This is a little premature, but I've been contacted by the coordinator of a new local indoor farmers market requesting the services of my little roastery. Although it's going to be an upscale kind of establishment, they want to emphasize locally grown and produced raw as well as prepare foods.
This is a big deal for me on many levels. The market would be open 7am-7pm, 6 days a week in season and 5 days per week off season, although vendors only need to commit to being there 8 hours a day. Obviously, if I take the plunge, I'd be giving up the day job and going coffee full time. Oy! But I also won't have to be doing this anymore:
I am pour over based now, but would have to add espresso to the menu. The dream is to be a traditional, lever-based, coffee centric "bar" and I don't want to serve carmel frappa hazel fudge whipped coffee candy. There's a Starbucks down the block for that.
They would be taking care of the build out of the 12' x 24' space and the seating and stuff would be provided in the common eating and hanging areas. I would have to supply the coffee equipment and already have a Fetco CBS-61H batch brewer, multiple Luxus pots, a couple of Zojirushi boilers, a Grindmaster 890 and 825 and a pour over station, but I would need to buy an espresso machine and the various accouterment. I have a K10 WBC, but would need a second espresso grinder. I also have my Fuji Royal R220 for the pour over bar.
Even though the venue is taking care of much, it would still represent a significant outlay on my part, not the least of which would be professional training and consultation services. This is a big upgrade from what I've been doing up till now. I'm open to any and all suggestions.
I started putting together the new business plan and gathering numbers. For the espresso machine, I contacted Roberta at Bosco to get pricing on a 3-group Sorrento and was pleasantly surprised that they were not as expensive as I had assumed. That's just awesome, but am I crazy for thinking of taking this step with a lever(s)?
As much as I'd like to be a one-man show, this is a very busy tourist destination in the warmer months and the only other coffee spot is the Starbucks. It is quite possible I will get slammed and have to add a barista/manager to help out. The downside is that there are 20+ other vendors selling eats, and although no one else can sell coffee, I can't sell pastries or baked goods to help the revenue. My concentration will be on selling beans and home brewing coffee equipment to supplement coffee drinks.
If I go for it, there is a lot to be worked out, but I've been working 7 days a week for two years now doing the 9-5 and two weekend markets and have developed a very nice following. People seem to love my coffee and this past weekend I counted 5, "this is the best cup of coffee I've ever had". Although I'm feeling nervously overwhelmed at the moment, it also feels like this could be the next logical step in my coffee journey.