So I am working on my business plan pretty aggressively and
Lookings into available space which I am seeing possibilities between 1000 -1500 Sq ft. I have worked the # s and think the monthly gross sales are achieve able if I offer an extra service such as coffee/ tea service for walk in customers. The location I am really honing in on is in a well traveled location walking distance to the local train station. Does anybody who has a mixed business including cakes as well as small pastries cupcakes provide gourmet coffees and if so do you have recommendations or input as to how much space i should allot to this, coffee brewers they recommend? Etc, negatives?
My retail space is opening in about two months and I will be a full coffee bar too.
Wow, if you think scratch baking is hard, the coffee business is kicking my butt. It might help to know that I don't drink coffee, so this is baptism by fire.
I spend about 5 hours a day, every day, studying this industry. You have to know it and know it well.
Startup is about $8000 in equipment. Then you have to know how to use it, but with that kind of investment, most companies will help you out there... a little.
The big issue is what coffees to sell. There are so many to choose. I have finally made the decision to stock very litte at opening and start asking my customers what they like. This includes sample packages to give for free so that they can take it home and give me feedback. When I have some clear winners, then I will stock those bulk products.
And the number one issue... which four (six) to be your staple coffees. This is so important because this is where you will get customers to return for coffee. Once this is established, you can't change it because you will upset your regular clientele. So for me, this seems to be the most critical.
The espresso/cappuccino/etc. seems to be a little easier to figure out.
I have read every book on the subject and visited and studied the big wholesale sites. I am now at the point where I know enough to contact the companies. Contacting too soon will confuse you. So I have zero time to get this together, but I'm glad I have to buckle down and learn it.
By the way, the $8K is just for food service equipment. It doesn't include cups, products, fixings, etc.
Hope this helps. Susan