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Hi, we are a newly formed company in South Liverpool. We have just signed the lease on a lovely grade 2 listed building with the intention of starting up a coffee shop. We are all newbies to the industry with a shared love of coffee.

Any comments/help would be appreciated, we would especially like to hear from local suppliers as we are starting from scratch.

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Hi, we are a newly formed company in South Liverpool. We have just signed the lease on a lovely grade 2 listed building with the intention of starting up a coffee shop. We are all newbies to the industry with a shared love of coffee.

Any comments/help would be appreciated, we would especially like to hear from local suppliers as we are starting from scratch.

Welcome

Good luck.

Find someone with experience to help you.

It's a Steep learning curve.

Do you make coffee at home all?


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

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Maybe try to get some decent barista training for starters if you are starting from scratch, so that you know what it takes to make good coffee


The peculiarity of espresso beverage is the simultaneous presence of three dispersed phases coexisting within a matrix, namely a concentrated solution of salts, acids, sugars, caffeine and many other hydrophilic substances. These phases are: an emulsion of oil droplets, a suspension of solid particles and an effervescence of gas bubbles, which evolves into a foam.

MildredM's towels, joey24dirt's tamper, Norvin's dosing ring, Portaspresso Rossa PG Air and HC-P, Kinu M68, Feld47 travel, Aergrind, Bellman steamer, IMS baskets, Hario Syphon TC3, Java Maestro dripper, Chemex, French press, Gnali & Zani moka pot, Bonavita kettle & scales, BWT Bestmax Premium

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Thanks for the replies. Yes we do make coffee at home but not at a professional level, so we have scheduled in some barista training. ��

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Presumably the building is already kitted out / suitable for a coffee shop to run from it? Things like plumbing, toilets, access etc? I would guess anything with a listed status is more complicated to fix or change.

 

Do you have a website/blog/social media? Telling the story of how you are building the business 'as you do it' might help you get more customers through the door on day 1 (and anything that gets you more customers is probably a good thing).

 

Do you have an opening day already scheduled ? Must be exciting getting to buy all that shiny new coffee making gear!

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Thanks for the input ZappyAd, no such luck with the building we are basically starting from scratch. Toilet facilities are in place although we want to make them suitable for wheelchair access. Kitchen is currently non-existant. Architect has been in today taking sizes, so going to see what he comes back with. Plumbing/electrics is going to have to be completely redone. Website is complete but not yet live till we have things more firmly planned. As for the shiny stuff, still trying to decide where to start (hence the thread!)

Aiming for a new year/January start. We have a lot to do!!

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If it were me, id make a trip to London to visit some of the more successful independents to get a real feeling for how they have *differentiated* their business and made it work. This may put you ahead of the curve in Liverpool. I’d certainly visit Grind in Holborn and also London Bridge, Prufrock in Clerkenwell, and Monmouth in Monmouth Street WC2. These are the places that have people queuing out the door. A nice problem to have.


Espresso: Ceado E92 (modified for single dose); Vesuvius; VST baskets and refractometer.

Other: Aeropress, Sowden and Alessi Moka Pot; Mazzer Robur doser with Auber timer; Mazzer Mini E; Expobar Leva Dual Boiler

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With minimal kitchen facilities you're going to have to major on coffee and cake. Both need to be VERY good to draw people past "Café Costafewbucks" which is probably in a much more convenient location for shoppers. Then there's the thorny issue of free WiFi. If you have it, you will attract business types who want to use your café as a free meeting room - and those annoying macbook people who order a single skinny chocamoccaccino and make it last over an hour. At first, it might attract people, but there may come a point where people wanting coffee and cake can't get a seat so they walk on by while "Mr Dotcom" sits there all morning with one drink. There is a café in Clerkenwell where coffee and cake is FREE, but you pay by the minute for a chair! (That's London for you).

 

Are you going to be child/dog friendly? It's easy to say "oh we won't want to exclude anyone" but it's not that simple - people will exclude themselves if they want peace and quiet to chat and you've got prams, dogs and kids everywhere. Equally, those people may be sufficiently catered for elsewhere so by offering a place where mums can have a rest and take the kids for a wee and a snack you might do well if you're the only place doing so. A lot will come down to location and who walks past. Have you sat outside the building and built up an idea of footfall (demographic, time of day, quantity)?

 

Also worth thinking about in addition to espresso based drinks is what brew methods you want to offer. These are often priced above espresso based coffee due to the extra work involved. V60s are popular and add coffee cred to your counter if you have one of those V60 brew stands made from old bits of plumbing! Cold brew and nitro cold brew are a great thing to keep customers interested in summer. Syphon adds a huge amount of theatre but might be impractical if you get busy. Batch brew could be perfect if you're near a train or bus station as you may get people in a hurry who just want something warm wet and wakeful.

 

Good luck.

Edited by hotmetal

Rocket R58Ceado E37SAeropressAerGrind • Puck Puck cold brew widget • VST 18g basket • Torr Goldfinger 58.5 convex black Ti/walnut tamper • Torr Goldfinger 58.5 flat sharp edge tamper • Big bag o' beans • Triumph Street Triple 675R

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Thanks for the input ZappyAd, no such luck with the building we are basically starting from scratch. Toilet facilities are in place although we want to make them suitable for wheelchair access. Kitchen is currently non-existant. Architect has been in today taking sizes, so going to see what he comes back with. Plumbing/electrics is going to have to be completely redone. Website is complete but not yet live till we have things more firmly planned. As for the shiny stuff, still trying to decide where to start (hence the thread!)

Aiming for a new year/January start. We have a lot to do!!

 

Have you done any research on prospective football around the building ? Competiton already in place ?

Will it be office daytime customers ? Tourists? Students?


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

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Thanks for the input ZappyAd, no such luck with the building we are basically starting from scratch. Toilet facilities are in place although we want to make them suitable for wheelchair access. Kitchen is currently non-existant. Architect has been in today taking sizes, so going to see what he comes back with. Plumbing/electrics is going to have to be completely redone. Website is complete but not yet live till we have things more firmly planned. As for the shiny stuff, still trying to decide where to start (hence the thread!)

Aiming for a new year/January start. We have a lot to do!!

 

Have you decided even how you are going to get your coffee and who from?


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

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Thanks for the input ZappyAd, no such luck with the building we are basically starting from scratch. Toilet facilities are in place although we want to make them suitable for wheelchair access. Kitchen is currently non-existant. Architect has been in today taking sizes, so going to see what he comes back with. Plumbing/electrics is going to have to be completely redone. Website is complete but not yet live till we have things more firmly planned. As for the shiny stuff, still trying to decide where to start (hence the thread!)

Aiming for a new year/January start. We have a lot to do!!

 

Is it really possible to get everything done in time for a January opening? That's like 8 weeks away minus several weeks over Christmas / New Year where everyone is away or on holiday or not available at the right time or in the right order. That seems super organised if you can pull it off.

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Thanks Obnic, may well take on a few excursions. Looking forward to a tasting session on Saturday at "Crosby Coffee".

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With minimal kitchen facilities you're going to have to major on coffee and cake. Both need to be VERY good to draw people past "Café Costafewbucks" which is probably in a much more convenient location for shoppers. Then there's the thorny issue of free WiFi. If you have it, you will attract business types who want to use your café as a free meeting room - and those annoying macbook people who order a single skinny chocamoccaccino and make it last over an hour. At first, it might attract people, but there may come a point where people wanting coffee and cake can't get a seat so they walk on by while "Mr Dotcom" sits there all morning with one drink. There is a café in Clerkenwell where coffee and cake is FREE, but you pay by the minute for a chair! (That's London for you).

 

Thanks hotmetal, some very valid points.

Are you going to be child/dog friendly? It's easy to say "oh we won't want to exclude anyone" but it's not that simple - people will exclude themselves if they want peace and quiet to chat and you've got prams, dogs and kids everywhere. Equally, those people may be sufficiently catered for elsewhere so by offering a place where mums can have a rest and take the kids for a wee and a snack you might do well if you're the only place doing so. A lot will come down to location and who walks past. Have you sat outside the building and built up an idea of footfall (demographic, time of day, quantity)?

 

Also worth thinking about in addition to espresso based drinks is what brew methods you want to offer. These are often priced above espresso based coffee due to the extra work involved. V60s are popular and add coffee cred to your counter if you have one of those V60 brew stands made from old bits of plumbing! Cold brew and nitro cold brew are a great thing to keep customers interested in summer. Syphon adds a huge amount of theatre but might be impractical if you get busy. Batch brew could be perfect if you're near a train or bus station as you may get people in a hurry who just want something warm wet and wakeful.

 

Good luck.

 

Thanks hotmetal you have some very valid points, without giving away too much of the business plan.

Footfall/demographic survey done, we will be having wifi but will be quite child oriented.

Kitchen facilities still in planning, we have to work around the existing toilet which is causing a problem with the amount of space left for the kitchen.

As for other drink options not even thought about it yet!

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Have you done any research on prospective football around the building ? Competiton already in place ?

Will it be office daytime customers ? Tourists? Students?

 

Thanks Mrboots2u, we have identified the competition, which to be fair isn't a great deal at the location. We do have a target customer base which will be announced nearer the opening time.

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Have you decided even how you are going to get your coffee and who from?

 

Not yet, hence this forum. We are having a taster session with a local supplier on Saturday!

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Is it really possible to get everything done in time for a January opening? That's like 8 weeks away minus several weeks over Christmas / New Year where everyone is away or on holiday or not available at the right time or in the right order. That seems super organised if you can pull it off.

 

Got to have a target! We realise it may slip a bit but we are going as quick as we can, change of use planning permission is going in this week and that can take 10 weeks!!

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Got to have a target! We realise it may slip a bit but we are going as quick as we can, change of use planning permission is going in this week and that can take 10 weeks!!
Don't forget you will need listed building consent on top of change of use. Make sure your architect or planning advisor is clued up on listed building side of things.

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Got to have a target! We realise it may slip a bit but we are going as quick as we can, change of use planning permission is going in this week and that can take 10 weeks!!

 

Is there a plan b if change of use is denied? Presumably you can get out of the lease or maybe sub-let it?

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Is there a plan b if change of use is denied? Presumably you can get out of the lease or maybe sub-let it?

 

We do have a "back out" clause in the tenancy agreement, however everyone we have spoke to doesn't think there will be a problem .

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Don't forget you will need listed building consent on top of change of use. Make sure your architect or planning advisor is clued up on listed building side of things.

 

Thanks fenix. Shouldn't be a problem as we are not changing any external features, internally only moving partition walls.

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Why did you choose to do this?

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Not yet, hence this forum. We are having a taster session with a local supplier on Saturday!

Ok you have to weigh up whether you want roaster only or a roaster who can help you lease / buy machines

Don't go with the first roaster you choose , shop around .


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

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Interesting no one has raised the key issue of what kit, espresso machine-wise, you're planning to use not to mention grinder(s) and associated kit - e.g. for brewed/pour over coffee. Are you planning to concentrate on a single jobbing house blend bean for all your coffee or are you planning to offer single origin with option for brewed, i.e. pour over?


Londinium-R - EKS43 running SSP Silver Knight burrs

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Thanks fenix. Shouldn't be a problem as we are not changing any external features, internally only moving partition walls.
The listing covers inside and out, it can also cover outside spaces such as a garden. You can even be liable for changes that other people have made. Moving partition walls will most likely require permission, drilling holes to run pipework could also require permission.

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