Finding a New Coffee Supplier
13 February 2019
When Josh Chapman was building Silverspoon, a local cafe he'd bought when it was in trouble, he needed a coffee supplier. Josh has now sold his business but in his new blog series, he recounts his impressions of working with Emporio, and the valuable support Eric gave him to make his venture profitable.
Here's an extract from Josh's story:
Working with Eric from Emporio Coffee
"... somehow we stumbled across Emporio Coffee, owned by an ex-chef Eric and his wife Miriam. The roastery was small and only open Monday through Friday. As I was still working full-time we could only meet on the weekends. “No problem! I’ll just meet you there and open up,” Eric responded. Off to a great start.
We turned up five minutes early ... Eric arrived casual — jandals, shorts, plain t-shirt, and brown, wavy, surfer-like hair. He was bursting with enthusiasm as he showed us his roastery. We stood in front of the giant handmade coffee roaster that he ordered from Italy. As he talked about setting up and learning the roasting business, he had a permanent smile on his face. You could tell he loved what he did.
We moved onto the training room where a large coffee machine sat front and centre. Eric proceeded to makes an amazing flat white without even really trying, and we sat in the back of his roastery talking for about an hour. We talked about our experience ... and what we were looking to do with Silverspoon. It felt like Eric was hanging off every word we said. He was so enthusiastic and supportive and made us feel like there was no way we could fail.
At the end of that Saturday morning meeting, our coffee account was undoubtedly Eric’s.
The Cafe Business
We thought we knew what we were doing. We had snagged the place at a bargain price and just needed to grow sales to start making money.
By focusing on amazing food, coffee and service, the news would spread and people would flock to us. We didn’t have a bank loan and weren’t sucking money out of the business. We had used our hands-on skills to put in hundreds of free hours into giving the place a makeover.
... We realised we didn’t know what to do next, otherwise we would be doing it already. It was a crucial turning point. Do we carry on down this track, and in five years time, still be holding onto this dream that someday when sales increase just a little bit more it will get better? Or do we make a serious change in approach now?
I thought about Eric from Emporio. What would he do? In his own words he had done up and sold a few cafes. He remembered working crazy hours painting until midnight the week before he opened and arriving at 6am to make a days’ worth of Paninis. I knew he could relate to us ... so I gave him a call to discuss our situation..." Read Josh's full blog on Getting a Rundown Business to Turn a Profit.