New member
Jul 22, 2007
Fairview Park, Ohio
Visit site
Hello from Cleveland, Ohio.

I’m new to the coffee business and to these forums and wanted to introduce myself. My name is Angelo and my brothers and I are in the real estate business, so not much experience in coffee besides drinking it. I’m looking for roasters, startup consultants, equipment recommendations, recipes, and just fun people to chat with and exchange ideas.

We have picked the location, demolished the existing space and currently starting to build it out. Permits are pulled and construction has begun. We still haven’t designed a layout for the counter that I’m happy with. We still aren’t a 100% on the name Fairview Perk Coffee (so ideas are welcome), as well as a logo. I’ll post our logo ideas for anyone that’s interested at a later time.

I found a few startup design consultants, Bellissimo, Alex Fisenko, and Bear Creek Coffee. Has anyone ever heard/used these individuals? If you know of someone that can help design and choose items, that would be greatly appreciated as well. Also, do not be modest, if you can help, let me know. Always welcome to talk and try new people.

I have read most of the previous posts from individuals who are starting up and the questions they asked. I own the building, so there is no debate on the lease or location. I will probably buy over leasing equipment, but that’s my personal philosophy in business. No roasters have asked for contracts, but have offered free equipment, or free coffee equal to the cost of equipment if we want to buy equipment from them. The problem I find with that is, they only have dealer prices on one brand. Coincidentally, the roaster I like now has Bunn equipment, is that any good? Is there a rating on equipment?

I’m working on signage, and we have plenty of storage. I will definitely visit the state/county permits, and especially health codes, this week to verify everything. Just a note on something TD mentioned on a previous thread, don’t trust anyone. I had an architect draw and city approve my drawings without a handsink in the front. I’ve been told that this will NOT pass health inspections.

The few questions I had in general are: 1) Do most places offer lunch and lots of food? What kind of food do you offer besides the pastries? 2) Has it become a requirement to book local bands to grow your cliental? 3) What name brand equipment is better and why? (A website rating would be great or description on everything

I am looking forward to meeting everyone and hoping to help and contribute in the future



Nov 3, 2004
Visit site
FairviewCoffee said:
The few questions I had in general are: 1) Do most places offer lunch and lots of food? What kind of food do you offer besides the pastries? 2) Has it become a requirement to book local bands to grow your cliental? 3) What name brand equipment is better and why? (A website rating would be great or description on everything

Hi Angelo, all good questions.

1) Many coffee shops do offer some food; however, we advise that companies specializing in coffee limit their food menu to those items that compliment coffee. Coffee is the most profitable product on the menu for most coffee shops (and many restaurants) -- adding food tends to lower transaction profit percentages and increases the complexity of preparation, adds to perishable inventory, requires additional storage space, etc.

The larger concern here is one of branding. Do you wish to be known as a destination for coffee or convenient place to stop for food on the way somewhere else? No right or wrong answers here, just a decision.

2) Bands - no. Consumers may expect that the average "indie" coffee shop will feature local artists, but I rarely see in practice where this increases sales and profitability for the business -- serving a consistently good product will do far better for you. There are a number of other promotional ideas that you can use to draw traffic to your location.

3) Each supplier has strengths and weaknesses that should be matched to your location, menu and business concept. There is no single best brand of commercial equipment for coffee preparation, as some manufacturers excel in certain configurations of equipment (with respect to espresso, it may be traditional versus superautomatic machines or the Clover that may be appropriate for one style of business may be inefficient at another) and also offering varying service performance in different areas of the country. After thoroughly defining your concept, an experienced party in this area should be able to make recommendations and back those recommendations with substantiating facts.

With respect to your comments above regarding leasing, you may also want to look at the post below. My position on the matter has not changed since it was posted in 2005. ... +equipment

Best of success!


Coffee Guy

New member
Oct 19, 2003
Seattle,Washington USA
Visit site
Hey Angelo:

Welcome aboard. You do ask some good questions and CM makes a lot of good points. Although a lot of our customer base are drive thrus (we have also assisted some sit down coffee shops) the formula for starting your coffee/espresso business is simular. I've heard of both Alex and Bellissimo, and I've heard good things about both. I would say your next steps should include setting time lines and incorporate your scheduling accordingly, i.e., get all of your building permits, build outs, etc. completed first, or at least underweigh, then obtain your consultans, designers, roasters and equipment lined up, then after that your training. Some roasters including ourselves have relationships with both espresso and coffee machine manufacturers. Another thing to consider is that there is no such thing as free equipment or free product. You know as well as I do that the equipment cost will be reflected in your coffee price until the equipment is paid off. I just like to be real from the very start so there are no misunderstandings. In this case I agree with you purchasing your equipment to own, it makes sense seeing that you own the building and property. This way should you decide to sell later on you will reap all of the benefits.

Does your location have the ability to add a drive thru window? If so, this would be a big benefit for increasing sales. You mentioned that the architect did not include a hand wash sink up front. During your research for this architect or designer, did you ask them if they had experience in designing for food service establishments? This is sometimes over looked and becomes quite expensive especially if they have to do additional work when making changes. By the way the hand wash sink is a health department requirement, along with a 3 compartment sink, and a mop sink if this is a cafe or coffee shop establishment.

I agree totally with CM's comments in #1 and #2. So you and your brothers may want to sit down and pencil out what directions you want to take. In the meantime visit a couple of other establishments and check out their operations as you have a cup of there coffee, etc. You know do a little research.

Well just my two cents...Good luck. And if there is anything I can do for you feel free to respond here or pm me. :wink: