Ok, so where do I start? I’m exhausted, hungry, my back is sore, and I was totally overwhelmed with information and I had a Venti, full fat, cup 0’Reality, and it was oh so good. Today was my first day of class and it was really good. Our instructor today is the co-founder of the company Bellisimo that offers the Coffee business and Barista training and he’s got 20+ years of operations experience in the food/beverage industry.
I think the instructor was worried about me a couple of times because I unconsciously sighed heavily several times. Hahahah….. it was funny because he’d look over at me and say, “What do ya think Jon?” I think he meant, “Are you alright?” I think that having a healthy amount of fear and caution is a good thing. It means that I’m taking things seriously and really weighing the positives and negatives. If I was running full speed at the idea of opening a coffee shop with reckless abandon then I’d think that something was wrong with me maybe. I think I was taken back this afternoon at the sheer number of things that have to be considered. I mean I kinda expected it but I don’t think you can really prepare yourself for the massive undertaking that opening a food and beverage establishment is.
The business planning (both the presentation and financial plan), the ergonomic design of your shop, the equipment, the lease negotiation, dealing with contractors, vendors, local bureaucracy (already experienced a little of this), location, location, location, build out allowances, negotiating a rent moratorium while you’re building out your space; and the list goes on and on.
Then if that’s not all enough for the first day…. then you have to consider the current state of the economy which my instructor says is not really all bad for the coffee business. He told us that Jim Kramer (you know the crazy investing advice guy on TV that yells and screams and stuff), advised that in the current economy that if you can’t “eat it, smoke it, drink it, or medicate with it, then don’t invest in it right now.” Well, a coffee shop offers three of those four things. In a coffee shop you can get food (eating), coffee or other drinks (drinking) and offers caffeine (medicating). Our instructor also mentioned this: “Coffee is the most popular beverage on earth behind water and the most heavily traded commodity behind crude oil.” I’d never really thought of coffee like that.
Anyway, here’s looking forward to Day Two.