New start up coffee house

UOPI2601

New member
Aug 18, 2009
1
0
Hi everyone,

I'm looking for advice on startups. My partner and I want to start a coffee house. We are currently doing our market research and developing recipies, identifying locations etc. We have yet to register our company (yes, its that early in the process!!). Looking for tips, do's and don'ts for starter uppers and maybe any of you have some lessons learned that you could share. Anything to look out for in terms of budgets, time,.... anything that was over looked etc. Understand most of you are up and running and are seasoned professionals at this business. I'd appreciated any views you have.

Cheers

Kevin
 

PinkRose

Super Moderator
Staff member
Feb 28, 2008
5,219
5
Near Philadelphia, PA
Hello "UOPI2601" Kevin,

Welcome to the Coffee Forums. You'll find a lot of useful information here.

Feel free to use the search option that's at the top of the page. It will help you find answers to all sorts of questions regarding getting started in a coffee business. In addition, there are plenty of books that you can get that will guide you through the start-up process. For example, if you go to www.amazon.com and type in the words coffee shop, you'll get a lot of choices.

Good luck.

Rose
 

Tophie2

New member
Jul 6, 2008
157
0
St Augustine Fl
Have lots of money. lots and lots of cash. Weigh it before you spend it, because you will be seeing it disaper in tons. Let us know how this is working out for ya.
 

John P

New member
Jan 5, 2007
1,045
0
Salt Lake City
After a little over five years here are my words of wisdom:

First rule: Only talk to people who are successful at what they do, whether you want to be a writer, a television host, a chef, or a coffee shop owner. Business, and this business in particular is not for everyone. I define success as having a profitable, quality operation regardless of your environment.

There really isn't any luck involved, per se, but those who are prepared will be exposed to more opportunities than most.

Take the time to seriously learn about coffee and espresso, AND business basics first. You have to hit the ground running, no baby steps or it will kill you. Don't romanticize owning a shop. You need to know you are better than the best available shop in your area BEFORE you open. And if you are more aggressive, travel, take the time to visit the best coffee shops in the US, Canada, or overseas and pay careful attention to everything that's going on. (This is what we did, and it paid huge dividends)

The more you prepare ahead of time in terms of bean/roaster selection, proper equipment, proper brewing techniques, mastering grind, dosing, temperature, tamp, brew pressure, etc. as well as understanding proper design for efficiency, minimizing waste, customer education and customer service, pricing... the better off you will be. To be honest, if you don't have a clear, and I mean precise understanding of everything above PLUS, in this market, you will not fare well. Customers consistently mark "Quality" as being the number one reason they return to a coffee shop -- especially NOW when that is what will separate you from everyone else. But if that's not what you're about, I would wait, or do another business... customers spot the truth of your core, you can't fake it, so either you put the coffee/espresso first and foremost, or you will suffer the consequences of the many Starbucks style copycats that have come and gone by the hundreds in recent years.

** Don't expect everything all at once. Lots of employees, big paycheck for yourself, overseeing everything. Many new owners want too much too fast and end up in ruins. Plan long term strategy, for a 20 to 30 year run. This should be a long term project. Look at the ENTIRE picture and see how to manage debt, growth, etc throughout the life cycle of the business. Invest in your business as much as you can in the beginning so you can take time working ON your business as more and more time goes by. We decided to do without employees to pay off our loans AND save money for a second business.
After five years, we are looking for another project. Take your time and do it right.

Prepare well. Love what you do.

and

kick ass by improving daily.
 

PinkRose

Super Moderator
Staff member
Feb 28, 2008
5,219
5
Near Philadelphia, PA
John,

That was certainly an honest and thorough response! I always enjoy reading your words of wisdom.

When you said, "Don't romanticize owning a shop," I thought about all of the people over the years who had the dream, but tried and failed.

It would be great if we could create a thread topic in your honor and give it a title like
"Words of Wisdom from John P."

Rose
 

John P

New member
Jan 5, 2007
1,045
0
Salt Lake City
Rose,

Thanks so much for the kind words.

It's only good if it applies to you, AND if you actually pay attention.
Most people don't pay attention to the details, and that is why they fail.
 

Tophie2

New member
Jul 6, 2008
157
0
St Augustine Fl
I did not expect to set the world on fire when I started. What I truly wanted was a very fair and reasonable break even point. $326.00 a day. I can do that by myself with my eyes closed. We have the best coffee in town. Period. Voted second best below Starboys. The other owners from Jacksonville to Tampa come here to see what we are doing. I have a great (or thought) location. Make sure you have a pro look @ your lease and keep in mind all your hard operating costs,COGS,books,permitting,maintainace,utilities,labor,etc,etc,etc...
 

Tophie2

New member
Jul 6, 2008
157
0
St Augustine Fl
When you said, "Don't romanticize owning a shop," I thought about all of the people over the years who had the dream, but tried and failed.






Guilty
 

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