Specialty Coffee Retailer

Specialty Coffee Retailer January 2014

Specialty Coffee Retailer is a publication for owners, managers and employees of retail outlets that sell specialty coffee. Its scope includes best sales practices, supplies, business trends and anything else to assist the small coffee retailer.

Issue link: https://read.dmtmag.com/i/241570

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Page 15 of 51

PIQUET'S PRINCIPLES Differentiation through Quality S o you want to open a coffee shop... Most of you who are reading this will have two things in common. First, you will only own one coffee shop, and second, your shop will not be located in a densely populated or known coffee city. There are only a tiny handful who will have all the necessary factors to open multiple coffee shops or live in a heavily populated, coffee-centric cities. These factors are important because it gives a basis for the strategies necessary to be successful in today's market. This is not the market 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago. In today's market, the best way to remain relevant and profitable is to have quality as your differentiator. Without it, you will be like everyone else. And luck and location will only sustain you...until a competitor with a better product moves in across the street. Is quality the only differentiator? No, but less than 10 percent of specialty coffee shops achieve it, and it is the most significant way to establish your place in the market without resorting to gimmick or fad. You will be able to offer a greater value proposition to your customers by sourcing better coffee, delivering a superior product, and charging higher prices. By keying on a (relatively) lower volume and higher price point, it will translate to lower By John Piquet "When it comes to starting a coffee shop, preparation is the key. Without proper preparation, you will fail." labor costs, a lower percentage cost of goods (COGS) and result in higher profit margins. But how does one establish and execute quality? PREPARATION AND PRINCIPLES When it comes to starting a coffee shop, preparation is the key. Without proper preparation, you will fail. And preparation takes time. Today, there are numerous resources to get you prepared, from classes offered by the SCAA and CoffeeFest to schools such as American Barista & Coffee School in Portland, Oregon or Midwest Barista School in Holland, Michigan, as well as trade magazines like Specialty Coffee Retailer. And travel. Take the time to visit, observe, and enjoy coffee shops in your local area, region, and abroad. What you learn with each visit will be invaluable. And remember to solidify your bookkeeping skills at your local community college or small business center. Understanding both coffee and business at a professional level will be essential for your success. Quality is not a singular thing. It's not defined by beautiful latte art, nor is it simply specialty grade coffee brewed by the cup. Nor is quality a list of things you can check off. Quality is built on a foundation of high standards that you believe in rather than a set of standards you merely practice. And it can only exist if you have the principles to execute these standards. Quality begins with preparation and education and manifests with flawless execution. The establishing and execution of a quality program go hand in hand with positioning, or defining your space in the market. In today's market, understanding the importance of positioning is an essential tool for building your business, and one I will cover in next month's column. Happy brewing! SCR John Piquet is a roaster, barista, and siphon brewing specialist at caffe d'bolla in Salt Lake City, which he co-owns and operates with his beautiful wife Yiching. 16

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