Tag Archives: Australian Coffee

Audio Cafe 050: Stuart Guest-Smith of Bare Coffee

April 2015 I was walking through the streets of Seattle the Wednesday night before the SCAA event and was tweeting out a few things like where I was eating dinner. Then out of the blue, @BareCoffeeCo started chatting with me on Twitter. Eventually the two fellas invited me for a drink, I accepted, and we chatted. Here is a picture from that very night.
Here are my notes from the recording, with my main take away thoughts or learning. Enjoy =]
6:00: WHY WORK WITH AND FOR BARE COFFEE RATHER THAN ANY OTHER ROASTER
  • Chance to work with friends
  • Enjoy working in a space (the USA) that is still blooming
  • A chance to apply skills from other industries and take into the coffee industry
7:30: WHAT ARE 1-2 BUSINESS MISTAKES COMPANIES MAKE
  • Not specific to coffee, they’re always let by passion but don’t always identify the main goal whether that’s pure profit or a passion to be within the industry
  • It needs to be business first and passion second, because at the end of the day the passion stops when the money runs out.
  • Why is it you want a cafe rather than any other business. The key is when someone says “I wanted to run a great business and I love coffee.
  • Or do what Richard Branson did, hire to your weaknesses so you can focus on your strengths
14:00: HAVE YOU HAD TO TURN AWAY A CAFE THAT DIDN’T HAVE THEIR BUSINESS ACUMEN UP TO SNUFF, OR A CAFE THAT SLIPPED
  • Maybe its been a lucky streak with our marketing, but we haven’t had a customer in that situation
  • Our marketing is a ‘wine to coffee’ and the intrigue round that
20:00: WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON QUESTIONS YOU GET ASKED
  • People trying to understand who we are, and why come from Australia to the USA?
  • A good second question is what is the difference between the US and Australian market?
  • We can talk about competition because the Australian market is so robust, so much competition in close proximity.
26:00: WHAT IS 1 THING YOU WISH CAFE OWNERS DID OR DIDN’T KNOW
  • “Do you know what a balance sheet is?”
29:00: THE TEAMWORK IN AUSTRALIA WAS GREAT
  • “They’re paid well”
  • Each cafe respects their internal culture
  • Brothers Espresso, Queensland Australia
  • Boom Coffee, Houston
  • Wrecking Ball San Francisco
  • 34:00 Smallest espresso bars, hole in the walls, are great. PROS: so cheap to setup and run day to day. Quirky and tiny, smaller, faster, cooler, small menu.
  • 37:45 I think we’re tapped out on sports analogies
  • 42:00 there is plenty of room for growth within the coffee industry
42:30: HOW CAN A CAFE GROW 10X?
  • Know your COGs (cost-of-goods-sold)
  • Understand your operating capitol needed
  • Identify your differentiators
  • Team up with another business like a local bakery, “What can we do where we both make a killing” also private label roast for other businesses
  • Keep your eyes on cold-brew as well
49:30: IDENTIFY YOUR UNIQUE PROPOSITION
  • Customer Service is a hard thing to market as the differentiating factor
  • Always step back and think of a couple of hooks that will establish a relationship with your brand versus another brand.