Cafe concepts...

pectopah

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Mar 4, 2007
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I''d love to get a better idea of what it is that those on this board have in mind when they say \"coffee shop\" or \"cafe\", and how this compares to my vision.

Please post any websites, pictures, or other information that would give a good idea of the vision behind your business, whether it exists yet or not.

Thanks!
 

CafeBlue

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Dec 8, 2006
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Toronto
John, you're killing me! rotflmaoff!

I was just about to ask to photocopy your business plan, floorplan and equipment list - but your former staff (now mine) said they already had all that stuff copied for me. I guess I'll concentrate on cloning *$ now.

:roll:
 

billagirly

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Mar 29, 2005
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DFW, Texas
Aww, I don't think pectopah meant any harm by that question... but, as someone who is working on opening a shop herself, I personally wouldn't ask that just in case people thought I was trying to "cheat", as it apparently came across.
Anyway - I do agree with just visiting coffee shops, and finding coffee shop websites and pictures is the easiest way to get an idea of the basic concept most people go with.
 

John P

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Jan 5, 2007
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Salt Lake City
I know from experience that those who try to take the easy route will fail. Sometimes you have to *WHACK* someone to get their brain to function.
Success takes planning, and hard work. Failure is easy.
 
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pectopah

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Mar 4, 2007
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Wow...John...it's tempting to respond as rudely as you did, but I'll try not to. I didn't ask for your business plan, I didn't ask for any specifics. I asked about your "vision".

I've done my research, I've visited cafes, I'm working on a business plan, and I've been reading everything I can on this forum for quite some time now. Maybe in the future, if you don't like something in a post, you could explain why and offer an alternative approach, instead of making assumptions.

For anybody else, I apologize if my post gave the wrong impression. My concept includes an almost restaurant-like buildlout, nationally competitive quality coffee, and wine and beer in the evening. I'd like to know how other people visualize their future store, or if they already own a store, how their initial concept has changed with experience.
 

John P

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Jan 5, 2007
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Salt Lake City
Pectopah,

:oops: obviously I misunderstood what you were asking.
But as your first post... it was a bit suspicious.
Thanks for setting me straight.
 

billagirly

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Mar 29, 2005
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DFW, Texas
Pec -
What would your alcohol hours be? And how would you handle a situation where a regular evening customer comes in a little before you start serving alcohol, and wants a glass of wine? I've always been curious about places that only serve alcohol during certain hours within their hours of operation. Seems complicated to me.
Thanks!
 

ElPugDiablo

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Jul 16, 2004
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Hartford and New Haven, CT
pectopah said:
Wow...John...it's tempting to respond as rudely as you did, but I'll try not to. I didn't ask for your business plan, I didn't ask for any specifics. I asked about your "vision".

I've done my research, I've visited cafes, I'm working on a business plan, and I've been reading everything I can on this forum for quite some time now. Maybe in the future, if you don't like something in a post, you could explain why and offer an alternative approach, instead of making assumptions.

For anybody else, I apologize if my post gave the wrong impression. My concept includes an almost restaurant-like buildlout, nationally competitive quality coffee, and wine and beer in the evening. I'd like to know how other people visualize their future store, or if they already own a store, how their initial concept has changed with experience.

We initially wanted a retro theme coffeehouse with 50's furnitures and decors, but they were too expensive and those we did get were too nice and fragile for commercial purpose so they end up in our home. From pictures, I kinda like Muddy Cup. Maybe a bit too formal and too rich but they look great. If you have beer and wine, you might want to take their approach.

www.muddycup.com
 

billagirly

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Mar 29, 2005
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DFW, Texas
I can't find any GREAT pictures of either one, but you could google image search for both Thrio's in Arkadelphia, Arkansas and also Common Grounds in Waco, TX.
 
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pectopah

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billagirly said:
Pec -
What would your alcohol hours be? And how would you handle a situation where a regular evening customer comes in a little before you start serving alcohol, and wants a glass of wine? I've always been curious about places that only serve alcohol during certain hours within their hours of operation. Seems complicated to me.
Thanks!

Honestly, I don't know yet. My thoughts are that my alchohol hours would be 5 - 10 pm or so. I believe some liquor licenses limit the hours you can serve, so that might take care of the problem right there. If it's just a decision I make, I'm thinking someone wanting a glass of wine 10 minutes early isn't a big deal. Otherwise I think I'd offer a free food item while they wait.

I was in a local wine bar a while back and we were early for our reservation. The manager got our group a glass of wine on the house and I've always remembered it.


Wow...Muddy Cup has a great look going on!

I'll have to take a look at Thrio's and Common Grounds.
 
Hi Pectopah!

I am in the planning stages of my coffe cart business, and I do think your vision is important.

First, the scale of your business is the first consideration, I think. From what you have said it will be relatively large and expensive. That will orient your vision closer to fine dining and perhaps a more sophiscated theme would be what you are looking for.

Combining alcohol sales and coffee sales is a different approach. I am wondering if the two really mix well? I think of myself and my friends when I think of a marketing approach, and I don't go to the same locations for both. But maybe that is because I don't have a coffee shop that I really like that does both here where I live. And I live in Asheville, NC which is pretty diverse and culturally oriented for this area.

But I can see the possibilites. One of my favorite coffee shops is located where the both could be combined, I'm just not sure how well the alcohol sales would be, and I don't know if the layout would lend itself to easy mixed drink preparation because of the space limitations of the bar area.

I am sure you have already thought all this through. My point is can I see me and my friends going to the same place for both? Probably not. The coffee shop and the drink spots are unique and we go to each for that very reason.

But as far as your vision - that should come from who you are, what you like, and what means something to you. Don't try to be like any other establishment. The ones that are completely different and manage to carry it off from concept all the way through delivery are the ones that I personally enjoy the most. PERSONALITY of the establishment is the vision.

Good Luck and let us know how your vision develops!!
 
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