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Starting a Coffee Shop Business

January 4, 2009

business woman in coffee shopI want to start a coffee cafe with library and game zone. Does anyone have any tips for starting my business?

Ankit

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 180 Feedbacks
January 8, 20090 found this helpful

Small Business Administration (US Gov't) and SCORE for starting a small business and financial information. Having worked in bakeries and cafes, I don't necessarily recommend them but Sysco is a large wholesaler. Sam's Club is the Wal-Mart for small businesses if there's one near by you. Same for Smart & Final on the West Coast. Others will be in the yellow pages under restaurant equipment suppliers. They will have advice but are primarily salespeople. You need to have food...whether you make it or outsource it depends on what you want, but if you outsource, go local. Mass-baked products are nasty.

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October 17, 20110 found this helpful

I used to own a coffee shop/deli. Roasted my own beans too. First, are you wanting to buy an existing or a start up? I would suggest you talk to health dept for your state to find out what type of things you need to have/do.

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Some states require certified food safety handling so you would have to take an approved class. If you need to borrow money, talk to a banker. Preferably one who knows you. There are often unknown sources in the community that also provide funding that your banker may know about. Get to know your Chamber of Commerce rep. They are a wealth of info and help for start-ups because they know everybody!

Apply for any tax ID's and licenses. Once you have those you can contact food suppliers for info. SCORE is a source of info if you need a business plan (and you will!) Most banks will want to shy away from government backed grants even for women because the process is lengthly! I mean, its government right.

Lastly, Whatever dollar amount you think you need...double or triple it because there are always expenses you didn't plan on that will crop up. Lastly, be determined, because it isn't easy. I've owned 3 start-ups. It takes a TON of work so I hope you have a support system to lean on. And best of luck to you! It's a lot of work but very rewarding!

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October 17, 20110 found this helpful

One more thing - listen to feedback but consistency is a must in any food business! It's your business so do what you feel is right! You can't please everyone all the time. There will always be people who think you aren't doing it right (and most of them have never owned a business let alone a food establishment) but it only important to do what you feel is right.

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It's your business! Stick with your dream!

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2 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

October 29, 2015

In starting a coffee shop, would investing in pour-over filtered coffee be cheaper than espressos? Making it less fancy, would it be more affordable and encourage people to come to the coffee shop more?

Like in Brazil, for example, the "cafezinho" is a shot of strong filtered coffee, and it is way cheaper than a espresso. Comments?

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Bronze Answer Medal for All Time! 220 Answers
October 29, 20150 found this helpful

Opening any business requires much research and many questions. Your questions here indicate that you would prefer to operate an inexpensive coffee shop serving cheaper types of coffee as compared to expresso, etc., type shops.

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There are many questions that you need to answer well before deciding on coffee expense. Shop location, suppliers, overhead costs, advertising costs and many other considerations are crucial to success. If you plan to serve cheaper coffee and other items, then your shop would certainly not do well in an expensive location. You must decide exactly what you plan to offer and what type of customers you want to attract. Your answers to these basic questions will then lead to what preparation you need to do in opening a coffee shop.

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Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 337 Feedbacks
October 31, 20150 found this helpful

You need to do market research and find out what kind of shop is popular in your area. In the area that I live, regular coffee is far more of a money maker than espresso. One or two cafes offer the fancy coffee, but all of them offer regular coffee, and sell much more of that.

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If your clientele are farmers or truck drivers you want regular coffee; if you have upscale executives, you might want espressos and lattes.

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