what would you say was the hardest part of starting your own business? Any sound advise for a future entrepreneur? Is it all location? Quality? a combination? Demographic?  Plus, is it better to hook up with local roasters? Inindate me with knowledge please!

Views: 200

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

it depends. i suppose you should tell the community what your perspective on coffee is, your experience with it, what you like about it, how deep into the rabbit hole you'd like to go - then we might be able to help more effectively
I currently am a manager in a Cafe, corporation, and I have a huge passion for coffee. Not just coffee, although it is my driving force, but serving my community also plays a huge role. Unfortunately there is only so much that is available when working for corporations, and my love for good coffee runs deeper than what they have to offer. My passion is to be the best and serve the highest quality. I feel my only avenue will be to open my own espresso bar. This will provide the vehicle to allow me to truly educate my community about coffee and invite people to explore all the possibilities!! I want to share my excitement with the world and ruin them forever by giving them the best coffee and experience they ever had!!! But where do you begin!
You write: "MY passion is to be the best and serve the highest quality. I feel my only avenue will be to open my own espresso bar."

I hear this so often from people starting up. But they make so many compormises along the way, they end up being a mediocre player in the espresso world. I am of the opinion that finding a decent espresso in North America is an exception rather than the norm. You would not get that feeling by reading the posts on this board.

Start by developing a clear picture of the quality level at which you wish to operate. Then seek out the sources that support that quality level, no matter where in the US it is. Your question, "Is it better to hook up with a local roaster?" says a lot.
i would assume from your profile pic you mean starbucks (which is ok, i used to work there too. it's just the mcdonalds of coffee, as i'm sure you well know). where i began after leaving starbucks was the asheville dripolator and getting back to pulling shots on a real machine. from what you've stated, i doubt you would be using verismo superautos at your fledgling coffeeshop, so it would be good to get a few months experience (whether volunteer or as a paid barista) working with the type of equipment you'll actually be using (proper grinders, semiauto espresos machines, pourover, chemex, aeropress, etc.)

however, you'll obviously be continuing in your present position for a while - and where you begin from this point would be lots and lots of education. take a year, at least, and study ridiculous amounts of blogs, forum posts, youtube videos, etc. save up a bit of money and attend the american barista and coffee school (link is amidst the ads on this page). take your time. find some good local shops and pick their brains if they're willing. go to barista competitions and coffee expos. DEFINITELY watch the US Barista Championship and World Barista Championship internet streams in april and june.

whatever you do, don't rush the process, and get a good grasp on where the standard actually is - don't half-ass it. there are a lot of things i still feel like i'm not up to snuff with, but i know how the best in the world do it and i'm striving to get there.
well, thanks for your opinion, I guess.

Dr. Joseph John said:
You write: "MY passion is to be the best and serve the highest quality. I feel my only avenue will be to open my own espresso bar."
I hear this so often from people starting up. But they make so many compormises along the way, they end up being a mediocre player in the espresso world. I am of the opinion that finding a decent espresso in North America is an exception rather than the norm. You would not get that feeling by reading the posts on this board. Start by developing a clear picture of the quality level at which you wish to operate. Then seek out the sources that support that quality level, no matter where in the US it is. Your question, "Is it better to hook up with a local roaster?" says a lot.
sound advise. I do not work for Starbucks, but close, so I do understand what you are saying. I have already had study on my own with the type of business I would be running. The coffee I serve now is not the coffee I want to serve. I like your advise about taking a year or more just to study.

Jared Rutledge said:
i would assume from your profile pic you mean starbucks (which is ok, i used to work there too. it's just the mcdonalds of coffee, as i'm sure you well know). where i began after leaving starbucks was the asheville dripolator and getting back to pulling shots on a real machine. from what you've stated, i doubt you would be using verismo superautos at your fledgling coffeeshop, so it would be good to get a few months experience (whether volunteer or as a paid barista) working with the type of equipment you'll actually be using (proper grinders, semiauto espresos machines, pourover, chemex, aeropress, etc.)
however, you'll obviously be continuing in your present position for a while - and where you begin from this point would be lots and lots of education. take a year, at least, and study ridiculous amounts of blogs, forum posts, youtube videos, etc. save up a bit of money and attend the american barista and coffee school (link is amidst the ads on this page). take your time. find some good local shops and pick their brains if they're willing. go to barista competitions and coffee expos. DEFINITELY watch the US Barista Championship and World Barista Championship internet streams in april and june.
whatever you do, don't rush the process, and get a good grasp on where the standard actually is - don't half-ass it. there are a lot of things i still feel like i'm not up to snuff with, but i know how the best in the world do it and i'm striving to get there.
RESEARCH!!! RESEARCH!!!!! Starting a new business has lots of problemss!!! But dont give up!! I'm in my 6-month of coffee operation at Purest Cafe!! and holy molly!! you will be super discourage during this phase!!! your daily sales will not be like those of the established!!! but like I say spend time and time and time RESEARCH...pick a great location!! and you'll will do well, understand your fellow competitors too!! will help!!! Truly be passionate about coffee!! if you're.....You will succeed in it!! I always believe in be in the business with a passion..or else don't do it at all!! : )!! Im rooting for you!! if u need any other thoughts or advices!! just let us know!!
Jared had a lot of sound advice and I would take al of what he said into consideration. Though now I am curious to where you are now.

I would try to get a job at an independent spot that represents what it is your trying to achieve. Get in the swing of things and get out of corporate mindset. Keep your position now to pay for the potential shop but try to get experience elsewhere.

I am in the process of opening my own cafe at this VERY moment and lord there is soooo many things to think about. First thing first is establishing the quality in which you feel competent in providing and making ZERO compromises a long the way. I have had to set back and re evaluate my budget but if I need to make cut backs... it is in an area in which does not compromise my finished product. I will serve one of the best cups... that I know... I will offer up some of the best roasting talent .. that I know... I wont compromise their product by using equipment that doesnt match the quality of my product.

Like Joseph said... dont become mediocre. I am hoping to god I can pull this off and I have been in the business for 9 years. Not only on the barista side but the roasting side as well. There are just so many factors to consider. Make your mistakes on other peoples dime. I am still not done making mistakes BUT it is now turn for me to make them on my own. I am in the belief there can be SOME room for error with location. While one of the most important factors yes... you can still have your A) spot and your B) spot's. As long as you feel you can be successful in both. As far as quality.. I already went over that. Be the best.. know your stuff... period. Demographic....well yah. How much money are people in the neighborhood making. What are their interests? I want to go to a more artsy, independent thinking community. Someplace where it is important for them to support local business AND receive quality products. I dont want to spend good money on giving someone a product they could care less about.

Go with a local roaster if you feel they offer a superior product. I myself am going with both a local and a distant roaster. I want to support the local roasters yes BUT I also want to introduce the public to some amazing players in the coffee game!

Hope this helped at all... my brain is fried from opening my own place so hopefully it all made sense. Good luck...
Some good advice here.

Not sure if you've seen any of the other discussions on this, but here's a very recent one. A search through the discussions will yield others.

The hardest part I'd say was having it totally take over your existence. Too many don't anticipate this at all and are not mentally prepared.

Other big challenges are starting with adequate funding (most don't) and upfit cost/timeline control.

So many people spend a disproportionate amount of time working out DOT numbers for car counts, median incomes, etc... it gives them a false sense of understanding their business. Focus more on concept, costs, execution plans, training, etc - the actual execution part of things. Figure out a great, great concept that fits your community (or some slice of it) and work out every facet of it to make it work.

More later. Good luck.
Stacy,
I will respond to your question blind or with out reading any other posts from some of my BX friends who have come to me as I have come to know them and their passion for coffee.
Very first I want to say, Good for you....the short answer to your questions are in the order you presented them;
Yes
No
No
Not necessarily, depends on which combination.
No
and finally your last one. Maybe.
Now for the long answer,
I can't inundate you with knowledge because it only comes from lots of experience. It's not something you can have given to or receive from another. What I can do is leave you with some thoughts based on my year and a half of experience as a barista/coffee roaster/baker/janitor/ etc., and still open for business. First and foremost change your barista exchange profile from private to public. Barista Exchange is a social networking site based almost entirely on trust between professionals. If you have some coffee background to private to share with us don't post it to your profile. My thoughts and most likely others as well might be, what is she got that is so private. I know , I might sound harsh here because a lot of Facebook folks and some BX members prefer to remain private. Well how do you carry on a professional exchange with someone who won't show themselves. I know your new here so this is just a suggestion. I'm going to spill my guts to you anyway because coffee is my passion and I hope yours as well.
I gave you my short answers because I opened up in the wrong location because it was the only building in downtown we could buy. We are still open and plan on staying open as long customers continue to support us. That said location is very important.
Quality? Very important in the long run. For me very important in the short run. I have seen many shops in a good location with very bad coffee. Lots of other factors play a serious role with this one.
Demographic, something to take into consideration for your business plan for sure.
Hooking up with a local roaster? Yes, as long as he/she is doing a good job. You will soon know if you choose poorly.
It's all about building good relationships, again, trust relationships based on experience. I kind of like you had very little or no experience in this business when I started out. Heck what did I know. A couple of years of home coffee roasting. No coffee business background. As it is I'm still a coffee padawan and will be for years to come. For three years I studied websites to find out what the trends were with coffee shops/roastery's. Spent many thousands of dollars to acquire the equipment some of what you can see on our website. It took me over a year to do the build out on the old 1920's house by myself with a little hired help. Take some time and research, doesn't need to be as long as I spent and you don't need a ton of money. Quite a bit but not a ton. Most of all do not believe anyone who says it's over your head, costs too much, yada yada yada, because 9 times out of 10 they have no idea what they are talking about and usually have an hourly job and most likely always will.
Keep doing what your doing now, ask tons of question, take notes. Wake up the next day and do it some more till it starts coming together. If your heart and soul are together on this your back side wont be far behind.
Please keep us posted here on BX. We support each other here as much as possible.
Cheers,
Now I will scroll down and see what others have had to say to your questions.
Joseph
--
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
"The hardest part I'd say was having it totally take over your existence. Too many don't anticipate this at all and are not mentally prepared."

This is so true.... I have looked at this as another child. I currently have a 10 years old but just like a new kid... it takes over my entire life. From the moment I wake... to the moment I sleep. IF I can sleep!

Brady said:
Some good advice here.

Not sure if you've seen any of the other discussions on this, but here's a very recent one. A search through the discussions will yield others.

The hardest part I'd say was having it totally take over your existence. Too many don't anticipate this at all and are not mentally prepared.

Other big challenges are starting with adequate funding (most don't) and upfit cost/timeline control.

So many people spend a disproportionate amount of time working out DOT numbers for car counts, median incomes, etc... it gives them a false sense of understanding their business. Focus more on concept, costs, execution plans, training, etc - the actual execution part of things. Figure out a great, great concept that fits your community (or some slice of it) and work out every facet of it to make it work.

More later. Good luck.
Your question, "Is it better to hook up with a local roaster?" says a lot.
How so?

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