Hello, 

I am brand-new to this, but thought I would put something out to see what feedback I could receive. I have enjoyed coffee, and the art behind it for several years, but I've never considered it as a career until late. There are a number of coffee shops in my area, but all seem to be doing the same thing. To my understanding, it's tough to survive on coffee alone so a coffee+ is almost required. Most around me are coffee and baked items. A couple are offering lunch items, however nothing is cooked onsite.

Initially, I thought providing quality coffee was my only priority and whatever else would be a bonus. Why shouldn't my business be based around both? I'd like to serve exceptional coffee of the highest quality paired with breakfast/lunch tapas sized dishes. I want to keep things small and light in order to keep the coffeehouse vibe. 

Now, the fun part. I've done a lot of market research and I know my competition and target market. I've also identified a couple locations. I could go through and do a formal business plan, but it doesn't seem very effective at this point. I'm looking for some resources to assist with putting the numbers together and helping me estimate expenses in my area. Are there any books or websites out there anyone would recommend? 

Lastly, I am looking for general education on coffee. I've read numerous articles and am aware of the industry and the direction it's going. However, I'm really looking to build from the ground up...history, processing, roasting, brew methods, etc. Again, any good books or websites? I plan to become a member of NCA/SCA and begin attending events. I'd also like to do some hands on training in a coffee school. I will be going to a local "coffee university" in February and do weekly cuppings. Does anyone have any additional resources they'd like to share?

I look forward to any and all feedback! Tks  

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This would more cafe/4th wave style coffee shops. What city are you in and I recommend bringing on someone who know coffee on the biz/numbers side but also really knows there coffee side. First I would find yourself a design group to make you your plans for your shop what it will look like and to have someone deal with permit plans which will be the biggest headache. Also do a start up cost with equipment, build cost,start up cost and money for the first few months. But find what will make your idea better then others. 

Thank you for the response, Mason. I am very interested in the art of coffee and the business that supports it. I don't want to just own a coffee shop, I want to be on the frontline. Therefore, I am really looking for a mentor. Someone I can go to through out the entire process. In addition, I want to become as educated a possible on the history of coffee, origins, planting, harvesting, processing, sourcing, roasting, tasting, etc. I plan to bring on a well qualified barista, but I want to be able to step in at anytime and not sacrifice the quality. I understand it all comes with time and experience, but I want to put in as much as possible before opening the doors. 
 
Mason Salisbury said:

This would more cafe/4th wave style coffee shops. What city are you in and I recommend bringing on someone who know coffee on the biz/numbers side but also really knows there coffee side. First I would find yourself a design group to make you your plans for your shop what it will look like and to have someone deal with permit plans which will be the biggest headache. Also do a start up cost with equipment, build cost,start up cost and money for the first few months. But find what will make your idea better then others. 

Hi, Jeremy! As a trainer and consultant for the American Barista & Coffee School, I highly recommend our workshops. ;)

A presentation business plan would be helpful to put together; this isn't the financial plan, but the plan that lines out many of the things you're talking about. It includes your concept, your general location and target market, the plan for you menu and hours of operation, and so on. It can be a great tool to use in finance acquisition, and you can always adapt it if you need to make changes.

I totally agree with Mason: find some people to help with design and permitting! Try and find a design company that has experience with coffee shops, because it's easy to make huge mistakes if you don't understand bar flow.

You are correct--we are seeing more food make its way into coffee, especially due to international influence. It can be a great addition to a cafe to have a small food program and can really help increase average ticket prices.

You're on the right track, and being thoughtful about this is going to help you in the long run. If you make your way to Portland, let me know!

Hey, 

So first where are you planning to open? Name some of your favorite coffee shops and why they are, that will help you find what you want your shop to be. But if you ever need more help hit me up on Instagram @ibrewcoffee or message me. I got a lot experince in the area.

Mason

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