Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1

    In Search of: Advice / Info on starting a coffee house

    I''m doing things a bit reverse - I''ve secured what appears to be a good location for a coffee house in suburban MA, but don''t have any background in the industry. In the area there''s really only Starbucks, Peets and other major players around - so I''m planning to go the locally grown micro roaster route for that \"FRESH\" factor.

    I''m starting my research and am hoping to learn some pointers from other owners out there. Any advice, things to watch for, websites for research info, etc would be greatly appreciated.

    Top of mind ?''s
    1) Do I need to hire a barrista or can anyone (meaning me) make coffee?
    2) Is there a preference towards using whole beans, pressed or variations of grind (coarse, drip grind, fine grind)? What''s the difference?
    3) What machines/ equiptment are needed? Estimated cost or where to purchase?
    4) Am I at a disadvantage for not have worked in the industry? I''m have no issues struggling to persevere, but want to take notice of barriers I should be aware of if they can be detected early on.


    thanks,
    Rich

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlantic City, NJ
    Posts
    382
    Hi, Rich... I am sure as you go through the research you will see that there really isn't a short answer to your questions. To be honest, there are so many factors to consider, that there really isn't one right answer, and I would beware of anyone who tells you to "do this" and "just buy that". You need to make the decisions for youself, based on what you have learned. If you need funding from a bank, you might have a tough time getting it if you have no experience in this busniess or foodservice industry.

    As far as an affect on your operation hiring someone experienced vs learning yourself: I think that you can be trained to be a barista, if you are willing to learn and have a desire to serve quality. IMHO, I think that just because someone has experience doesn't mean its good, or that they are doing things correctly. Sometimes being new is better from a training standpoint.

    You can visit www.score.org and there are excutives there to answer questions as well.

    I would do a search on this forum (espresso machines, beans, layout, etc), and it will provide you with loads of information. I am new to the business as well, working on my buildout right now.

    Good luck with everything!
    AJPratt
    Pratt's Hill of Beans

    "Don't laugh at the coffee. Someday you may be old and weak, too."

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Hartford and New Haven, CT
    Posts
    991
    You signed a lease already? How much time do you have before you start to pay rent? If I were you I'd take a trip to atomic cafe where they have their in house roasting operation, www.atomicafe.com and see how they do it. Talk to them and hopefully they will be helpful.
    You want cream and sugar?
    NO COFFEE FOR YOU! NEXT!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlantic City, NJ
    Posts
    382
    Oh, crap... I completely missed that you signed a lease.
    AJPratt
    Pratt's Hill of Beans

    "Don't laugh at the coffee. Someday you may be old and weak, too."

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Salt Lake City
    Posts
    1,044
    IMMEDIATELY Follow up on what ElPugDiablo said.
    If by "secured a location" you mean "signed lease" your probably have made and extremely poor decision.
    BE an expert barista.
    Hire an expert barista.
    Know that local microroaster doesn't mean good coffee. It could be fantastic, it could be bad. Know the difference... However, it should, in most cases, be better than any of the large chains.
    Don't waste any time... get moving
    John Piquet
    caffe d'bolla
    Salt Lake City, UT
    caffedbolla.com

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlantic City, NJ
    Posts
    382
    Did we scare this guy away? Logs on, asks for help and then is never heard from again.

    Hopefully, he didn't sign a lease yet.
    AJPratt
    Pratt's Hill of Beans

    "Don't laugh at the coffee. Someday you may be old and weak, too."

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1
    I''m in a somewhat similar situation as this guy. What we have done is purchased what was once an art and framing gallery. We originally purchased it because of the large basement for my wife, who''s a sculptor, to use as her studio space as we have run out of room in our garage! But, after owning the building for a year now and doing a lot of talking about it, we''ve finally decided that we''d like to open up the main floor as a coffee shop/art gallery where people can come in and enjoy specialty coffee and relax, enjoying art by local artists. The building itself is very quaint, and the previous owners were quite successful as the art and framing gallery (they retired and their children, who live out of state, didn''t want the business, so they closed it and sold the building).

    The downsides to this situation (that I''m aware of at this moment anyway):My wife and I have zero experience in running a coffee house.
    The location makes it impossible to have a drive-thru
    The area that makes the most sense for the counter has no plumbing run to it. I do know some plumbers that can help, though.

    The positives are that the building is in great shape, we''ve had to do very little remodeling (just the kitchen and one bathroom that was in bad shape. We''ve got a great location for a beautiful patio that could have 5 or 6 tables w/ umbrellas. The main showing room has beautiful hardwood flooring. Sprinkler system is already run through entire building.

    We''re researching as much as we can now, and I''m putting a business plan together for some financial help, but we''re just not exactly sure what we''re getting into. There are no coffee shops within 7 miles of us (we''ve walked around, driven around, searched and searched some more to make sure) and I have found 5 or 6 reputable local roasters (we''re just outside Cincinnati)

    So, I guess my question is similar to the original poster''s: what should we expect? And, apart from establishing the business name, where should we start?

    Thanks in advance for any and all advice!

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Akron, Ohio
    Posts
    87
    Hey Folks,
    Here's my two cents:
    If you want to do it right you need to start with 1 of 2 options.
    #1. (Preferred Option Money To Spare) Hire a business law attorney who will take care of everthing for you from start to finish which includes your incorporation, trademarks, C.P.A services, geographical surveys, business plan, investors, etc.
    #2. (I don't have money and need to do this myself) Every major city is the U.S. should have a Chapter of S.C.O.R.E www.score.org which is a group of retired CEO'S, Presidents, and small business owners who will help you start your business for FREE. They will give you all the info you need, you just have to do all the hard legwork.

    Hope That Helps

    Matt

    www.essentialwonders.com/
    Essential Wonders Coffee Company

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    N. VA
    Posts
    2
    Option #1- Even if you had the money, why would you hire someone to do what you can and should do for yourself and the success of your business. Especially your business plan, no one knows your dream & vision for your business better than you.

    Option #2- S.C.O.R.E is a good reference

    My 2 cents

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlantic City, NJ
    Posts
    382
    (deleted due to duplicate post) Weird.
    AJPratt
    Pratt's Hill of Beans

    "Don't laugh at the coffee. Someday you may be old and weak, too."

 

 
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Remove Ads

Sponsored Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. New coffee house starting up, want bean opinions...
    By Insomniacs_Coffee_House in forum Coffee Beans & Espresso Beans
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 06-07-2006, 08:32 AM
  2. Advice needed for starting an office coffee service
    By TakeFive in forum Coffee Industry Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-11-2006, 11:34 PM
  3. Dream of owning a coffee house - Hoping for advice
    By scottdanzig in forum Coffee Industry Forum
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 03-07-2006, 12:49 AM
  4. We are considering starting a coffee house and need help
    By poeticdiabetic in forum Coffee Shops, Espresso Bars & Cafes
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-03-2006, 09:22 AM
  5. advice needed for starting a coffee/comic shop.
    By MilkNCheese in forum Business to Business B2B
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 09-21-2005, 10:16 PM