Opening a New Cafe Across from the Lake


New member
Mar 30, 2004
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Hello My name is Jennifer and I am new to the forum! I was approached late last night with a business proposition from a family friend of my mom's. (( I just graduated from college in May 2003. I also ran a coffee shop for 5 years thru high school and part of college. )) Now she has a building and the money (Plenty of $$$$) to start a coffe shop, she just wants me to do all of the planning and operating. Am I crazy to take this challenge on??? Can I be a super planner and get it up and running this summer?? This is a person who owns multiple businesses and just wants to invest in another business. Can anyone give me suggestions on where to start....any helpful websites??? Thanks so much, Jennifer

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New member
Jan 17, 2004
Redmond, WA
help planning a coffeeshop

Hi Jennifer,

I found a book that is fairly comprehensive for how to startup a coffeehouse/coffeebar and I paid less than $20 for it. It's from the "Start & Run A" series of books. This one is:

Start & Run A Coffee Bar, by Tom Matzen and Marybeth Harrison, Self-Counsel Press Business Series. ISBN 1-55-180-354-2.

The authors favor roasting your own beans but I think there are lots of very good coffee roasters from which you can get your bean supply. That's what I'm planning to do.

Another good book is "Espresso! Starting and Running Your Own Specialty Coffee Business" by Joe Monaghan and Julie Sheldon Huffaker, Wiley Press, ISBN 0-471-12138-x.

This book favors the "coffee cart" model of business but has more good insights. Also this book is a little dated (copyright 1995) when it comes to example prices on a latte.

Also, if you're like me and never started a business I highly suggest going to your local SBA office for more resources to help write a business plan. Like what EspressoOutfitters says, Health Department review plans are required, but that's only one part of the business plan to help get your business off on the right track. I think a lot of people only right a business plan to get a loan or to get a lease on a site. I disagree, even if you have all these things, write a plan anyway to keep from wasting your resources.


Coffee Guy

New member
Oct 19, 2003
Seattle,Washington USA
Hi Jennifer:

Great responses from both espresso outfitters and Gary. And I agree, if you have the money lined up, that's the first important thing, now you can move forward. Obtaining information about the business is great, you really need to develop a plan of action. That means to have all of your ducks in a row. A business plan is good, but sometimes you can get held up in trying to make it perfect and go nowhere. But since you have an investor already, just give them an outline of what your plans are. If they make sense, then you can procede. Remember, you most show them you plan to make them money. Don't be in a hurry, be smart, and invest wisely. Those are your biggest keys. Set you time frames realistically, and above all be sure you have a good location secured. That will be your key to success. Everything else will fall into place.

Visit our website and print out our free catalog to give you some ideas on where to start and some of the things you need to look at. We'd be more than happy to work with you and get you going.

By the way, where are you located?

Welcome to the forums :grin: