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"Also, visit other stores in your area and in other areas - what are they doing? Can you identify successful businesses and why they are successful? Use this market research for tips and hints - but don't be tempted to copy anyone's ideas directly. Your customers will be able to tell and won't respect you for it." For a start-up coffee shop business there are a few key things to

consider, says Sadie. "Know and understand your market. For example, if you are opening in a commuter location, think about serving quickly, efficiently and having a good range of grab and go food. If you are opening in a student area, good homemade, affordable food and quirky décor is key. "Make sure you have a grasp of finance and budgeting. Even if you will pay an accountant to do your accounts, it's crucial you understand your finances.

"Identify a unique selling point. Make sure your café stands out from

the rest, and make people come back to you." CREATIVITY

Sadie is one of only a few female coffee roasters in the UK. Why does she think there are so few women in the business? "I think coffee roasting is perceived as being a very scientific process, and not a particularly creative profession. "Whilst there is a good degree of science involved, there is also a huge

With a degree in archaeology and a keen interest in writing Sadie might have tried her hand at being a historical journalist if coffee hadn't claimed her

amount of creativity, in my opinion. It goes without saying that it is crucial to understand the processes involved in roasting coffee, which are a combination of science, art and skill. Roasting can also be quite isolating - usually just you and a big machine in a room all day. Many women (and men, to be honest) enter the coffee industry for the social aspect as well as for the product, and hone their barista skills in front of their customers. This way, positive or negative reinforcement is immediate, and learning quickly follows. Roasting is different - you roast a batch of coffee, leave it to rest, cup it, sell it to a variety of customers and you may get feedback later on if you are lucky. It is a longer term, more industrial venture, set in a very different environment to a coffee shop, which many simply may not want to work in. "Micro roasters do seem to be having a bit of a moment in the speciality industry, however, and with more home roasting equipment, smaller batch roasters and better access to green coffee, I think roasting is on its way to shedding some of its mystique and becoming something which every serious coffee professional can try. Some are even doing it in- house too, serving up coffee they are roasting on their own premises, which is a great thing."

Sadie is perfectly happy with the current craze for flat white.

"Personally, I quite like it - it's a great beverage for someone who likes latte style drinks but hates huge mugs of milk. Also, from a business point of view, it's a winner - establishments are charging a premium for the drink, despite the fact that on average, it uses less milk and the same coffee content as the equivalent sized latte."

Her business sense also leads her to describe the ideal food offer as "something which up-sells the customer without them realising it". "For example, a sandwich and a cake for a set price," she says. "The customer may not have bought the cake with the sandwich if it was not for the offer, so not only have you gained more revenue, but you have got the customer to try something different, which hopefully they will buy again." Finally, what does the future hold for the UK coffee market? Sadie says: "I can see a return to basics - more in-house roasting, more brewed coffee, less emphasis on fancy machines and a focus on substance rather than style."

In the future Sadie would like to get more involved with training café owners and sourcing coffee

More information: York Coffee Emporium T: 01904 676153 W:

Information about any advertisements appearing in this issue: Essential Café 37

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