a long time. You don't want to call yourself "2nd St. Coffee Shop" if you have to move to 3rd St. a few years later.
Review local landmarks.
Local landmarks can be another great way to tie your coffee shop to its location. Possibilities include "Foster [Auditorium] Coffee," "Garden [District] Café," and "Panama [Hotel] Coffee."
Create more name ideas from your list.
Combine words from the list.
Try combining various words from your list to see if they form any interesting names.
In addition to straightforward combinations, you could create alliteration, puns, rhymes, or portmanteaus.
Consider translating your ideas into other languages.
Use a name generator.
NameSnack can help combine your ideas and make associations that you might not have thought of.
NameSnack's AI will prompt you to add different words. You can try adding them all, or go with smaller groups.
Write down any coffee shop names that you like.
NameSnack will also tell you if the domains names are available. Make a note of the ideas that have matching domain names.
Review and reflect.
Read through your list again.
See if there are any other potential names that stand out. If so, mark them.
Set the list aside for a day or two.
Come back with fresh eyes and see which names stand out. Also, see which names you still remember. This may give you a clue as to which ones are most memorable.
Get feedback on your top coffee shop names.
Check what potential customers think.
See how your target market responds to different names.
By now you probably have a rough idea of where you'd like to open your business. Consider approaching locals – especially those who frequent coffee shops.
Remember to jot down your potential clients' reactions, particularly if you are assessing many ideas and/or requesting input from a large sample of your target market.
Test the names on friends and colleagues.
Read your names to friends and colleagues, and get their take on your potential coffee shop names.
Come back a day or two later and see which ones they still remember. This way, you'll know which options are most memorable.
Check name availability.
Check for existing trademarks.
Have a look at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's website to ensure that your favorite name hasn't been trademarked.
See if the name is already in use in your state.
This information should be available on your Secretary of State's website (or similar). If the business name is already in use for a similar business in your state, you likely won't be able to use it.
Check the names on Google.
Google your favorite coffee shop names to see if there are any well-known coffee shops with the same name, or if there are some associations you hadn’t thought of.
Use quotation marks to obtain exact match search results.
See if the matching domain name is available.
Use a site like Namecheap to see which of your top coffee shop name ideas has a related URL available for purchase.
Secure the name.
Buy the matching domain name.
You should do this through an ICANN-accredited registrar like Namecheap.
Register your business name with the state.
You'll need to register your coffee shop's name with your state once you've chosen it. In most states, this is a quick and easy process that can be completed online.
Consider trademarking your name.
While optional, this will guard against other businesses using your name. Applications can be filed online.
Learn more about trademarking your business name.
How do you come up with a café name?
- Write down ideas, keywords, and phrases that are associated with your coffee shop.
- Brainstorm region-specific vocabulary.
- Generate ideas manually and by using a name generator.
- Revisit your list and identify your favorite options.
- Request feedback on your top coffee shop names.
- Check name availability.
- Register your name and buy a domain name.
Where can I find ideas for my coffee shop's name?
- Start by noting words and phrases that are associated with your coffee shop.
- Use Google Ads Keyword Planner to build on these.
- Ask members of your target market for more ideas.
How can I be sure my coffee shop name is good?
- Ask family, friends, and members of your target market for their opinions.
- Test whether your coffee shop's name is easy to remember, pronounce, and spell.
- Check whether the name accurately reflects your coffee shop's offerings, ambiance, cultural influences, and/or setting.
How can I see if my coffee shop's URL is available?
Check Namecheap for your URL or domain name of choice. Consider close variations as well.