I'm opening a 400 SF one and need all the advice I can get! My biggest problem will be storage for sure...what have you done to keep things organized and controlled? How did you get a handle on ordering quantities?
Thanks for your suggestions/advice in advance!

Views: 122

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Here,
Have this delicious can of worms......


........'careful how you open it'.......
400 sf? With that kind of space how high are the ceilings and can you go up with your storage? Now's the time to start drilling down exactly what you'll need. Think of reducing, reducing, reducing to the essence of what you want to do.

For me, 400sf is no big deal. It's a great size that really forces us to focus. Think about offering only 8z and 12z paper cups. 16z and 20z case boxes are huge and heavy to fly. Don't know where you live but if you're on the East Coast, see if you can visit Spruce Street Espresso in Philadelphia or Everyman in NYC. Out on the west coast, Blue Bottle has a cart setup in Hayes Valley San Francisco and I think David Schomer still has his cart/kiosk setup on Broadway in Seattle. Check those places out and see how they manage small spaces for ideas.
Depends on whether you will have any off-site storage as well...?
I think you're very smart...small is beautiful! Less overhead (especially rent!) and other complications. Hope you've already found your space because at least in my experience, small spaces that work are very hard to find. Focus on quality with a simple menu. As for the organization, start thinking compartmentalized so everything has it's own space. Sometimes, I find that inspiration can come from unexpected places. If you haven't encountered this already, check it out. http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/ Maybe it'll prompt some ideas.

Good luck!
Just find nearby storage. I rented a garage at an apartment complex that's four blocks from my shop. It's become my habit to stop by the storage-garage each afternoon on my way home and get the stuff I'll need for tomorrow. It will also be helpful if your suppliers can make frequent deliveries, thus allowing you to order in smaller quantities, (but more frequently).

I think you're smart to do this. It makes more sense to pay the high rent only for the square footage you need for a good retail location and pay less rent, per foot, for your storage space.

You might find the back seat of your vehicle becomes a semi-storeroom. I know there's days when I haul around a case of napkins, or something, for an extra day or two until there's room in the shop's designated space for that item. I'm kinda anal about where stuff goes and this helps me keep supplies at a minimum without running out.
Nope, none.

Stephen Curtis said:
Depends on whether you will have any off-site storage as well...?
Yes, I have the location and lease (with cheap rent) already locked it. It came with much equipment and we just painted the interior and front windows this past weekend. I bought some freestanding counters and a couple corner chairs. Still need regular table and chairs and probably two more counters with cabinets.

teresa said:
I think you're very smart...small is beautiful! Less overhead (especially rent!) and other complications. Hope you've already found your space because at least in my experience, small spaces that work are very hard to find. Focus on quality with a simple menu. As for the organization, start thinking compartmentalized so everything has it's own space. Sometimes, I find that inspiration can come from unexpected places. If you haven't encountered this already, check it out. http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/ Maybe it'll prompt some ideas.

Good luck!
Yes, I have been considering removing the backseat from my Jeep! =0)

Bob Von Kaenel said:
Just find nearby storage. I rented a garage at an apartment complex that's four blocks from my shop. It's become my habit to stop by the storage-garage each afternoon on my way home and get the stuff I'll need for tomorrow. It will also be helpful if your suppliers can make frequent deliveries, thus allowing you to order in smaller quantities, (but more frequently).

I think you're smart to do this. It makes more sense to pay the high rent only for the square footage you need for a good retail location and pay less rent, per foot, for your storage space.

You might find the back seat of your vehicle becomes a semi-storeroom. I know there's days when I haul around a case of napkins, or something, for an extra day or two until there's room in the shop's designated space for that item. I'm kinda anal about where stuff goes and this helps me keep supplies at a minimum without running out.
You could get an chevy astro style minivan, or even a small box truck...

Notblueatall said:
Yes, I have been considering removing the backseat from my Jeep! =0)

i love my small store. i think it is a fantastic model and probably the most efficient way to make your cafe operate at maximum efficiency! keep your menu limited and strive to make the highest quality drink and you will be be in a great position!
What kind of daily volume do you anticipate? You have to work from anticipated daily volume and your menu, you can do it in 400sf but you have to have a sharply focused menu. Do just a few things really well.
Yep I agree. I started out with a 8sqm store (86sq feet) and it was really really crowded. Now have 25sqm store (270sq feet) with indoor seating for 12 and it feels massive! Keep menu simple, make awesome coffee and make people feel like they are guests in your kitchen. Keep colours light or bright and full of energy. Keep the music pumping! You may need that external storage, and keep a tight eye on stock levels instore. Chances are you will have small staff, so make sure they can multitask and actually care about doing a good job, and reward them with good pay, respect and gratitude. In a small store the staff become integral to your success, they all have to be good because there is no one else to hide behind and pick up the slack. Finally, shelving, shelving and more shelving.
Good luck!
Buehrer said:
i love my small store. i think it is a fantastic model and probably the most efficient way to make your cafe operate at maximum efficiency! keep your menu limited and strive to make the highest quality drink and you will be be in a great position!

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Barista Exchange Partners

Barista Exchange Friends

Keep Barista Exchange Free

Are you enjoying Barista Exchange? Is it helping you promote your business and helping you network in this great industry? Donate today to keep it free to all members. Supporters can join the "Supporters Group" with a donation. Thanks!

Clicky Web Analytics

© 2021   Created by Matt Milletto.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service