Business in profile: Miss Kitty’s Coffee Cafe

Lynn Baker, 52, Miss Kitty’s Coffee Cafe opened June 2014.

Baker is from Missoula and has lived in Montana her whole life. She’s been in Great Falls for almost 21 years. She came here from Billings to run a pizza franchise with her former husband. She stayed “because this really became my home. My kids were born here and I got established here and I liked it.

Why did you open/acquire a business here?

“I opened a business here because I had a vision of a coffee shop and the best partner in crime to make it happen.”

What are the top 3 advantages to operating a business in Great Falls?

“Well for me, I knew a lot of people here and had plenty of experience running a business after the pizza joint. I guess I don’t feel that it’s that tough to get started here, even though I don’t have anything to compare it to.  And lastly, Great Falls is an amazing, caring, giving-back community. I knew from my years of fundraising for my kids’ school stuff how awesome this place is.

What are the top 3 challenges?

“A lot of people think that the big chains are awesome and only go with famous name brands. Even when a new local restaurant is going to open, they are like, I hope it’s an Olive Garden, etc. Another challenge is the work force, but actually not for me because somehow I found (or they found me) the best staff ever. I guess third challenge would be that I feel that Great Falls is a little more conservative in allowing businesses leeway.”

If there was one thing you could change to existing regulations to remove barriers to business, what would it be?

“I’d like to see more kiosks that can be in parking lots.”

What advice would you give to someone considering starting a business in Great Falls?

“Have a backup plan if your business doesn’t make it, then if you’re ok with that plan, go forth like there’s no looking back!”