So how do two shops work?
Now that Artisan has two shops up and running a lot of people ask us how does it actually all work? Is it easier or harder? To be honest it is a bit of both – we have had to set up a lot systems for the smooth running of both shops and whilst we were doing this we would always ask ourselves one simple question: ‘How would this work without us’
This approach is very important in the way we run Artisan and is something we learnt when we spent 2010 out in Kasese, Uganda working with the coffee growers. Whilst in Uganda, we would set ourselves strict guidelines to only implement initiatives that would work completely and utterly independently from us. We have found that the skills we developed out there were very transferable to establishing Artisan. This has not happened overnight and it is only now eight months after opening our second coffee shop, Artisan in Stamford Brook, that we have almost all of our systems and processes in place. The reason that it has taken so long is that it has taken a while for us to fully understand what can be achieved and by who. Also, the fact that we are open seven days a week means there is little time left to sit down and work these things out as you still have the running of the two sites to coordinate.
From a practical sense, having two locations has helped us as we use Artisan, Stamford Brook as our main storage area and Artisan Putney is simply stocked by its sister shop on a weekly basis. This centralised system works well and means we can have a greater amount of control over buying and also benefit from buying in bulk. We also finally have a space we can call an office, which has meant we have moved off our bedroom floor and into an area where we can hold meetings and have notice boards etc.
Overall it is a lot of fun having two shops but it is a different type of work as we now have to spend less time pouring the perfect flat white and more time doing ordering and coordinating stock. It means less time cleaning tables, but more time on payroll and interviewing. In our next blog we will be talking about the recent fire in Stamford Brook that almost brought down two years of hard work.