I did an extremely soft opening of my shop on Tuesday. I didn't promote it to any of my friends or patrons of the place I worked at before. Sales were lame but I mostly wanted to see what was fucked up before I got busy.
Wednesday sales doubled from the day before. Several repeat customers. There were multiple mentions on the site "Next Door" announcing my opening. Around six people said that they came because I was mentioned on "Next Door." Wasn't planing to announcing on the internet that I was open until Friday or Saturday so I could find my feet but "Next Door" seems to be very popular in the area. People were very kind about the shop online.
I announced that I would give a one dollar discount to anyone who came in and mentioned the site, we'll see how that goes. Several people said they would be coming in soon.
I tried a shit ton of coffee before I opened and ended up going with a roaster that only makes single origin coffee. They are more than fair trade (which wasn't by any means a goal but I dig it). For at least one of the varieties of coffee I'm serving I know the name of the farmer who grew the beans, seems crazy to me that I have some kind of direct connection to a farmer in Guatemala. The roaster I'm buying from distributes mostly by bicycle, the owner is a super nice guy who I couldn't be more happy to give my money to.
If there is one thing I'm most worried about it's success. I don't want to run out of shit and it's hard to predict how much I'm going to go through day by day. I know it's something that will even out in a few weeks but every patron you disappoint is lost revenue going forward.
My milk steaming skills are shit... Ok they could be worse, but my friend who has tired to train me produces perfect velvety milk in perfect proportion to the drink he is making every time and it's been a long time since I haven't been very good at my job. I hate not being good at what I do. I think that I found the one place a median distance from downtown Portland that doesn't have a coffee shop within eight blocks. There is one good coffee shop in the area but the other competition is Starbucks (if you dig it good for you, but thanks for burning the shit out of your coffee and making my roaster look like a fucking genius).
I've got a dope record player and amplifier from the mid seventies and have mostly been playing old R&B and soul records. Most people don't seem to have realized that music is a major component of what I have going on but a few people seem to be in the groove.
I don't know what else to say. I'm looking at 70 hour work weeks for at least a month. Feeling healthy, hopeful and strong. I'm already tired of listening to my own bullshit but it's probably because the nuance of the bullshit is novel now that I'm an owner of capital.
There are many ways in which I think my shop is lame right now. A guy who owns a coffee shop told me that it should take me about three years to make enough money to do all the things I want to do to the shop and enjoy any money that I might be making, so that gives me some heart.
I'll leave you all with a little anecdote. My landlord came in with a fucking giant bouquet of pink flowers today for my opening (he is a super nice Asian guy, his wife is a hard bargainer and I am mostly glad to be giving them my money). Later on my Asian health inspector came in (he's been my inspector at my last job for years), looked at the bouquet and said "You have an Asian who loves you." I'm like "WTF are you talking about?" He says "Asian's always give pink bouquet's." It cracked me up, who knew.
I won't post the name of my shop or the address as I want to maintain some Hubski anonymity. Sadly I think Hubski has become a less friendly place these past few months and I don't trust someone with an ax to grind to not do me wrong online. If I know you well and you are coming to Portland drop me a line because I'd love to meet almost all of you. My Hubski time is at about a tenth of what it normally is, I miss it but it's good to know you are all here when I have the time.