Audio Cafe 051: Stuart Guest-Smith of Bare Coffee pt. 2

StuartGuestSmith of Bare Coffee In Seattle With Levi Andersen for a Podcast April 2015


TIME 1:50 “What different trends do you see in the USA and abroad?”

  • 1) The Australian coffee market may be 10 years ahead of the US market, maybe because of the high concentration of Greeks and Italians?
  • 2) In Australia we see more dark/syrupy/chocolate but full of flavor coffee, not as much light roast or citrus/fruit/acidic centric coffee.
  • 3) China appears to be quality focused, everything used has to be absolute highest quality beans.
  • 4) America loves single origin coffees.

TIME 8:20 “How long is the waiting period between when you hear a customer wants Bare Coffee before they actually have Bare Coffee in their shop?”

  • 1) We have an automatic system, if an order is set it can ship out nearly instantly.
  • 2) Other customers can take about 3 months depending on their own internal systems. It seems that the Australian market is faster, just a different market.
  • 3) If a customer has an agreement with their current roaster then there is that waiting period.
  • 4) We don’t sell it to everybody that comes a long, you wont find out coffee in 7-11. We’re looking for people who want to be our customer.
  • 5) We also have a system called Bare Buddies (lawyers/accountants/webdesigners). We offer this because we want our customers to be around longer, not to add another sale or source of revenue.

TIME 13:20 “What services that you offer to smaller cafes are the biggest help or biggest surprise to cafe operators?”

  • 1) There’s only so many coffees you can make and sell in one day. Have you scaled up to see just how much you can sell within a day, or how much traffic/customers you can facilitate? There are so many other ways you can make money rather than selling just lattes. When there’s 30 cafes in a strip on a street, how do you differentiate or what do you do to keep open? You need passion – but likely you already have the passion, what you likely need to do is to learn how to make a profit. Usually cafes focus 95% on just the coffee and forget about the other peices that support it as well, and that can be an oversight.
  • 2) Outsource where you can, put in some of the items that are higher margined or higher ticket.
  • 3) Think about renting out a boardroom or space for freelancers to have a landing space to work out of. Now there is a person who chas thought about maximizing the offerings that their cafe can give. And my view has always been to charge for top-top-top quality wifi.

TIME 20:00 “What are your plans for the next 6-months and next 6-years?”

  • 1) We’re moving into China, its a tough space to get into, but they love Australia. Perhaps setting up a roastery there.
  • 2) We will be rolling out some new cafes as well, that we are really excited about.
  • 3) The next 6-years? Wow, that’s a big question. The coffee industry is strong but always changing, how can we know where its all headed? Will Starbucks focus more on the home and will that change everything? Who knows.

TIME 32:20 “How should we be educating our customers before they enter our doors?”

  • 1) Starbucks has been great for educating the marketplace for us. We want educated customers.
  • 2) But we definitely need to become more efficient as a workforce serving our customers.