Taking over a business

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Taking over a business

Postby DaveH » Fri Jul 23, 2004 10:01 am

Hi, I'm looking for advice on starting to sell espresso and espresso based drinks.

I'm in the process of buying a tearoom in the Midlands (UK), where about 75% of the trade will be tourism. Currently the only coffee sold is filter coffee from a jug.

I would like to roast my own, but wonder whether this may be too ambitious?

Any advice on equipment and suppliers would be gratefully received

Thanks :)


Postby phil » Fri Jul 23, 2004 10:54 am

Hi Dave.

Thanks for sharing this with the group. We wish you every success. Whereabouts in the Midlands btw?

Roasting your own might be rather ambitious, but at least one other member of the group runs a coffee shop (in Hull) and roasts his own. Maybe he can comment on the issues you'll face. One thing though - roasting coffee shop quantities in a small commercial roaster is nothing like the home roasting experience, as some of our other members can attest.

Re the recommendations, well a few names come to mind but rather than being seen to advertise someone's business in our forums I'd rather discuss this with you by email if you don't mind. Drop me a line using the Contact option (top left) and we'll take it from there. If any of the other members want to contribute to this part of your question perhaps I can put you in touch?

Best wishes with your venture my friend. Let us know where you are and I'm sure that some of us (well the UK members anyway) could stop by sometime.


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Postby mattmills » Fri Jul 23, 2004 3:11 pm

Hi Dave,

I am not sure about the whole roasting thing as i think that you may find it a hard thing to juggle with the shop as i know a number of people who have given up, but if you really want to go down this root it does give you a certain edge.

If you are looking at having a shop with high quality coffee then i know a number of very good distributors in the Midland areas that would be able to sort you out with the coffee and machines and servicing, if this is what you are looking for. If it is of interest tey can also arrange for you to have your own blend.

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Postby Joey » Sat Jul 24, 2004 12:04 am

Good luck with your venture!
I'm in the middle of opening a store in Vienna - so I know what you are - or will be going throu ;-)
As I have the luck to have a micro roaster near me I don't dare trying to roast as good as he does. I simpley couldn't.
There is so much more to roasting then switching a machine on and off - I think you need a lot of experience, patience and green beans before you produce the perfect product.
I don't know how it's in the UK, but here in ym town it's almost impossible to get the permissions for a roasting machine in a house with so many neighbours. And the ventilation with all the filters costs a lot of money . And if just one neighbour complaints about smell - they can make me stop roasting immediately.

But in any chase - please keep us informed how you are doing!
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Postby Guest » Sat Jul 24, 2004 2:59 pm

Thanks for your kind messages.

We're looking to take over the business in September, so would like to at least know what my options are before then, and to have had a look at a few espresso machines, and try to understand what's involved in running a (successful) coffee shop.

Thanks again



Postby Joey » Sun Jul 25, 2004 12:48 am

Dave, have you ever read "How to start & run a coffee shop"? I don't have the book here right now, but I think one of the autors is called Matzer or Matzen or something like that... maybe Michel can help!
When do you have to open your store? I would highly recommend to visit the next Coffee Fest in Seattle. They offer a business seminar called "how to open a coffee shop", it's over 3 days. I learned a lot there!!!!!! It's everything about equipment, marketing, employees, calculating and writing your business plan, and much more. The hints from all other attendants and "teachers" where worth gold.
And every day we practised on huge gastronomy espresso machines - I even made my first latte art there.

I have not heard of a business seminar like that in Europe yet - only barista classes...and I have to say some marketing strategies from the americans are really good.

At the same time the Coffee Fest has a fair and some other classes you (or better your partner) can attend for free. and collect knowledge.

If you want to know more send me a PM as I don't want to get complains for "advertising"....

About the espresso machines - how many espresso based drinks will you sell per day? That will help you to decide how many groups your machine should have. When you compare the different brands, read everything technically and decide if you do want a machine that for example has an outstanding technique - but therefore needs more maintenance and double the amount of gaskets, or the service company is far away and costs a lot of hours and money....

Or think if you really want to have a huge double boiler machine when you only sell lup to 15 drinks per hour,but don't have the customer flow like a Starbucks on Broadway - you will have a lot of stale water in your boilers....

Using 20oz cups? Need a machine with a higher distance between the drip tray and the group, bacause pulling shots in a shotglass and then pouring the espresso in the huge cup makes you lose precious crema...

But that's just my humbled opinion.
Just consider your real needs before you buy equipment.

I hope this is not worth less bla bla that you already figured out - why don't you ask the exact questions, that makes it easier to reply? ;-)

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