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  1. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale
    Posts
    19
    Hello Scott,

    You need to read this article that I posted on my blog that talks about the pitfalls of opening a coffee shop. Many of us get caught up in catching the American dream and don't wake up and smell the you know what. I have made that mistake once before.

    http://volcanicacoffee.com/gourmet-coff ... ffee-shop/

    Best wishes in whatever you decide,

  2. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Howell, NJ
    Posts
    6

    Advice appreciated

    You need to read this article that I posted on my blog that talks about the pitfalls of opening a coffee shop. Many of us get caught up in catching the American dream and don't wake up and smell the you know what. I have made that mistake once before.

    http://volcanicacoffee.com/gourmet-coff ... ffee-shop/
    I definitely do appreciate your advice and the story of your experience. I will be starting this venture on my own, so the unfortunate husband/wife feud shouldn't be an issue. As for the $8/hr work, well, your story does skim over the important fact that it is your own business you're working for, and not a dead-end job at a quickie mart. There must've been something else that went south, no? Were you having problems with rent, being in NYC? Not enough starting capital? Unexpected competition?

    - Scott

  3. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale
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    19
    Scott,

    Sorry but that was not my story but one I posted from an article my brother sent me. The person's name is Michael Idov which is in the full article with his e-mail address.

    As long as you properly plan, have realistic expectations, have enough cash to survive the first few months and love what you will be doing, you will be successful.

  4. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale
    Posts
    19
    Scott,

    I just thought of something after reading over your comments again. Instead of highing a consultant why not get a job at a competitor such as Starbucks and learn as much as you can. Strive to get promoted so you take on more responsibilities and learn new things. The experience and training could be much greater than highing a consutant.

  5. #15
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    bandung, indonesia
    Posts
    6
    I've check Muddy cup website. It's really good, Jim. Nice atmosphere, too bad I'm far away. I can not check it to site myself. I have a dream like Scott. But I guess it will be different here. Anyway this forum is usefull for me.

  6. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia/Bukit Sentul, West Java
    Posts
    1,065
    I would back Buck100- 100% (pardon the pun)! I think it is really, really important to get some ground/counter time in a busy hospitality situation, especially if this is a career move from an office type job. One thing for sure, starting a new cafe means you will spend a lot (read all) your time there in an active role. In Indonesia (for instance) many of the new breed of cafe owner have absolutley no experiece or understandng of the physically demanding nature of cafe work. It is hard yacker! A lot of the new cafes I either provide coffee or machines to are owned by a group of owners with plenty of money. However when it comes to the time they spend on the floor- they are often wiped out after just a few hours. I have been in hospiality for 24 years...I am the opposite, I love the time on my feet and the whole experience of face-to-face customer interaction. But then again, put me in an offce and it could be a disaster. I guess my point is different folks, different strokes. So...

    Practical experience will help you to learn not only the barista and preperation skills you need, but also show you the other opperational aspects of the business. I think, in some ways, this is more valuable than using a consultant solely (although their experience is still vital for helping with design, operational and business plan aspects). Help from existing owners (such as those found on this forum) may ultimatley be one of the best ways to go forward. Anyway good luck! Hey Rena, PM me if you want to, I am always keen to meet Indonesians looking at opening cafes and do not mind being a sounding board.
    Merdeka Coffee (Indonesian Coffee Roasters and relationship coffee specialists) - Antipodean (Coffee - Cafe - Culture)

  7. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Seattle,Washington USA
    Posts
    874
    Well I guess I'll throw my two cents in for what it's worth. There are some good points being made here. There is no subsitute for OJT, i.e., on the job training. I often advise people that are still in the research phase to try that for a few months. If you choose that route, you must not loose focus for the reason for taking a job like that. Because if you do you may get side tracked and find that you have a job working for someone else. You must also be true to yourself and to the prospective employer that your stay with them is only temporary. I know, why would someone hire you on that basis? Well put yourself in there shoes, would you? Basically it's to gain a few drink making skills and feel confident enough behind the machine to make drinks. But that is the simple part of the business. It takes months and sometimes years before you will be able to actually operate and own your business. Most employees don't take and active interest in wanting to know how to run the business, they just do it for a paycheck. With that being said, that is why I caution you to stay focused. Otherwise you may find yourself thinking like an employee and not an owner.

    You know it's kind of funny about "Consultants"...Because that term conjures up a lot of different implications . Over the last several years I've seen or heard about many consultants that will advise you on a lot of stuff and provide you with a bunch of fluff and pretty pictures, however how many of them have actually worked the business, or built one and ran it successfully? Furthermore, went on to build more locations? The TRUE consultant is the business owner that has learned from many tries and many mistakes. And from each mistake has come improvement, and from those improvements came success. So in that regard, if you seek becoming an owner, then you will have to do a lot of work. If you need additional help and are willing to invest in a "Consultant", then give that a try.

    O.K. I'm falling asleep now...But keep at it
    "A Word of Difference"TM

  8. #18
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Over the Rainbow
    Posts
    16
    Let me toss my dog in...

    As a perspective coffee house owner I'm on the "outside" looking in. I've noted the suggestions many have made in regards to OJT. However, it's REAL easy to say "get some on the job training" - but that advice may be unrealistic. Why? Because there are those of us who have very good paying jobs which have nothing to do with coffee - myself included.

    Opening a coffee house “should
    Keith
    Opening Sooner or Later Down Texas Way

  9. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    64
    [quote="Mocha Psyc"]Learning to make a great cup of coffee or a mean latte is very important, but I’d rank it second to strong business skills when it comes to a successful operation. [quote]

    Keith, I'd hate to agree with that statement entirely, but I do agree that good business skills are vital to your success. And it's not rocket science to make espresso drinks, otherwise as you've noted, there wouldn't be a zillion Starbucks in operation. I would hope that whomever you are partnering with as a coffee supplier or espresso machine supplier has already commited to training your staff? I do when I sell a machine in my territory and most of the coffee roasters do as well. It's in our best interests to see that our customers succeed. That's just good business.

    Good Luck, -Dave

  10. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    201
    rena, thanks for the good words, as you get closer to your dream keep us posted.

 

 
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