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Thread: Coffee anyone?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Soterik's Avatar
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    Coffee anyone?

    Anyone here started our ran a coffee shop?

    I have an amazing location that has recently become available in a building I own.... So far I've had a lot of people who want the location, but I haven't found a tenant I want yet.

    Not that I need something else to do... And it's not like I need a hobby business. It can stay vacant till I find the right tenant. But the youngest son will need something to do when he comes back from college as well.

    I have a coffee supplier friend. I have a family member who is a baker who is willing to do that part.

    Will someone here please talk me out of this?!

    No, not a place for cars and coffee, it's at the intersection of major arterials.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Instagram Model Frank Beck's Avatar
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    Sounds like fun until you have employees who don’t share your DNA. Hiring Pacific Northwest barista-type people?

    Purposefully dealing with that ilk you would have to be out of your freaking mind. Most are one tattoo away from being homeless... and choose to live that way.


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  3. #3
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    I am sitting in a Starbucks right now, everyone here has at least 1 tattoo, one guy has a mohawk and another dreadlocks, Bob Marley is playing on the intercom. If you can deal with that go for it!
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  4. #4
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    Let your youngest son figure out what to do with the space (w/ you having final say/approval).
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  5. #5
    Instagram Model Frank Beck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruisingnkali View Post
    Let your youngest son figure out what to do with the space (w/ you having final say/approval).
    /\ /\ /\
    Excellent!

    How about an “urban workshop”? These are cropping up in So Kal and very intriguing. The concept is brilliant: Set up a fab shop where people pay a monthly/yearly fee to join. In theory it would also attract veteran craftsman who want/need something to do and have a desire to teach younger people. I’m actually toying with doing one in the Phoenix area.

    The most obvious concern is physical risk management. Liability using metal shaping and welding equipment is immense.
    Warning! If I crap on you it’s not on purpose.

    I often buy parts I think I need but find out I already own.

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  6. #6
    Oil Cooled Heart Bullethead's Avatar
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    Food service operations, particularly simple menu/lowest common denominator models, are thankless pursuits. I renovated a nice diner space in our building, but with no intelligent potential tenants, nearly dove in because it might be fun.

    Then I remembered:

    Absurdly long hours, minimal rewards... rule of thumb is have two years of operations funding without any expectation of profit.

    OTOH, if it's a hipster neighborhood, go minimal customer service, provide a small performance space and you'll do fine. When profits thin, shut it down, start over.

    Or wisely, ask your youngest son. He's gotta be more clued in to what'll work than any of us.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Soterik's Avatar
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    Thanks for feedback.

    Tats have been so ubiquitous in Seattle that they won't let you into certain communities without one.... Food service/coffee/bar employees all have them, not an issue for me.

    It IS a complete hipster community, it was the Haight Ashbury district of Seattle in the late 60's-70's. Now I have campuses for Google and Tableau within 2 blocks, multiple breweries etc.

    It's an expensive corner and really only now will lend itself to something like food/coffee/adult beverages. Relatively small, 750sq feet main, plus 350 mezzanine (17 foot ceilings), and a 615 sq foot basement. Going local rate is about $45 sq ft plus NNN.

    Personally I think I really want to just collect rent, but I haven't found the right tenant and I know what the build-out can be. I've said no to Voodoo donuts as it's truly not a fit for my building (don't want to alienate other tenants). Current retail tenants include one of the best used record stores in the city (always busy), used book store, and a womens boutique, and business offices on the second floor for misc tenants, small tech firms mostly.

    Yes, my younger son is involved in the thought process... he's not back from college for another 2 years. He knows coffee will work, you'd actually have to try to fail to make this location fail at anything. He likes tea, so he wants that as well. But... 2 years out for him. Maybe he gets a real job in his studies field.

    So.... nobody has actually run or owned a coffee shop? PM's are fine if you don't want to go public.

    tks,
    E
    www.autoforeignservices.com

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  8. #8
    Senior Member uptheorg's Avatar
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    Collecting rent vs. running a small business are two entirely different animals! There is no such thing as a "hobby" food retail establishment. Long hours for starters.

    Any small business has to deal with regulations: employees must be paid a certain amount/various insurance policies must be maintained for them/working conditions are proscribed/time off, meal breaks, and coffee breaks as well. The business itself will require liability insurance and who knows what else. Just keeping employees from leaving is almost impossible so there may be periods where you have no staffing or have to jump through hoops to keep it staffed. If you serve anything besides baked goods, then waste (i.e. food that was purchased but never sold) can become very expensive. There may be some branding and marketing required.

    Maybe certain licenses must be obtained -- not a slam-dunk when dealing with bureaucracies . . .

    The health department may have to inspect and that can be a nightmare in itself. They usu. have the authority to close you down if they don't like what they see. You may want to keep it as clean as your home kitchen, but will that tatted-out manager you hire be able or willing to do that?

    Even if your pro-forma analysis says that it will be easy to turn a decent profit at the location, it can still be a lot of work to get it there and keep it there. I don't recommend it unless you have to. Really.
    Jim

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  9. #9
    Senior Member curtisaa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soterik View Post
    Thanks for feedback.

    Tats have been so ubiquitous in Seattle that they won't let you into certain communities without one.... Food service/coffee/bar employees all have them, not an issue for me.

    It IS a complete hipster community, it was the Haight Ashbury district of Seattle in the late 60's-70's. Now I have campuses for Google and Tableau within 2 blocks, multiple breweries etc.

    It's an expensive corner and really only now will lend itself to something like food/coffee/adult beverages. Relatively small, 750sq feet main, plus 350 mezzanine (17 foot ceilings), and a 615 sq foot basement. Going local rate is about $45 sq ft plus NNN.

    Personally I think I really want to just collect rent, but I haven't found the right tenant and I know what the build-out can be. I've said no to Voodoo donuts as it's truly not a fit for my building (don't want to alienate other tenants). Current retail tenants include one of the best used record stores in the city (always busy), used book store, and a womens boutique, and business offices on the second floor for misc tenants, small tech firms mostly.

    Yes, my younger son is involved in the thought process... he's not back from college for another 2 years. He knows coffee will work, you'd actually have to try to fail to make this location fail at anything. He likes tea, so he wants that as well. But... 2 years out for him. Maybe he gets a real job in his studies field.

    So.... nobody has actually run or owned a coffee shop? PM's are fine if you don't want to go public.

    tks,
    E
    Eric: Do NOT start up anything to do with food or beverage, unless there is alcohol involved. Just a friendly piece of financial advice !!!!
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  10. #10
    Senior Member 72targa's Avatar
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    Peter Kane

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