Coffee, Community, and Custom Apparel
Everyone loves a good local haunt. Before the pandemic, most people had their favorite restaurants, bars, and coffee shops they could go to for a quick bite or drink. Unfortunately, a lot of these businesses shut their doors due to the lockdown and the huge drop in customers. For the businesses that managed to stay open during the pandemic, much of it can be credited to a loyal customer base—people who want that sense of community and place. People want to go somewhere where they feel welcome, somewhere they don’t feel like a stranger. Somewhere they can feel like family.
At LaBella Bean Coffee House and Eatery, manager and barista Mia Massetti experienced firsthand the impact that a loyal customer base has on business. The family-run café, located in Bridgeville Pennsylvania, first opened in 2001 as a present for Mia’s grandmother Donna (“Nunny”) who wanted to do something after retiring. LaBella takes ‘keeping it in the family’ literally—the café is staffed by members of Donna’s family, along with various friends who then become part of their family team. This type of close-knit atmosphere extends to LaBella’s dedicated customers as well, with some loyal fans coming in practically every day that LaBella’s been open for the past 20 years. LaBella has been enough of a hit with the Bridgeville community that they even sell Nunny’s Dressing (a salad dressing made in-house from their family’s secret recipe) at various stores around Pennsylvania.
With patrons this enthusiastic, LaBella needed to do something special for their twentieth anniversary. They wanted a way to give back to the community that kept them serving up Nunny’s homemade soup through difficult times. Says Mia, “Without a strong community in our area, who knows what would have happened in the last year? We owe our success to our customers.” With these same customers clamoring for shirts, it made sense for LaBella to take some time from crafting cappuccinos so they could look at custom apparel options. “We are constantly asked for shirts, so we figured why not use the best website around for that?” says Mia. She came to Custom Ink, and the rest is history.
With some input from her dad, Mia was able to create a timeless looking logo for LaBella Bean on Custom Ink’s Design Lab. The design is composed entirely of elements from this web-based tool—from the fun, stylized coffee mug to the fonts used for the text. The Design Lab features more than 68,000 unique pieces of art perfect for any business, group, or event. Custom Ink has even partnered with CSA Images and House Industries and offers fun fonts and design resources to help any idea make the jump from ‘not worth it’ to ‘noteworthy’.
Mia chose Flyer Fonts Straight for the main text for LaBella Bean, which gives the shirt a vintage feel while still looking classy. The ‘Est. 2001’ text at the bottom is in the sans serif font Burbank Condensed Bold, which makes it easier to read at the smaller size. Mia had Custom Ink’s font collection of over 600 different typefaces to choose from—more than enough to make any message memorable. With categories like ‘Popular’, ‘Retro’, ‘Script’, and ‘Handwritten’ among many others, there are enough options to make your words work for any occasion—there’s even a ‘Scary’ category for certain times of year. And when you’re in a rut and having trouble with design layout, Custom Ink offers pre-made design templates that you can easily customize with your own text. With templates for everything from birthday parties to pop culture to landscaping, there is something to turn your idea into a t-shirt.
Mia’s design was printed on Bella + Canvas Jersey T-shirts in adult sizes, and Hanes Authentic T-shirts for youths. A wide range of sizes meant that everyone in the family and customers of any age or size could show off their love for LaBella Bean, and the quality construction ensured that the shirts would last for years to come. While the shirts were printed with white ink on Dark Gray Heather and Charcoal Heather shirts respectively, both feature enough color options to match anyone’s wardrobe.
Having the shirts for sale was a great way for LaBella Bean to celebrate their twenty years in business—customers could feel good about supporting their local fave, and it helped get the LaBella Bean name out to other future fans. Mia and her family take pride in what they’ve built up over the years, and it was important to have a way to represent all this hard work. Their custom t-shirt was a fantastic visual reminder of this—and paired well with a cup of coffee.
Find LaBella Bean on Instagram or on their website.