Is it the right time to open a coffee shop in Edinburgh?

Discussion in 'Scotland' started by Ani.Alan, Jan 27, 2011.

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  1. tree568

    tree568 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    102 17
    We live in Edinburgh. The coffee situation is pretty dismal. We sometimes feel like going for a coffee and something to eat after a show, for instance, and there's not much available. What I miss is the kinds of coffee shops you have in Sydney in the inner suburbs, 11am to 3am, no alcohol, but yummy food and loads of choice on the dirnks, including chai. From what we can see, the only places still trading at 3am are kebab shops. As for the quality of the coffee sold, let's see. Costa and Starbucks, not too good. Neros is better, but one has to be well heeled to drink there. Amazingly, Wetherspoons (Lloyds in the Omni centre) is quite good. Cheap coffees that taste okay. And nobody does good plunger coffee here. Well, we have been here quite a few years, and have pretty much tried out at least 50% of the inner coffee serving establishments, and so far I have yet to try good plunger coffee.

    We were in Paris a decade or so ago, just travelling through, and I remember being in this place, just an ordinary coffee shop where you stood up to drink the coffee, and drinking a flat white that tasted like liquid velvet. If anyone knows anywhere selling really good coffee in Edinburgh, please do share.
    Posted: Feb 12, 2011 By: tree568 Member since: Jan 25, 2011
  2. stugster

    stugster UKBF Legend Full Member

    9,347 2,079
    Artisan Roast on Broughton Street ( number 57 )

    Go there one day, and report back on the quality ;)
    Posted: Feb 12, 2011 By: stugster Member since: Feb 1, 2007
  3. rach27

    rach27 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    15 2
    I have to admit I like stumbling in to Neros in Stirling to sit and watch the world go by or get a bit of work done. Downstairs has a fast paced 'on the go' vibe whereas upstairs is more relaxed. It's right in the center of town which is ideal I guess.

    I like the idea of a coffee shop with great coffee and a relaxed atmosphere where you can sit down read a book or work on your laptop without feeling rushed - usually ends up with more than one coffee being consumed ;) . Or a place to meet up with someone.

    But to compete against those like Neros, Costas and Starbucks etc you will need a USP. Maybe specialty coffee or own blends.
    Posted: Feb 24, 2011 By: rach27 Member since: Nov 24, 2010
  4. E Storey

    E Storey UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    597 138
    Just a note....

    I went past a "sandwich bar" opposite the Quenns Hall at 8.30 this evening.

    It used to be all silvery and spartan, but someone has put in comfy chairs extended the menu and put a big plastic ice cream cone hoarding outside it....

    It was absolutely HEAVING! (8.30pm Wednesday night, full of students) so clearly there is a lack of venues open till late!
    Posted: Mar 2, 2011 By: E Storey Member since: Jul 12, 2010
  5. sellmybusinessonline

    sellmybusinessonline UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    41 1
    if you haven't already considered then think about buying an existing cafe or similar? inherit someone else's hard work with incumbent unit, lease, suppliers, customers, revenue etc. it's a great marketplace to buy. good luck.
    Posted: Mar 3, 2011 By: sellmybusinessonline Member since: Mar 3, 2011
  6. juliette123

    juliette123 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2 0

    Have you ever been in Victoria Bar or Boda bar on Leith Walk, or Sofi's near the shore in Leith? Those are bars rather than coffee shops, but they really attract a loyal clientele, plus curious new people, I think partly because of their quite unusual, relaxing, alternative (and quite young and student-y). They also have music playing, which I suppose fits in with the regular crowd (tuneful and alternative!)

    I know it might not be the most original idea ever, but I think that if you had a welcoming, colourful decor (sometimes it even looks quite Christmassy), fairy lights, pot plants, cushions, etc...then you would be onto a real winner, especially around the Commonwealth pool and Clerk Street for students, etc. (I'm from Edinburgh.) It wouldn't have to be too hippyish and way-out!! xx
    Posted: Apr 23, 2011 By: juliette123 Member since: Apr 2, 2011
  7. northstar161

    northstar161 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2 0
    Worked in Edinburgh as a black taxi driver for three years.

    IMO that is not a great a location. You are too far away from the centre and the action. Think top of Leith Walk, Forrest Road area.

    What about perhaps running the business from Cargo bikes (See Maxpro or Cyclus Maximus). Used Rickshaws can be purchased (especially after the summer) for about 2.5k

    Please email me if you need Rickshaw company contacts.

    There is serious money available in Edinburgh whenever the streets are busy. If you had a mobile unit you could move it to where the trade is. That maybe means go where the office workers go during the day; and go where the party goers and late night work is on Sat and Sunday night?

    Good luck.
    Posted: Apr 25, 2011 By: northstar161 Member since: Apr 25, 2011
  8. IndiCafe

    IndiCafe UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    196 36
    I think your budget is too low for your vision. Get a feel for rents and rates by looking at:

    Edinburgh rents are typically high for a large city. And with the cost of equipment, deposit, 3 months rent in advance, fitting out, ... honestly, your dream is great but you will be one step closer to making it happen if you start gathering real numbers.
    Posted: Apr 26, 2011 By: IndiCafe Member since: Nov 17, 2010
  9. Al R

    Al R UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2 0
    This may or may not be of interest but there used to be a coffee shop in Commercial Quay in Leith a few years ago (beanscene). It got bought out then the buying firm went bust so nothing ever happened. It was very popular and nothing yet has ever filled the gap. There are a lot of people in the area that tend to go to the bigger restaurants for coffee but we really miss a nice and simple coffee shop.

    There are probably a few places to rent down here too.

    Posted: May 10, 2011 By: Al R Member since: May 10, 2011
  10. Andrew Baker

    Andrew Baker Director @ GetSquare / Magento Solution Specialist Full Member - Verified Business

    776 284
    I'm always looking for great coffee shops to have client meet ups so free wi-fi, even power points are just as important as the coffee.

    If you focus on this market a lot of people like popping into places just to catch up on their emails, twitter, facebook, etc whilst on the go.

    Offer the right environment for these people and you could do al right.

    The other thing to consider especially a coffee shop is location based services and social media. Really exploit sites like FourSquare, Gowalla and even Facebook Places - promote people to check-in to your establishment and you'll soon be all over the social graphs of Edinburgh folk.

    You can also offer mayorship offers (FourSquare) and deals (Gowalla & Facebook) for check-ins like free coffee for the Mayor or free coffee if you check-in with 4 other friends (Facebook).

    Use QR codes or window decals to make it easy for customers to check in with their mobile phones.

    If I was opening a coffee shop that's what I would do.

    Hope that helps...

    Andrew Baker
    Posted: Jun 8, 2011 By: Andrew Baker Member since: Jun 7, 2011
  11. chaddow

    chaddow UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 1
    I would have to agree with the above post this would be a great way of targeting a certain type of person.
    I cannot think of any coffee shop within the city which exploits these sorts of elements within it service .I personally feel this sort of activity linked with the late opening which many other posters have mentioned you could be onto something which could be very successful

    I am very interested in the check-in economy and how mobile fits into a retailer more generally as I am wishing to do this for my dissertation next year at uni and if you where to focus on these nascent technology at this time you would also be ideally place to increase engagement when mobile payment becomes more mainstream in a couple of years’ time however if you do not want to compete with starbucks who uses mobile payment technology widely in many of their stores you may want to reconsider

    Hopefully this helps you
    good luck with it whatever you end up doing

    Posted: Jul 11, 2011 By: chaddow Member since: Jul 11, 2011
  12. thebiznizdotcom

    thebiznizdotcom UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    135 34
    Well, if your going to do it you had better get on with it! I'm popping up for the Edinburgh Festival so I would be a customer.
    Got another story...
    Friend of mine opened a coffee/food shop close to the university. He had plenty of competition but decided to give it a go as he had a different idea. He wanted to serve great coffee (as they all try to do) but his food was great! He decided to concentrate on nacho's. Not the ones you get in the cinemas but ones that were stacked up with lettice, chilli, tomoatoes, the lot! You could ask for your chilli to be either mild, medium, hot or really crazy. The students went wild for it as they all wanted to try the really crazy one (one of those student things I suppose) But anyway, he had something totally unique that really appealed to the student that was quick, easy and fun. He's doing really great business now.
    I appreciate it might not be your thing or what your looking for but it shows that if you just think different you can have real success...and remember he's doing it in the recession.
    Good luck in whatever you decide and remeber if you need any further help and advice, try our site
    Posted: Jul 11, 2011 By: thebiznizdotcom Member since: Apr 18, 2011
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