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Thread: Just bought a Cafe!

  1. #1
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    Just bought a Cafe!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Well after 9 months of odd Barista jobs and research I have finally taken the plunge and bought a Cafe. It is at the Murdoch Uni Campus in Rockingham WA and is also frequented by the Community Library Folk. It is currently a Cafteria Style Cafe but the intention is to rebrand it and refit it to be a meeting place for academics/bookworms who happen to be coffee snobs too. My first day as the owner today andf the Uni staff are very excited about the changes. The Espresso machine and grinder are that non desript I couldnt even tell you what they were, needles to say the coffee snobs on campus soon heard about the change of ownership and sought me out to beg for good coffee. I re-assured them that we were going to be using the best espresso machine available and the best coffee we could source. IMHO(Single Origin PNG- Elimbari) I wont mention brands as the last time I did that on this forum I was berated by the mods :(

    To give you an idea the Cafe currently has chairs and tables and about 5 drinks fridges. We are cutting down to one drinks fridge and putting in a mix of some lounges, coffee tables etc so it has some soul. The current staff are a little worried about having to go back to the ******** Barista Academy, giving me a look like, "what!, you want to train me to make Coffee, Ive been doing it for years, whats the problem?" , and like the diplomatic boss I am I gently explained that we have a different way of making coffee than "most" cafes. I went on explain that unless you have been to a Barista Training Course or in this case Academy, its kinda like going to Church with having read the bible, you know its the right thing to do but your not exactly sure why?

    We will be maintaining a low profile for 5 weeks or so to get a feel for the current customers and area and then rebranding/refurnishing the Cafe to attract our Target market.

    Once again at the fear of attracting the wrath of the mods/sponsors I wont share the name but rest assured the Coffee Snobs culture is spreading to the Southern Suburbs of Perth.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought a Cafe!

    Lovely BaB
    All the best on the new venture

    Please keep us updated with new equipment choices

    KK

  3. #3
    Super Moderator scoota_gal's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought a Cafe!

    My first question was going to be...

    Is it by the beach?

    But, sadly it is not! ;D

    Ah well...good luck BaB! I admire those with the guts to get out and get into business for themselves...personally, I dont think I could work that hard!

  4. #4
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    Re: Just bought a Cafe!

    Woo hoo, well done. :)

    Too bad youre not in Newcastle - I want some practise on real machines!

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    Re: Just bought a Cafe!

    Thats awesome! Good Luck with you new business...

  6. #6
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought a Cafe!

    Congratulations on your new venture BaB, Im sure it will be an asset to the coffee culture south of the river.
    Best of luck.......................gm

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    Re: Just bought a Cafe!

    Congratulations - can you email me at cafe(dot)grendel(at)gmail(dot)com so that I can some down for a visit and a few photos when you are up and running?

  8. #8
    Senior Member askthecoffeeguy's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought a Cafe!

    Congratulations on starting your own cafe BnB!

    Im sure that youve got it all sorted, but as someone whos owned cafes on campus for the last five years, Im happy to help out if you need some advise / someone to bounce ideas off etc

    Feel free to drop me a line if youre interested - and good luck!

    Pat

  9. #9
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    Re: Just bought a Cafe!

    Thanks for all the best wishes guys. Must admit, from someone whos just come from the Espresso Bar scene the food has got me a little befuddled, just as well the staff have me in line, even writing me a shopping list for the next day. Okay, heres the plan, Synesso Sabre two group & Swift Grinder....ok, ok, I here the groans, yes a swift might be seen as the weak link here but the aim is bringing a consistent experience to our local market that is lacking from the Gloria Break Blue Merchant Clubs of the shopping centre giants! In time if we manage to train great Baristas from our local pool of talent we may let them loose on a proper grinder. One thing we have going for us is that you dont have to park in a humungous shoppping centre carprak and battle your way through crowds to get to us. Being a Satellllite campus of the Uni we are very easily accessed and found.

    Will be a balancing act as we try to continue to meet Student needs but attract the broader Coffee Drinking Public. The prices will have to move, currently 8oz 3.00, 12oz 3.30 and 16oz 3.60. Would like to hear thoughts on pricing once I move to beans that are costing $35 kg.

  10. #10
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    Re: Just bought a Cafe!

    Quote Originally Posted by scoota gal link=1213974140/0#2 date=1214009234
    My first question was going to be...

    Is it by the beach?

    But, sadly it is not! ;D

    Ah well...good luck BaB! I admire those with the guts to get out and get into business for themselves...personally, I dont think I could work that hard!
    Very apt comment actually, I couldnt afford the rents on the foreshore. I run with my local Triathlon friends along the foreshore paths every Sunday morning and then we enjoy....scratch that....stomach a cuppa, just for fellowship sake at one of the many forshore cafes. IMHO none of them have a clue......I have worked for one of them (Major Franchise) and I know another whose supplier is embaressed to be associated with them. I lament at the huge expense they put into fitting out their fine estalblishments without investing is proper Barista training/standards.

    If they did do it well people like me would not bother opening or rebranding Cafes that are hoping to attract dissatisfied Espresso Lovers.

    On the "personally, I dont think I could work that hard!" comment, I have been a shift worker for over 20 years in the Navy and Police so I see this as a fun occupation, getting to work day shift, Monday to Friday, greeting people with a smile rather than a "Afternoon Sir, do you know why Ive pulled you over?"

    Yes, I dont expect to get Rich in this business, but I will have a life and in the months to come learn lessons that will stand me in good stead when I invest a lot more in further businesses. But that is a story for another post........ :)



  11. #11
    Super Moderator scoota_gal's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought a Cafe!

    Quote Originally Posted by Barely a Barista link=1213974140/0#8 date=1214315413
    Will be a balancing act as we try to continue to meet Student needs but attract the broader Coffee Drinking Public. The prices will have to move, currently 8oz 3.00, 12oz 3.30 and 16oz 3.60. Would like to hear thoughts on pricing once I move to beans that are costing $35 kg.
    If you havent already, you should get in touch with Andy. Im sure that he could do you a better price than 35 bucks a kilo and Espresso Wow is very very good!

    We sell our 12oz for 3.80 and our 16oz are 4.30. And were in the middle of no where. We also dont pay much more than $25/kg but we pray an absolute premium for milk! Because apparently, theres a drought... ::)

  12. #12
    TC
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    Re: Just bought a Cafe!

    Quote Originally Posted by Barely a Barista link=1213974140/0#8 date=1214315413
    ..... Okay, heres the plan, Synesso Sabre two group & Swift Grinder....<snip>.... Would like to hear thoughts on pricing once I move to beans that are costing $35 kg.
    Hi BAB,

    If you are paying $35/kg they must be giving you the Synesso and Swift and a heap of other stuff? *:-?

    Alternately, you are being comprehensively shafted....

    More homework might be required there and as per Scoots suggestion, have a chat with Andy as well. You will be glad that you did...

  13. #13
    Bon
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    Re: Just bought a Cafe!

    I thought wholesale coffee price was around $25/kg.

    Theres a couple of good roasters in Perth who have sold me quality stuff at $30/kg and $25/kg retail.

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    Re: Just bought a Cafe!

    Hi BaB,

    Great news, and so close. I will have to come and sample the coffee :) You are spot on with the competing outlets - generally scalding reheated brownish milk. Can I assume you do traditional machiattos (not the Fremantle double-shot latte)?

    I suspect your supplier is the same place I get mine (just down the road?), but I pay the premium as a home user and have it delivered to the door (appears to cost more if you pickup).

    I wish you the very best and it may even get me back to the library. What are your opening times?

    Ron

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    Re: Just bought a Cafe!

    Congrats BaB!

    I will definitely put you on the agenda next time Im down that neck of the woods!

    On the milk side of things, a mate of mine (a cafe owner and fellow CS) has recently switched to Bannister Downs milk (fantastic creaminess and just brilliant for latte art!) and was suprised at just how competitive they were when compared to the big name brands!

    Best of luck!

    -Alchemist-

  16. #16
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    Re: Just bought a Cafe!

    Some buy a small home machine to start with and then getthe urge to upgrade their machines, grinders.. others buy a whole cafe!!

    Good on you for taking the plunge and not wanting to conform to the terribly low standards of commercial coffee in the aim of maximising profits. All the best to you in your endeavour and may more and more of the public come to discover how good coffee can be when done properly.

  17. #17
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    Re: Just bought a Cafe!

    Quote Originally Posted by -Alchemist- link=1213974140/0#14 date=1214373017
    On the milk side of things, a mate of mine (a cafe owner and fellow CS) has recently switched to Bannister Downs milk (fantastic creaminess and just brilliant for latte art!) and was suprised at just how competitive they were when compared to the big name brands!

    -Alchemist-
    Ill second that. I regularly get the Bannister Downs milk from my local Fresh Fruit & Veg shop and the taste is great. BTW - I also find Woolies milk is a good alternative.

    Ron

  18. #18
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    Re: Just bought a Cafe!

    Thanks to all for your best wishes, [smiley=thumbsup.gif] as you can understand now that I am head down bum up in the business the visits to CS will be less often. :(

    On the bean price, I am quoting retail price.....I have no idea of the wholesale price :o....I am trusting the supplier for the wholesale price as the owner is known to me personally ;) He is also only about 2km away so no excuses for freshness :)

    Opening times are yet to be firmed up. But when we re-brand the Cafe we will set times and market like heck :exclamation...if in the next couple of months we cant maintain the hours due to lack of custom we will adjust as necessary. I am going to try for 7am-4pm. May stay open longer if I can find a good Junior CS to work there after school.

    We will also be looking at being open for various interest groups/clubs etc.



  19. #19
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    Re: Just bought a Cafe!

    Well done. W.A market sounds great to open a cafe. Great idea with getting rid of those fridges!!! So annoying when you see cafes with 5 fridges and so many choices. One of my friends has 6 fridges in a small cafe selling the same thing in each fridge.

    The swift is great to get for untrained staff. However I would buy another grinder just for espresso down the track. The swift is not the greatest combo with the synesso. I would know, I gave it a go for a few months. Dosing techniques with the synesso baskets and robur combo is pretty easy. When my daughter was 3 she was pulling shots with it.
    The swift is really hard with coffee that is too fresh. Not like you can updose when needed. However its easy to use and it can your barista focus on milk.

    Good luck.

    Andrew

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    Re: Just bought a Cafe!

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Thanks for the well wishes Andrew, yes I agree with your grinder comments, I will have a Robur there as I intend running some coffee appreciation workshops for budding CSs and no doubt my CS friends will drop in to "play" ;)with the Synesso. So it will be used for those occassions and if or when I have a completely competent staff member on. ::) The trick is finding staff who actially care about what goes into the cup Im afraid. :( We will be taking on some young enthuisiastic Senior Schoolers and hope to develop one or two as Passionate Baristas. [smiley=2vrolijk_08.gif]



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