Native New Yorker Jeremy Lyman was processing loans for a mortgage company while daydreaming about what it would be like to get paid to hang out in a coffee shop all day. Paul Schlader moved to New York City from Minnesota to pursue an acting career while acting as a bartender and manager at Heartland Brewery.
When Lyman met Schlader, a partnership was born. After about a year of hard work, they opened their first Birch Coffee shop in fall 2009. Since then, the duo has opened six locations in Manhattan, a 4,000-square-foot roast house and shop in Long Island City, and will soon open in the South Bronx. The business is now worth $10 million to $15 million.