Artisan Coffee School

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Deciding to grow or staying with what you know?

It was mid-2012 and we were loving everything about Artisan in Putney – we loved the coffees that we were pulling, the vibe, the buzz, the team was a very happy one and it was summer time! Our rosters were working and we completely trusted the team to run a great shop without us so we even found we had a little time on our hands. We don’t have kids, but I think the conversation Magda and I had one evening over dinner must be similar to parents deciding to have a second child. Here are some of the extracts from the conversation.

“Isn’t Artisan Putney growing up so fast, isn’t she doing well”
“Think of all the things we have learnt since the day we opened”
“How could we ever afford another one”
“What about the extra work on us; it would be such a burden”
“Think of the rewards as having two would be quite an accomplishment”
“We have just got ourselves sorted with Putney – why take the risk”
“Think of all the design improvements we could do and how creative we could be”
“Would Artisan Putney get jealous – how would it cope with us being away focussing on another area – would standards slip?”
“How would we cope with fitting out and launching number two, whilst trying to maintain the high standards set at Putney”.

Over that bottle of red wine (and maybe another), we talked through many of the different sentences above. I remember getting nervous just thinking about it all, but after a lot of chat – some of it making us get excited about how great it would be, but also worriedly talking about the finances and the risks – we decided to dip our toe into this idea and come up with a plan on how it might work.

Over the next few weeks, we chatted about the idea with family and friends and started by writing a basic plan, which we then presented one evening to our friendly advisors who had a lot of input but did not discourage us. Finally, about a month later it was firmly in our heads and we were going to give it a go!

Over the next few blogs we explore how we went from being one successful coffee shop to two, and how with all the added responsibility we came across many highs and a lot of lows. Find out more later..

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