Back to the beginning, a second time around.
When we thought about setting up Artisan’s sister shop, the very first thing we did was ask ourselves can we afford it? As we were doing this a second time around, we had the advantage of a lot more information about how much it costs to set up a coffee shop. With the help of our accountant, we ventured out to put together a projected cash flow forecast for two scenarios – the first being for us to stay as we are with our Putney coffee shop; versus us opening another. In scenario two, the forecast showed us at exactly what point we would we able to afford a fit out ‘if’ the cost of the second shop was exactly the same as the first. We can remember looking over the figures and worked out that if all went to plan, we would have exactly £450 in the bank account at the lowest point. On top of that, we personally would not be able to take any money out of the business for the next five months, meaning in short – we’d be broke. To know you are going to have to work incredibly hard, not get a penny in return and risk everything you have so far worked for is indeed a very hard decision to make.
After deciding to take the plunge, we then set about with the tedious and frustrating task of searching for a site. We knew that we wanted the new spot to be near Putney as we thought that would make it more logistically manageable, so we started looking in South West London. The difference this time was that the chartered surveyors we contacted actually took our calls and we even employed a contact we knew from when we signed the Putney lease to search for properties on our behalf. This is of course a costly option, but we were determined not to lose focus on the Putney shop and to keep the high quality coffee flowing, so with time consuming jobs such as looking at possible sites, we decided to outsource.
After about six weeks we went to see a property on the corner of Goldhawk Road and King Street in Stamford Brook, nearby Chiswick High Road. We both liked it immediately, despite the fact it had neon red lights in the window and a massive hole in the floor. The potential seemed to be there from the very start, so we put in an offer just a week before we went on our first holiday post setting up Artisan, which shows how confident we were in the smooth running of Putney. On a side note, it was on that holiday to Tuscany that Magda and I got engaged!
After the usual toing and froing, the terms were agreed and both legal parties began drawing up the lease….. it was scarily looking like it might just happen – number two was on the way. In the next blog we talk about how four months later still nothing had happened and what we did about it.