Jump to content

Taking a leap of faith & setting up a coffee shop


Recommended Posts

Hello Coffee Forums, my partner and I took the very exciting and rather terrifying decision to set off a new venture and open a coffee shop in not-so-sunny Sheffield. We have just secured ourselves a 2nd hand San Remo Verona TCS in very good condition (I spoke to the engineer who serviced it last November) which we will be collecting next week. We've both had basic barista training but choosing our own setup is proving quite a challenge! I'm basically here to try and get as much information as possible to help us make the right decisions over the up coming weeks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

'Coffee shops' seem to fit into a few distinct categories.

 

You have your big brand Costas and Starbucks, the brand sells the very much below average coffee.

You have your cafe's that do coffee, some of them do average coffee, some do damn awful coffee, but you usually find these in places where the costs are low and customers easy to please.

And you have coffee shops that do good or great coffee where the coffee is a core part of their business, the customers are much harder to please and will soon forget you if you are below average.

 

Obviously food is another key part of the strategy of any coffee shop. You need to really know your market and what you are heading for. Your post asking about grinders suggests your knowledge on speciality coffee is limited. Who is going to keep a quality check on your coffee? It needs monitoring throughout the day by someone who knows exactly what they are doing and how to adjust the variables to ensure the coffee is at a high standard.

 

Unless you hit your market perfectly and are able to hire a head barista then the head barista is likely to be yourself. Before starting the business you really need to be sure you are going to be able to deliver the product you want your coffee shop to sell.

Link to post
Share on other sites
'Coffee shops' seem to fit into a few distinct categories.

 

You have your big brand Costas and Starbucks, the brand sells the very much below average coffee.

You have your cafe's that do coffee, some of them do average coffee, some do damn awful coffee, but you usually find these in places where the costs are low and customers easy to please.

And you have coffee shops that do good or great coffee where the coffee is a core part of their business, the customers are much harder to please and will soon forget you if you are below average.

 

Obviously food is another key part of the strategy of any coffee shop. You need to really know your market and what you are heading for. Your post asking about grinders suggests your knowledge on speciality coffee is limited. Who is going to keep a quality check on your coffee? It needs monitoring throughout the day by someone who knows exactly what they are doing and how to adjust the variables to ensure the coffee is at a high standard.

 

Unless you hit your market perfectly and are able to hire a head barista then the head barista is likely to be yourself. Before starting the business you really need to be sure you are going to be able to deliver the product you want your coffee shop to sell.

 

Thanks for the positivity Dylan...

 

Our aim is to sell much, much better than average coffee (maybe one day even 'good' or 'great') and take a lot of pride and care in doing so. Our knowledge may be limited compared to many on here but we are trying to find out as much as we can at every step, learning from people who know more than us (which is why I am posting on this forum) and applying our new knowledge to each decision as we go. I'm not completely clueless regarding grinders and already have a few models which I am looking for based on friendly advice from others, but I wanted to post a generic thread rather than a specific one to leave it as open as possible and see what came up. I have done some barista training and understand how crucial the grind is but budget has to be a consideration. Yes it will take some practice (which we will be doing prior to opening once we have our complete setup) but I'd like to think we are capable of monitoring and making making adjustments provided we have the right kit.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Best of luck with your venture - sounds really exciting. In my view the better the grinder you have the better coffee you will ultimately be able to produce (with less waste coffee) - go for a top end grinder ! Personally I like a place to have a house and a guest blend - to keep things interesting for regular customers. And also to have a couple of other coffees for brewed options. That small amount of choice keeps me going back in to my local coffee shop. I am a big fan of a coffee shop being a comfortable place with a range of seating options - somewhere to sit if you are alone / in a group etc. Just some of my views from a coffee shop going person. Best of luck and let us know how you get on. Adam

Fiorenzato F5 and La Spaziale Vivaldi 2

Not neutral cups

Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the positivity Dylan...

 

Our aim is to sell much, much better than average coffee (maybe one day even 'good' or 'great') and take a lot of pride and care in doing so. Our knowledge may be limited compared to many on here but we are trying to find out as much as we can at every step, learning from people who know more than us (which is why I am posting on this forum) and applying our new knowledge to each decision as we go. I'm not completely clueless regarding grinders and already have a few models which I am looking for based on friendly advice from others, but I wanted to post a generic thread rather than a specific one to leave it as open as possible and see what came up. I have done some barista training and understand how crucial the grind is but budget has to be a consideration. Yes it will take some practice (which we will be doing prior to opening once we have our complete setup) but I'd like to think we are capable of monitoring and making making adjustments provided we have the right kit.

 

Are you here for advice or blind positivity?

 

I don't mean to be rude or put you down, but setting up any business when you are only just starting to learn about its core product is an enourmous risk.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am quite average guy, so apart from previous suggestions, make sure you get nice staff working in the shop. I guess you'll do most, but still might need someone else.

 

Maybe I'm biased. Some climbing shops I am regular at will do everything to please a customer. It's because most of staff are climbers as well and we tend to look after each other. I assumed it's the same in the coffee shops, but damn you can get better service at 'bucks (but not better coffee!).

Link to post
Share on other sites
I haven't been into Starbucks in a long time, but I certainly dont remember amazing service being something they did.

 

Well, that's what I mean... Shop with good coffee and poor staff would still be better than bad coffee with average/good service. I guess I am being picky as I have a good choice of specialty coffee shops (10+ maybe?) within walking distance.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say location is 50% of your success, very little people will go out of their way to find a cafe even if the coffee is really good. If you have the right a spot you'll get a mixture of different clients, from geeks to average type customers who just want a caffeine kick, if you are away from a busy street / area you better make sure you offer something special or you are surrounded by offices to grab all the folk at lunch time (then food also becomes a major priority).

 

T.

Espresso: Londinium L1, ZR-71 grinder

Photography: Flickr

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • About
    Coffee Forums UK is the UK's premier coffee forum Started in June 2008 by Glenn Watson, we now have more than 24000 mainly UK based members, and welcome more than 3000 members and visitors from around the world each day! With strategic investment and digital expertise from the Jackson Lockhart team (Tait Pollack and Adam Bateman), we are taking Coffee Forums UK to the next level, and are delighted to share the journey with you.

    New Members:
    We are often referred to as the friendliest forum on the web and we look forward to welcoming you onboard. Please read our Terms of Use. We stick by them, existing members please familiarise yourselves with them.

    Advertising

    Coffee Forums Media Kit

    Click Here To Buy Advertising Space 
    £100 p/m when paid yearly, up-to: 690000 banner impressions per month!

     

    coffee-subscription-mini.png

    Become a friend of CFUK
    Buy Us A Monthly Coffee (massive thank you!) 

     

    Donate / Sponsor

    Click Here To Donate (big thank you!)

    Get Your Supporter Badge Today (per year)

    image.png



    Coffee Forums Logo
     

×
×
  • Create New...