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  • OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Hello All,

    Havent been around much lately we have been arranging a premises to open our own cafe and have finally settled on a location!!! The lease should be written up and signed by within the next week or so and we have access from January 1st! It is an empty shell in the Melbourne CBD that is an ex printing house! Were very excited but would like as much info as possible regarding as much as possible!!!

    We have thought a good name for it would be paper plane as it is an ex print house and the name of a song we both love... thoughts on this welcome... please be critical!

    Also, should be buy our own coffee machine or lease one through a coffee company? To be honest, I dont really fancy of the big name brands but worry about servicing the machine etc.

    Id love to have COFFEE SNOBS coffee in our cafe if feasable... is whole sale purchasing an option here?

    Does anyone know who the best (best value) people would be to use to fit out the shop? As in refrigerated display cabinets etc.

    What Coffee Machine would be best... I hope to do around 300 coffees per day as well as have sandwiches, cakes etc. but also some really great food that is simple, tasty and wholesome... how about friges, ovens fryers etc...

    If any one has anything to offer to assist, we would be greatly appreciate it!

    We will have access from January 1st and will be opening April 1st (hopefully) so we still have plenty of time... but i need to start the research now!!!

    Thanks in advance to those that can help... you will all be invited for a coffee on the house

    Cheers! [smiley=beer.gif]

    Steve & Kylie Taylor

  • #2
    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome

    Wow Steve....sounds like youre going into this venture with your eyes wide shut. I guess you are going to spend many, many nights between now and then doing heaps of research, or at least should.

    Great to see you go with your passion and that you are open to criticisim/advice. Speak to Chris (2mcm)...what youre looking for sounds like its right down his alley.

    Oh and for my 2 cents worth - choose a name that reflects what you are doing paper plane is too obscure.

    Sorry if thats too blunt

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome

      Originally posted by stevenkylie link=1191931014/0#0 date=1191931014
      Hello All,

      Havent been around much lately   we have been arranging a premises to open our own cafe and have finally settled on a location!!! The lease should be written up and signed by within the next week or so and we have access from January 1st! It is an empty shell in the Melbourne CBD that is an ex printing house! Were very excited but would like as much info as possible regarding as much as possible!!!
      Wow Steven- Congrats!

      Melbourne CBD is hypercompetitive and there are more failures than successes. I trust you have applied due diligence in as many areas as possible?

      We have thought a good name for it would be paper plane as it is an ex print house and the name of a song we both love... thoughts on this welcome... please be critical!
      No probs with the name- so long as you follow through with the concept. Employ some great designers to get it right for you!

      Also, should be buy our own coffee machine or lease one through a coffee company? To be honest, I dont really fancy of the big name brands but worry about servicing the machine etc.
      Buy if possible- and get a good one. Nothing is "free"

      Id love to have COFFEE SNOBS coffee in our cafe if feasable... is whole sale purchasing an option here?
      Yeppers- Andy can help you

      Does anyone know who the best (best value) people would be to use to fit out the shop? As in refrigerated display cabinets etc.
      Hit the auctions and scrounge as much good stuff as possible. Commercial equipment costs a fortune and sells 2nd hand for nothing. Buy someones heartbreak

      What Coffee Machine would be best... I hope to do around 300 coffees per day as well as have sandwiches, cakes etc. but also some really great food that is simple, tasty and wholesome... how about friges, ovens fryers etc...
      Get a great machine and use is better than anyone else in the CBD. Look at the best places in Melbourne...Why do they do well? Do your numbers well. It takes a heap of sales just to cover your expenses and more fail than succeed...

      If any one has anything to offer to assist, we would be greatly appreciate it!

      We will have access from January 1st and will be opening April 1st (hopefully) so we still have plenty of time... but i need to start the research now!!!

      Thanks in advance to those that can help... you will all be invited for a coffee on the house

      Cheers!  [smiley=beer.gif]

      Steve & Kylie Taylor
      Good luck. Its a tough business. Say goodbye to your life and family for at least 3 years. Assume that best you will earn is wages and perhaps nothing at all for 12 months or so. Can you sustain that?

      There a lots of romantic notions about the cafe business. I see sea-changers every time I teach- They have the package and they are going to make a buck out of their own cafe. Sadly, many fail because they have no idea of how to run their own business. There is no harder location that CBD (except for shopping centres). Be careful!

      Chris

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome

        You Guys Are Great...

        So Prompt...

        I have been managing a Cafe (Coffee CLub) at DFO Essendon for the last 18 months and have built up my own catering business over the last 4 years (running from home) so the cafe will also support the catering so rent will be split 50/50 which will help!

        I know this will be hard work... thats all Ive known for the last 4 years so thats fine!

        My wife is a very successful Architect so she should be able to support us for the first couple of years while we establish...

        The fact is, I cant imagine myself in any other indusrty... I LOVE IT! Once its in you... its in you!!!

        Thanks again...

        Cheers! [smiley=beer.gif]

        Steve

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome

          Originally posted by Talk_Coffee link=1191931014/0#2 date=1191931982
          There a lots of romantic notions about the cafe business. I see sea-changers every time I teach- They have the package and they are going to make a buck out of their own cafe. Sadly, many fail because they have no idea of how to run their own business. There is no harder location that CBD (except for shopping centres). Be careful!

          Chris
          All the best Steven.....

          But as Chris said above.... its not easy setting up a business - any business.

          Many of my colleagues also took early retirement at the same time I did and invested their "hard earned" to establish a business.... very few succeeded.... (none opened cafes by the way)...

          They all did what they had a real passion for - but lacked the business skills to make it work.

          I think the likelihood of success for these "sea-changers" is as follows:

          Good business skills but no care or passion for the business - sadly they succeed
          Good business skills and a real passion for what they do - amazing success
          No business skills but all the passion in the world for what they are about to do - most likely failure (as has happened to most of my colleagues).....

          Try to tap into as much business knowledge you can get, get a GOOD accountant and Id suggest care more about the dollars than the product...... (which is very hard for people with a real passion as their heart all too often rules their head)

          Just look at all the cafes serving crap coffee and mediocre food.... and doing very well thank you very much (and it certainly isnt because of their "product")

          Good luck.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome

            If you want to be recognised as a place to get a good coffee then thats your starting point, good coffee.
            Excellent service is equal to that.

            Both of those things will get you repeat business.

            If it we me and money not a problem then Id buy my own machine so as not to be tied to a coffee supplier.
            Then I could choose my own coffee and not be limited by the same old brands out there.
            Andys Brown beans come to mind.

            Do plenty of research. Passion alone will not keep the wolf fromthe door.

            Good luck.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome

              The best advice I can give you is the buy the machine and grinder outright...its cheaper in the long run and you get cheaper coffee prices from who ever you will be getting coffee from. Sign a lease on machines and they own your ass for the next 3 years - even if youre not making a profit! Get good equipment and not just any shiny, good looking machine on the bench.

              Secondly, go out there and taste as much coffee as you can...let your taste buds do the work for you and dont worry about price. Dont confuse volume for profits. You can do less volume and be more profitable if you know how!

              My next point ties 1 and 2 together. Make sure you try the coffees you want to use with the machine and grinder combo you will be using (or similar) to get a true representation of what it will really taste like. A La Marzocco shot will taste markedly different (and probably superior) to an espresso shot from a Wega or Azkoyen for example. If youre using a HX machine with a conical burr grinder, make sure you taste the coffee with a HX machine and a conical burr grinder at the roasters showroom.

              Good luck.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome

                Wow, big project guys.

                Great too see you are allowing plenty of time to get it all done although I’ll be surprised if you can wait 3 months after getting the keys before opening the doors.


                CS wholesale? Of course! In fact we are more than happy to work with business to develop a premium blend to suit your needs.
                ...and look at all the CoffeeSnobs you would also attract! Let me know when you need something and we will start the ball rolling.

                How big are the premises? Can you hint at where they are?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome

                  Andy...

                  Sounds GREAT!!! Exactly what Im after!

                  The entire building is around 130m Square which will have to include a decent kitchen for the catering side of things...

                  The building is on ABeckett St. Between Elizabeth & Swanston; not far from RMIT university, so naturally Ill get involved with the University and support/spnsor events and get the union in side! Kylie (my wife) studied there so we have a foot in the door already!

                  Competition near by includes a Gloria Jeans and an independant called Druids that has a pretty good following with the Uni... Coffee there isnt GREAT but its GOOD!

                  Very Nerver Racking times but the opportunity arose and we had to take this one... No Guts, No Glory as they say... Exciting though!

                  We are about to rennovate our home (talk about biting off more than you can chew) so we have negotiated extended terms in case we get held up with the house!

                  Maybe if we can get together early next year to arrange some tastings etc. and go through a few options, that would be great!

                  Cheers! [smiley=beer.gif]

                  Steve

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome

                    Wow a big dream which we can all jump into online!

                    All power to you!

                    I have sent steve and kylie an article, "Fundamentals of Coffee Business Success" written by an american coffee business consultant. I found this on another coffee web site, long before I found coffeesnobs (probably several weeks). I hope this is a useful addition to the support, advice and experience which you have got and will have.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome


                      Andy just thinking out loud here....

                      The risk with Uni students would have to be them taking-up seats for hours for a single cuppa!

                      Any chance of setting it up so that the espresso bar can open to the street as well as catering to those that want a seat?
                      (Im not sure it the volume of foot traffic in ABeckett St would warrant that but you would have a better idea)

                      Whenever I have looked a "cafe math" the biggest problem seems to be that you need a thousand seats at lunchtime but only a few in the quieter spots. The idea of getting customers that stay on-foot seems like getting paid double as the seat that they would have taken is still empty for the next punter.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome

                        hi
                        i would look at both new and used equipment. though be very careful when buying used from auction as they are always as is where is and may not work.
                        you should only buy new grinders and coffee machine and my recomendations would be
                        Grinders ;  Mazzer
                        Coffee Machine ; La Pavoni or Synesso
                        I have had a La Pav since i opened 6 years ago and love them, have only used a Synesso while training in Perth and they are wonderful and easy to use.

                        LE

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome

                          Hey Andy,

                          You and me (and my architect wife) are all on the same page...

                          In her preliminery plans, she has accounted for a coffee window where people can order directly from the street and keep walking. We saw this concept irst in Austria and loved it and have wanted to have it for some time... So the students will certainly be the target for this option, while encouraging business people to come in and have a nice lunch and a seat.

                          I guess the problem is always going to be the people that have a one cup, take up a table of four and sit there for an hour, but, these things are sent to try us...

                          Coffee Window - Locked In!

                          Is there anywhere to go where you can test different machines/grinders and see how they all work under one roof or is it going to be a pain staking task?

                          Cheers! [smiley=beer.gif]

                          Steve

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome

                            Originally posted by stevenkylie link=1191931014/0#0 date=1191931014
                            We have thought a good name for it would be paper plane as it is an ex print house and the name of a song we both love... thoughts on this welcome... please be critical!
                            Angus and Julia stone? great song, if im on the right track, theyre at the corner next week.

                            Good luck with your project when its up and running Ill have to try it out and reccommend it to my brother and father who both work in the cbd.


                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome

                              You Got It!

                              A & J Stone are awesome... yeah, were seing them at the corner on Thursday night! You going?

                              We saw them at East Brunswick Club and fell in love with them... its close to us now and means a lot... but need to really think about the name of the cafe... its romantic and nice but still not 100% sure!

                              Recommendations are ALWAYS WELCOME!

                              Cheers! [smiley=beer.gif]

                              Steve

                              Comment

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