back in business, too long, I know

debbiej

New member
Mar 22, 2010
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not sure which smilie to use here.
I used to post on this forum as lizzy. my daughter and I had a coffee shop.A good job fell into my lap, so we decided I'd take the job and she'd take the shop. in about a year, she had some promising opportunity, but would have to move to another town. And about that time we were approached by someone wanting to buy our shop. we agreed upon a price and very liberal owner financing, they said they would soon have the down payment and a closing at an escrow company was to take place in 6 months. I agreed to roast coffee for them at cost because I wanted them off to a good start. the 6 months was to allow them to be trained, and get their finances sorted out. Sounded good, daughter moved, they took over and things went downhill faster than I ever dreamed possible. they were not what they seemed, to put it mildly. I could not go anywhere; the vet, the store, my job, my parents heard it at church, everyone was telling us how much they missed our shop! (one wonders where this loyalty was during the doldrum $300 days)

I ordered green beans and roasted for them for $4 a pound !!!!, and they said it was too much, they could get coffee cheaper at walmart! and they didn't pay me for a month's worth of roasted coffee. my daughter sat in the shop for hours waiting for them to show up for a training sessions. we stopped trying. toward the end of the 6 month period, I got wind that they were trying to SELL MY SHOP to different people! on the day the contract ended, I left them a letter that we were not interested in renegotiation and I would like to have them and their stuff gone. It was hard to do, because I have never evicted anyone before and we did want them to make a go of it. I can't begin to list how many ways it went wrong. but they pulled a trailer up in the dark and moved their own stuff out. I was really nervous, but they didn't take anything that wasn't theirs. Although our contract stated we had to approve any improvements, they did a few improvements on the property without our approval. not how I would have designed it, but I have a large new patio. I took a leave of absence from my good job of 1 and a half years, and after 2 months, realized I did not want to sit at a desk anymore, and resigned. My daughter will take her share of the business when and if we sell to another more qualified buyer. but for now, I'm having fun.

all my employees (they quit within a week of the "takeover") came back begging for their jobs, and the ones I hired have been really on the ball.
every day customers come in thanking me for coming back.
the newspaper did a nice article, based on our 10th year of business.

so I'm back in the coffee business. roasting, shopping, baking, cleaning and book-keeping.

we had to get re-inspected and as a result, were required to install a hood and fire suppression system. at first, I was so angry, but it has improved working conditions in the kitchen so much, I have to admit I am glad we bit the bullet and did it. during the summer, it will make working in the kitchen so much cooler, and the whole place is much cleaner. my husband has been great. we refinanced our house to do the exhaust hood job, and he has been pulling late nights fixing and helping me with maintenance.

I'm not sure exactly why, but business is booming, everyone is working hard and well, and it is fun and exciting again.
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,585
2
Central North Carolina
Good to hear things worked out OK. Guess it could all be worse one way or another. I really believe most people think the coffee business is easy. Just make coffee and sell it... well I for one know it's alot of hard work involved keeping everything functioning at 100% efficiency, keeping track of inventory, having fresh coffee onboard at all times, etc. BTW we are a mobile espresso setup, so we also have a vehicle involved to keep track of.

So $4 for fresh artisan roasted beans is too much? Yeah whatever. I currently pay an average of $7 per lb. for what I get and it is roasted properly and to order. AND I thought that was quite a good price for what I want/expect from them. Damn only $4??? Where are you located, lol...

Anyway, hope this works out well for you and maybe it can be something long term. I think all those loyal customers will appreciate you being back and in time it will show. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
 
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debbiej

New member
Mar 22, 2010
87
0
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thanks, appreciate the good wishes. I know $4 a pound is dirt cheap. but we thought it would help them be successful. silly of us, really. the more we tried to help, the more they expected.
 

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