Matthew Schieffer started out at the University of Florida with an eye on a career in healthcare. A little over four years later, he’s making people feel good in an entirely different way, through good coffee as one of the owners of Rome’s newest coffee shop, Lumina.
“I really had a passion for innovation, for entrepreneurship,” Matt says. “I decided I wanted to start my own business.”
The first decision showing signs of good business acumen was consulting with his father, Mike Schieffer, who had a long career with Starbucks.
“He started when there was 163 stores, he left when there was 18,000,” Matt says. “He had an amazing 18-year career with them. So after about six months I decided the answer was really right in front of my face and that was the coffee business.”
The idea for Lumina came out of Matt’s desire to be different.
“I divided it into four parts — the product, the people, the environment and customer service,” Matt says. “Lumina is the plural of lumen being a measurement of light. Our whole vision is to lighten people’s day.”
The shop at 640 Braves Boulevard has just been open since late January but Matt says it has already exceeded expectations.
“It’s been a huge learning experience but I really can say I’ve enjoyed it. I’m honored and blessed to be part of such an amazing organization,” Matt says.
He expected to see a lot of college students, and does get a lot of Berry students, but sees a tremendous variation in the demographics, particularly in the afternoon.
Matt has lived in Rome for about a year and a half. Definitely different from Gainesville, the University of Florida where he got a degree in finance, and the Fort Lauderdale Miami area where he lived for about seven years before going off to college.
“Rome is such a unique town and such a friendly place as well,” he says.
The Lumina coffee is sourced primarily from South America, Africa and Indonesia.
“We source a lot of organic rain-forest, fair trade coffee’s, a lot of it gives a lot more money back to the farmer which helps a lot of these (developing countries),” Matt says.
Like many young entrepreneurs, being very socially conscious and environmentally friendly is high on Matt’s list of priorities. He’s very concerned about a higher transparency to the farmer, to ethics and how coffee is sourced and produced.