Espressobusiness - Alex Fisenko ?

kmeyer

New member
Sep 15, 2005
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0
Hi all. I'm curious if anyone here has purchased his book and dvd on the coffee business? I am researching the business and considering a drivethrough. The cost is $300 which I am willing to spend, but curious if anyone here has had a experience with it. Thanks.
 

BaklaJava

New member
Oct 11, 2005
15
0
Pawling, NY
Alex Fisenko book and espresso101 training DVD

Hi - my husband and I are opening a coffee bar/bakery in our village and purchased the book and DVD from Alex for $300. We thought it was well worth the money. We spoke to Alex on the phone for over an hour and found him very informative and helpful, charming and funny too! I am surprised by the posts on the linked discussion from people who found him rude???? Anyhow, my main concern was the drink menu - what to offer and how much to charge. It seemed to me that his menu was a great solid start and we are going with it unless someone tells me something vastly different!! Good luck to you,
Betsy :)
 

beefybean

New member
Sep 20, 2005
31
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Austin, TX therabouts
I cannot speak for Alex, and I am sure that he knows a lot about the business. Most consultants are out there to help you smooth out the bumps. They don't have any secrets, just eperience, and the good ones can help you to assess your situation for it's specifics.

There are a lot of consultants available in this field. Many tout the benefits they can provide, some even present financial arguments regarding the value.

The information from Alex seems to say that you will FAIL if you don't use his services. I try to stay away from that type of polarized thought.

Personally I am going without a consultant. Participating in this and many other boards provides a great deal of good information. Talk to everyone. You should do this with or without a consultant. Your own personal business experience also plays a big role. If you have lead a sheltered corporate experience with no individual business experience of any type, I can see an increased need for a consultant.

Search this and the www.specialty-coffee.org forum and you can find lots of good input on consultants and from consultants. Many shop owners provide these services as well.

Design services are available from many experienced sources, separate from the consultants.

BTW, Espresso 101 was developed by Bellissimo, another consulting firm with long roots. I purchased their book and package of videos. Espresso 101 and 501 get great reviews. The book, Bean Business Basics is decent, though too much self promoting. Again, no magic bullets, but I don't think you are going to find the magic bullet.

What we are all seeking in this startup venture is a sense of comfort that all will work out. There is risk, no matter what. The consultant will not guarantee success, neither will the book or video, or location for that matter. By mitigating the risks, we can help to develop that sense of comfort. And sometimes you just need a woobie (security blanket).

As you develop your plan, risks are part of that. Inputs are your experience, market, etc.. The consultant may well be a mitigating factor for you. It's part of your research. They are not there to do it for you, but to help steer your path.

enough rambling. Research research research, talk talk talk, ask ask ask
 

BaklaJava

New member
Oct 11, 2005
15
0
Pawling, NY
beefybean said:
I cannot speak for Alex, and I am sure that he knows a lot about the business. Most consultants are out there to help you smooth out the bumps. They don't have any secrets, just eperience, and the good ones can help you to assess your situation for it's specifics.

The information from Alex seems to say that you will FAIL if you don't use his services. I try to stay away from that type of polarized thought.

Again, no magic bullets, but I don't think you are going to find the magic bullet.

What we are all seeking in this startup venture is a sense of comfort that all will work out. There is risk, no matter what.


I have been researching, reading, investigating and talking to people for two years -- at this point what I'm hoping for is a way to lessen the learning curve in the efficient and high quality prep of the drinks since I have no experience in that aspect. I'd like to hit the ground running so to speak. There is a lot of buzz in our town over our new place (no Starbucks nearby!) so I worry about people piling in and my not being able to handle it. Meanwhile, I can hear what an opinionated person says and take what I want and leave the rest so I'm not worried about that. I found this consultant as I was researching menus and like how he has simplified the choices - as a consumer I like what I see. It seems to reflect experience to me. As for pricing, I have to take into account my area and customer and believe I am. I like the philosophy of getting people hooked and making it affordable so they come every day and then raising prices when you're so busy you can't keep up. I'm not a great number cruncher though so I'm not sure about the COGS -- need to look into that.
Putting aside the issue of consultant, I'd like to hear from other owners about the syrups you use, the chocolate for hot chocolate and especially what you think or have experienced about specialty drinking chocolate.
Thanks so much,
Betsy
 

beefybean

New member
Sep 20, 2005
31
0
Austin, TX therabouts
For recipes you either have to work in a shop or pretty much figure them out. The link that Andrew provided will include a recipe book.

as for syrups, sample sample sample. I have been calling and emailing for weeks. I have Big Train, Cappucine, JetTea, Guittards, Gosh that's good, Dr. Smoothie, Torani, 1862 (or something like that). And more to get. Almost all of them will sample you, or their distributors will.

I am going for a natural base, no corn sugar, no artificial colors or flavors. I will have to break down on the Splenda. I have still sampled some who use artificial ingredients, especially the ones that have good market presence (JetTea), as you need to know what you are up against.

The syrup providers will supply you with recipes and marcom material. But for syrup or any product, start emailing and calling. You cannot digest that much sugar in a week, so it will take some time just to get through the samples and narrow it down to a taste test.

We have thought of having a tasting party and inviting a bunch of friends over. That way we each down the equivalent of about 2 smoothies and lattes, rather than one person try to down 10 of each, but still get to try them all.

As for syrups, I have not been impressed overall. Most taste like mildly flavored sugar water, and I can make sugar water for a lot less per liter than the $5 or $6 they are asking. Natural flavor essences are available for you to make your own syrups if you desire. Haven't experimented yet, but I'm sure I can't do worse than I have tasted already.
 
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