Starting a cafe to go with a martial arts business... input? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-14-2003, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So good to be back at mdc. last few months have been SO exhausting, I hope things are finally settling down. (warning: this post is long )

I am about to start WOH part-time. Then hopefully switch over to more of a WAH position over time. This is where I need help, inspiration, advice, etc

My dh has a martial arts academy - it's a Brazilian martial art that combines music, acrobatics, etc, etc - really different. We're trying to grow it and planning on moving into a bigger place in a better location starting next June. I am currently WOH full time and not really enjoying it (ok, really not enjoying it ) My background is in finance, and so I started out thinking that if I can find something outside of the corporate world - like a small business - that I can run out of the house, then I will be much more fulfilled and will spend more time with my family.

Then a while back, granolamom was talking about her cafe, and reading through all the name suggestions, etc., I thought: "CAFE!" What I am thinking right now is a healthy cafe - sandwiches, smoothies, wraps, etc. This seems to be such a great combination for me: I can run this business, (don't want to actually work there) we can have it next door to the academy (so dh's students can eat there and hopefully we'll recruit some students from the people coming to the cafe) Ever since I got pg with dd, I have completely changed my outlook on food - I don't think I knew what "organic" meant before I got pg :LOL

So I would like to have all-organic, just not sure how the cost/benefit is going to work. I will at least try to have some organic, and as much local I can.

I am thinking of getting a job at a smoothie/wrap place, just not sure if they would hire someone one day a week (and I don't want to work any more) - to "spy" - learn from their mistakes and use what they do right.

any advice/suggestions? I am completely blank about a possible name? I'm actually thinking of incorporating the business (mainly for liability purposes) - and having the academy and the cafe as subsidiaries? the acadamy's site is www.tampacapoeira.com What would I call this cafe? Any idea how much in savings I would need to start up? I'm not looking for a very complicated menu..

any of you think this is a good idea? bad idea? I have about 10 months to what I hope would be a grand opening - new location for academy, and the cafe. I feel like I should start working on this, just now sure where to start. This is so open-ended and rambly.. I'm sorry..

MDC members are a bunch of some of the most creative people I've "met", so I thought I'd start a thread here.. Let me know if this isn't the place to put it! thanks!!!!
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Old 07-15-2003, 12:47 AM
 
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First, I think the idea of an organic providing cafe would be great. But the success might depend on where you are located....
(if organics are big where you are....)

As far as the business/finance side, i am no help with that except that I know from experience that running a restaurant is HARD Work!

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Old 07-17-2003, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Tampa, FL

organics are really not that big here. hence my dilemma. I really would like to do organic / healthy all the way. Some of it for selfish reasons: we would spend a lot of time there, and I don't want to worry about what dd is eating. If we're going to have a cafe, I want us to eat there!! and I am really trying to only do organic/local in our house. And, of course, I would like to see as many people as possible eating this way.

there are a few places in town where you can get organic sandwiches, etc - but i think that's just at natural food stores. So do I follow my convictions and possilbly make a bad business move? Or do I say "whatever the customer wants" (because, believe me, I've heard people say: I"m not going to eat there, it's all organic, must be gross) and make it healthy, but non-organic? (and therefore, cheaper?) and just make sure I always have organic products for my own family???

Mona, any advice on running a food business? any do's or don'ts that you didn't foresee? I've never worked in the food business, but going to try to maybe get a job once a week somewhere to learn a few things.
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Old 07-17-2003, 12:41 PM
 
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I will PM you this evening if DD allows it!
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Old 07-17-2003, 02:38 PM
 
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Here near me there is just such an establishment- Capoeira Arts Cafe. It is also organic, including about 50% vegan options. It's really really busy all the time, and you can sit and watch the practice. (beautiful imo, though i do not practice Capoeira) It is in Berkeley.

I think its a wonderful idea. Berkeley has a large Capoeira/ Martial Arts/ Dance community, though, but if your area does, too perhaps you'll be just as cool and popular!

tabitha

Hi, I'm Tabitha. I'm a homeschooling mother of four: ds (11) dd (9) ds (7) ds (5) And I'm expecting a fifth in 2014! Find me at http://www.omelay.blogspot.com
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Old 07-17-2003, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I tried to write you back...
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Old 07-17-2003, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Tabitha,

yep, that is one place that played a part in my decision to give this a go. I love that cafe!! dh is actually a student of Mestre Acordeon and Mestre Ra (among others) - the two teachers there. I first saw this cafe two summers ago and thought it was fantastic!

http://www.capoeira.bz/arts_cafe/index.html

Tampa is not quite as.. hmm.. what's the word?.. "cool"? as Berkeley.

Dh actually just came back from there - they had their big annual event -- a bunch of his students went with him and they all loved the cafe! So I know we'd have some guaranteed customers.

I think I would like to have the two more separate - but still have a glass wall in between so people could watch classes and rodas.
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Old 07-17-2003, 04:50 PM
 
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I cleared my box-
Sorry!
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Old 07-17-2003, 05:00 PM
 
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'Sup, Lady?!?! Long time no see!

Well - I cannot offer any suggestions about running a natural cafe here in town. I would patronize it, though! Have you been to Evo's before? http://www.evos.com Would you be looking at serving fare like theirs - or something completely different? I've gotta tell you - my veggie/health-aware friends and I LOVE that place. The food is pratical and they've got variety. I'd love to have options, though - and I'm sure there are others like me in Tampa (have to be one or to of us!!!!!). I managed a coffee shop locally.....maybe I can answer basic food service questions......

I HAVE, however, owned a business here in Tampa - so if you need any help on that side of things I may be able to offer up a few nuggets of advice.

I hope everything works out for you!

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Old 07-17-2003, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey, Denise!

yeah, I've been MIA for a little while to be honest, I'm still recovering from our mid-june event. :

Nope, never been to Evos before.. I'll check it out. I was thinking of similar to Nature's Table maybe? (just actually healthier)
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Old 07-17-2003, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Evos looks awesome!!!!

I'm still in very early planning/dreaming stages, not sure what I want really.

any suggestions on locations in the area, Denise?

south tampa seems to have enough places already, and space is harder to come by.
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Old 07-17-2003, 06:45 PM
 
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NEW TAMPA/TAMPA PALMS!!!!!!!!!!

Goodness - you'd think with the uber-yuppiness New Tampa has to offer that we'd HAVE a place like that (the cafe, that is). I mean, old-money S. Tampa has got all that stuff already - and all the places there are established. New Tampa is still growing (uhmph - leaps and bounds anyone?). Have you seen the "100 years in the making" signs everywhere? www.liveoakpreserve.com - a billion new families with kids (kids like Capoeira - parents with cash send their kids to lessons!!!) are going to move in there. That's only to add to all the families that are here now. New Tampa is now what Carrollwood must have been 20 years ago - ya' know? Like South Tampa training. Of course - the down side to New Tampa is that people from St. Pete think it's frikkin Canada or something. People from St. Pete/Pinellas County just don't like to drive, though. OK - I'm stopping now. I could go on for HOURS about the different parts of Tampa.

OFF TOPIC - BTW: Got your mail. I'll get back to you in a few!

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Old 07-19-2003, 03:41 AM
 
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Chi-Chi Mama- I've been in "the biz" ( the independent coffee biz that is) and have a lot of resources. There are affordable fair trade 100% organic roasters that sell wholesale beans at reasonable prices. There are only like, 6 coffee shops that are 100% fair trade organic coffee in the Bay Area. I can't remember how many it actually is, it is less than 10 I believe. Anyway, Please email me or pm me, I know a lot about coffee and my ILs do too. In fact, DP still works at an independent coffee shop. I'd love to give you some "industry secrets."
[email protected] or pm me
Lauren
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Old 07-23-2003, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks, Lauren, I'll definitely take you up on that..

I wasn't envisioning having coffee at my place, but only because I"m not a coffee drinker myself but I think it's a great idea and something I should offer.

few more weeks until i start working part-time and then I'm going to start writing a business plan and start doing actual research on this.

actually I am thinking of also having an after-school care program. So this is now morphing into a martial arts academy, after school care (with maybe summer/holiday camps) and a cafe on the side. I think the three will have good synergies. Just have to come up with a name and research/plan this out.

thank you, mamas... you've helped me get more excited and positive about this idea!
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