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Thread: Starting a Coffee Shop
- 02-11-2013 08:06 PM #11
- 02-11-2013 08:37 PM #12
Wow! Thank you all so much for these replies and advice.
I guess I should further clarify a few points for consideration.
John P - I appreciate your wisdom and caution, and I wholeheartedly agree with you. I have looked into costs of most of the equipment, and realize this may take a few months or more to fully prepare. I will definitely do my due diligence, and heed your advice about having cash in the bank before proceeding. I have started and owned several businesses, had many employees over the years, and made many mistakes financially! Your counsel is certainly welcomed.
My determination to succeed is based on patience to make sure everything is perfect and well-planned and thought through. I have made arrangements with our finest local roaster to get proper training over the next few months. I met with the head of that effort earlier today, and he gave me good advice about buying new equipment that comes with a warranty, and not skimping on brand. He was clear that the La Marzocco was by far the best espresso machine to buy ($15K), and he told me which espresso grinders to buy as well. I have a commercial FETCO brewer in my home, so I know that's the very best brewer. I will definitely purchase only the best.
One idea I've considered is to go to work part-time at one of our local coffee shops to learn - but I would never want to mislead anyone into thinking I was there to work long-term. I have also considered hiring a knowledgeable manager up front and learning from them. But then, how would I know they were doing everything correctly? I am very concerned that the coffee is the very best it can be. Then again, I'll have to watch all costs and make sure no cash is being wasted.
Thank you, again, John P.
Thank you for your advice - I will look into that availability of classes in my area!
Thank you for your insights. I definitely lean toward wanting a large, full-scale cafe - but with limited yet exceptional foods at first, good coffee, and a very inviting & warm atmosphere. A place where people think about being when they're not there, and never want to leave once they're there.
Reality may dictate starting out smaller, however, and that'll be fine as well.
Thank you for your "2 cents" - it's a LOT more valuable than that to me!
Thank you for your perspective. I agree that there has to be uniqueness to capture new attention and eventual loyalty. We have been researching coffee shops in our area for 3-4 years now, have made friends with our local roasters and have even traveled outside of our area to expand our ideas of what works in a cafe.
i think I have decided to buy the best equipment for grinding and making coffee, and searching for used equipment for refrigeration and cooling. Tables, chairs and other fixtures can be purchased on the cheap in our area, and still obtain high quality furnishings. Does this sound correct to you?
- 02-11-2013 09:15 PM #13
Thank you for your well-wishes - I pray our cafe will be worthy of all the great advice we've already received on this forum. I'm sure glad you guys are here!
We have 3 really good roasters in our area - one is our favorite, and is the roaster we get all our personal coffe from. We have a small cafe in our home, and get this particular coffee shipped to us each month in one-pound bags, whole bean. We have them ship our coffee to our home each month, rely on them to choose seasonal coffees for us based on the peak flavors from different parts of the world monthly, and have unlimited access to them for training and education. It seems to be a reliable relationship with high-quality coffees - organic & fair-trade. I would certainly be open to ideas for the best roasters you know about. My long-term goal would be to roast my own coffee - but I know roasters are pricey, and I'm not even sure how necessary it would be!
I agree that at least in our area, the right location will go a long way toward making our cafe successful. There are parts of Nashville that live and die based on foot traffic alone. So the right feel with great coffee and food, especially at the correct location, seems to be a winning combination in and of itself. But if the cafe is memorable for serving high-quality coffee, and has an inviting atmosphere and spirit, I would hope the success would be definite.
As John P says, getting people in the door is one thing, creating a place worth going out of your way for is something else entirely - well-said, John!
- 02-12-2013 06:15 AM #14
It seems like you have done your home work and know what you want. To me that is half of the battle.
Good luck with your venture and hope you can fulfill your dream of owning your own coffee shop to be reality and successful.
- 02-12-2013 07:36 AM #15
it sounds like you have a good perspective on what it will take to get started.
Best of luck!John Piquet
Salt Lake City, UT
- 02-13-2013 04:06 PM #16
Thank you, Coffeejunky & John P.
One more question for anyone:
Can you suggest a reliable roaster NOT in the Nashville area for us to try?
- 02-13-2013 05:31 PM #17
I know some get Stumptown shipped, consistently great. but there are hundreds of roasters out there.
- 02-14-2013 06:33 PM #18
Good luck on the coffee venture sir!
- 02-14-2013 06:33 PM #19
- 05-24-2013 10:51 PM #20
I would think, that before opening a shop, you would have already done the propper research.
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