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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Over the Rainbow
    Posts
    16

    Is this seat taken? New guy checking in...

    Thought I'd join up and introduce myself as I've been "lurking" for a couple of weeks now. Like so many others I'm in the "research" phase of opening a coffee house (Great - just what we need. Another newbie! ). I've had a ton of questions already answered, but I'm sure I'll have more.

    I'm currently a business manager/owner in a small tech company. For the most part I'm a bean counter - just not the beans I want to count! As such, I've got a pretty good take on profitability, marketing, and general business practices. Hopefully my work experiences will be of as much assistance to others as some of you have already bean (spelling error intentional) to me.
    Keith
    Opening Sooner or Later Down Texas Way

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Duluth, Minnesota
    Posts
    27
    Hmmmm, a coffee house with wireless and a few PCs runing linux with firefox set as the default browser..... hmmmmmm
    I was thinking of putting together a mobile caffineation station, basically a bikecart with an espresso machine a pump pot or two, frusia, italian sodas and run it around town during the summer months when it is hospitable up here. Unfortunatly I am comfortable in my current job and have no reason to take that kind of a risk.
    That and I doubt it would be even remotely feasable as the summer season up this far north is about 3 weeks long.
    What kind of a house are you planning, something basic? Roast your own? Which rainbow are you under, the place I work for actually assists people at setting up coffeehouses, that and we ahve excellant beans and blends withh torani, frusia, baristella, harney and sons teas, tazo teas (yes I know they are owned by charbucks) and other miscellany. If you are within 250 miles (or so) of Duluth, Minnesota check out th website, alakef.com, if all else fails maybe it will give you some ideas!
    I like my coffee like my soul, I'll take it black

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Over the Rainbow
    Posts
    16
    Hey Jeff,

    My rainbow is a bit further south - comes in just east of the Pecos. Actually I'm down Texas way. As to the kind of "House" - well, you know what they say about Texas. Everything's bigger!

    No roasting in the plans for now. Seems like a mighty steep entry fee to play at that level. I think I'll stick it out here in the little leauges for a bit longer.

    Computers are a no brainer of course. I'll likely stick with identical Windows based systems and clone the drive. Then just leave it in the system - unhooked - and wait for the inevitable. All I have to do then is pull the side and switch the drives, taking the original back to the office to be wiped and recloned. Shouldn't take more than 15 minutes tops.

    Looking to make music an intrical part of the "house" - with several live performances a week. Mostly acoustic guitar with a sax or two thrown in.
    Keith
    Opening Sooner or Later Down Texas Way

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Duluth, Minnesota
    Posts
    27
    Mocha Psyc,
    Check out beanerscentral.com they are a local coffee house that does great business hosting live music, they also serve wine and beer but that didn't start until they had been around for a while. It is a great place (and one of our customers) and they have a great atmosphere and niche in the market. Maybe you could get some good ideas from thier website.
    They do not do the internet thing, but they don't need it, I would hang out there a lot more if it wasn't so far from home, that half hour drive to the other side of town kind of stinks.
    Another key is the geek chic waitstaff, grrrr cute hippy girls, (drools)
    Jeff
    I like my coffee like my soul, I'll take it black

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Over the Rainbow
    Posts
    16
    Jeff,

    Next time you're down my way dinner's on me. Beaner's Central is EXACTLY what I had in mind. Well, not the beer and wine - but other than that. Their website is fantastic as well. I've noticed that your area of the country has several live music coffee houses, but this is by far the best example. Menu, hours, etc. - great reference material. Once again - I owe you. Thanks!

    We have a few coffee houses over in Austin that are doing this as well. Texas music scene in that area is extremely strong and I'm hoping I can "recreate" that atmosphere here in my neck of the woods as well.

    At Beaner's, do you recall how much seating they have for the shows? Also, how large is the stage area?

    Oh, if anyone else has a website example like this I'd really appreciate a link. I've about fried my brain searching on Goggle and I never came across Beaner's - so there must be more out there the search engine is missing.
    Keith
    Opening Sooner or Later Down Texas Way

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    The Jersey Shore
    Posts
    8
    Hiya Keith! I am a newbie too, and am planning on opening up sometime late Spring?early summer.
    Music is definitely going to be a huge part of my house. I also want to do a lunch business, and occasionally dinner..I at this point am looking to only have Fri and Sat as my late nights, and am planning on the music being on those nights as many other houses in my area do.
    Fortunately other than Starbucks, there are no houses in my general vicinity, so it will be a good location. There is definitely a market for it.
    Mainly now I am trying to decide where to get my coffee from. Everything else, the business plan, etc.. has all been almost completed. We even have the location, and once all the financing comes together, we will begin getting it ready.
    It is very exciting, as this is something I have always wanted.. I am probably why Starbucks stock continually rises, so to run my own shop, and to have music such an integral part of it, is a dream come true.
    I look forward to getting to know you and everyone else as we begin this journey together.. Karen

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Over the Rainbow
    Posts
    16
    You would happen to be in Magnolia would ya?

    Congrats on your progress so far. Just found out late last night that our "first" choice for location was taken. Missed it by "this much" (in my best Agent 99 voice). Oh well, when the big guy upstairs closes one door I just check the room for open windows...

    I'm still looking into beans - keep me posted on what you find as well. Surely there has to be an ultra high quality low price absolutely fantastic good to the last drop roaster SOMEWHERE in Texas (Houston would be nice) who sells at wholesale prices and custom brands just the way I want it.
    Keith
    Opening Sooner or Later Down Texas Way

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    The Jersey Shore
    Posts
    8
    No, not in Magnolia,lol..just a fan of the magnolia and a former deadhead.

    I am sorry to hear you lost your first choice in location.

    We are fortunate that this landlord is going to hold off and wait for us to get our ducks in a row before he offers the property to anyone else. He owns the two adjacent properties and is rehabing the one to make some upscale retail shops, and the other houses his own store, so he is not in a huge hurry to rent the property. He also really loves our idea, so that didnt hurt,lol.. I hope he doesnt change his tune, though, because now my heart is set on this place, I knew when I walked in it that it was the place for me.

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Duluth, Minnesota
    Posts
    27

    Beaner's Central size/description

    Beaner's is actually a hole in the wall sized shop, seating for about 30-35, but they can fit about 100 for shows. The stage is about 12x12 or so, with a 6x6 sound booth towards the back part of the shop for controlling sound and that.
    I am going to Beaner's tonight actually as when I dropped off thier order yesterday the owner invited me to see the CD release show and gave me a few copies of the cd to give to the guys at work.
    One other thing that we have in town is music festivals and stuff which bring in lots of business to the various participating shops.
    By far the largest festival is Homegrown Music Festival, 8 days a dozen venues, eighty bands! The festival itself may never make any money, but the business surge is great.
    I like my coffee like my soul, I'll take it black

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Over the Rainbow
    Posts
    16
    Sonds like fun! It's cold and raining here - which is pretty common for this time of the year. So, I've spent the day working on the shop logo and the new business plan. Oh, that and revising a speadsheet program for shop profitability I've been working on.

    Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit nicer.
    Keith
    Opening Sooner or Later Down Texas Way

 

 

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