A business idea

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A business idea

Postby Ali G » Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:50 pm

Newbie here, waiting to be approved as a member, but I just couldn't wait to join before I posted! :D

Would it be an imposition to ask advice on a business idea?
At home I have a Gaggia Classic in need of refurbishing and a De Longhi (can't remember the model and I'm feeling too lazy to go downstairs and find out!). We don't drink huge amounts of coffee as we're both out all day, but when we do drink it we like to have a decent cup of joe. The problem in our area is getting good-quality coffee ground for espresso machines - yes, I know of Has Beans and the various others who do email order, but......

When I lived in Cambridgeshire, one of my weekend delights was to go into a local coffee shop and drown in the smell of freshly-ground coffee. Whilst absorbing the aromas, I'd look at the various coffee beans on the shelves, feeling like a kid in an old-fashioned sweet shop (for those old enough to remember that!), then pick the bean that I wanted to try that week and have it ground to order by a very helpful and friendly shopkeeper. There is nothing like that around here, and I'd love to replicate it!

Trouble is, apart from being mad keen on our coffee, we don't really know where to start, we're not sure if it's a pipe-dream or if it could be a going concern, so if there's anyone out there who's bean there, got the t-shirt, and happy to share a few hints and tips, I'd love to hear them!

And yes, before anyone suggests it, I know that the Enterprise Agency will give advice on setting up in business, but they'll just tell me to leave it the big boys - Costa have just arrived in our little town - what I'm really looking for is the thoughts of people who know and love coffee.

Thanks in anticipation,
Ali G

Postby lukas » Sun Sep 03, 2006 8:12 pm

Hey Ali, welcome aboard! I don't mean to be mean, but my suggestion would be: If you currently use preground coffee at home, in a Gaggia Classic, and are already thinking about making a living of it - calm down. There is soooo much to explore from your point "in the coffee world", take your time, enjoy your journey - but be patient, wait a year or two, begin to suck knowledge and try out everything you can - and then think about business :)

It'll sure be a fun ride!

This week I like my coffee luke-warm.
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Postby Steve » Sun Sep 03, 2006 8:26 pm

Hi Ali

I started out with exactly the same idea. I had a market stall in my home town, and it was awful. On our best ever day we took the grand total of £32 (our rent was £25 a day).

It was tough and hard work. I think the key to where we messed up was location and demand. Stafford is a strange place and not much call for what we were doing. So location location.

Find a unique selling point, and then you can beat the big boys. Look for somewhere people can try the coffee too, don’t rely on bean sales alone, the money is just not there, but if you can tempt people with drinks and then they want to take a bag home then that’s good.

Costa arriving is a very good sign. They do the homework to see if there is a demand. You just have to make your coffee better than theirs.
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Postby leecb » Mon Sep 04, 2006 4:27 pm

Steve said:
You just have to make your coffee better than theirs

Not too hard really :D
but you need a lot of experience for any business venture and especially one such as coffee/ food etc. I've seen lots of people try to open restaurants, bars or cafes because they love cooking- if only life were so simple!!
It's a lot of hard work with no guaranteed returns!
On the other hand if you're really passionate about something you have a good head start :lol:
This week I are mainly ready to get back to making muffins!"

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