Saturday, 14 February 2015

Week beginning January 12th - Kaffeine Eastcastle - Week One

Note: I wrote this back on January 12th, then got a little distracted and so have only just published it. I will wrap up the past four weeks in another, separate blog post.

It is a bit hard to believe that it has only been a week and also that this week was the very first of the year. If you have been following you may know that we signed and finalised the lease of the shop on Monday the 5th.

In the lead up to the signing of the lease, we have been trying to work with the architects and the builders to work on the design and how much it will all cost or to try to work to our budget, but also working with all the other suppliers and contractors that are involved in the process. This has included the main kitchen and refrigeration suppliers Advantage Catering, UK Power Networks for the installation of 3 phase power, Square Mile Coffee for the espresso machine and the grinders, Basement Systems for the damp proofing of the vaults under the pavement.

This has all been timed to be able to start work as soon as possible once the lease is signed, and so it was that the basement works started on Tuesday. It took 4 hours before the landlord called to say they were making too much noise drilling and could they please stop. We were not aware that we had to work within certain times, basically outside of office hours. No problems, that can be easily done.

The landlord also emailed me with news on the sewers because prior to signing we had stated that we must have the sewers cleaned with a full visual CCTV report to be sure that the pipes were all clean and good when we took over. Originally he was a bit reluctant to do this, but it turns out there is a big hole in one of the pipes further down the system that they will now fix before we start operating. So happy days for all really, as we identified a problem that can be fixed easily before opening and the landlord knows the pipes are all good to go and we will look after them for the future.

We have also been overwhelmed and highly complimented by the number of applications for employment as either baristas, chefs, or service. Easily the highest number of applicants we have ever received and of a very high standard. However, I must take this opportunity to say that if you are writing a CV, please ensure it is up to date, legible and states all the jobs you did exactly and specifically. If there are five jobs available, and you get 60 applications, then you need to be in the top ten at least to get a chance. The CV is the first step you can take to get in the door. Do not leave it to the interview for me, or any recruiter, to pull apart your CV and discover what you have been saying you have been doing is not quite correct.

We also opened up the application process to our current staff who have the opportunities to be promoted, or stay where they are, or to move across to the new store. I have had a great week listening to all the staff abut their ideas and thoughts and dreams for the business, and also seeing how passionate they are all about it.

I try to encourage all my staff to think about the business and to take ownership and so opened up the following question to them. This is the one question that will drive mad any operator who is hoping or planning a business.

How many people will come?

As I explained to the staff, this has so many potential knock on effects. How much food or coffee should we order, how much milk, how many staff do we need, at what times, what grinder shall we buy, how many groups in the machine, how much money will come into the till and on, and on  and on. Of course we have planned for this and have our ideas, but we are now having a competition to see who can get the closest. It has been very interesting indeed.

I remember trying to answer this question before we opened K1, so I went to Monmouth Borough market one Saturday morning and sat for two hours, counting the number of people. Of copurse it is not just the amount of people who buy coffee, but the amount of people who will buy your food(if any), that can make a huge difference.

So now onto week two, it is going to be busy, frantic, lots of planning, late nights, interviews, trial shifts, thinking, deciding, communicating, emails and running a business.

Please enjoy the menu for this week, as we will enjoy bringing it to you.

Traditional bircher muesli with rhubarb and raspberry compote 4.00 (V)
Granola muesli with pomegranate molasses and rhubarb and raspberry compote 4.00 (V)
Fruit salad (pineapple, mango, strawberries, grapes, passion fruit) 3.90 (GF, V)
Ciabatta roll with omelette, pancetta, rocket and tomato salsa 4.90
Ciabatta roll with courgette omelette, rocket and tomato salsa 4.90
Croissant with Italian roast ham, talleggio cheese, spinach & plum tomatoes 4.90
Cinnamon and Raisin Toast (V) 2.50
Banana bread 2.50
Porridge (V) 3.00
served with condiments muscovado sugar, dried fruit, chopped nuts, golden syrup or honey

Pastries by Seven Seed bakery
French butter croissant 2.00
Pain au chocolat 2.50
Almond croissant 2.80

Baked Treats
Sweet muffin: Blueberry and bran (Cereals, Eggs, Milk) (V) 2.50
Savoury Scone: Courgette and feta (Cereals, Eggs, Milk) (V) 2.50
Friand: Red currant (Egg, Milk, Nuts) (V,GF) 2.50
Super moist chocolate brownies 2.50
White chocolate blondies 2.50
Portuguese tarts 2.00
ANZAC cookies 2.00
Almond and custard slice 2.50
Canele 2.40

Soup 4.50
Minestrone with rape green and served with parmesan sourdough.
(Cereals, eggs, milk) (V)

French retro baguettes 5.30
Pancetta, cheese sauce with parsley, baked onion and spinach (Cereals, mustard, milk) 
Roasted red peppers, zucchini, olives, pesto and rocket (Cereals, milk, nuts) (V) 

Foccacias 5.50
Prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato and rocket (Cereals, milk).
Spinach and ricotta with slow roasted tomatoes and pine nuts (Cereals, milk, nuts) (V)

Salads: 5.50/7.00
Chicken, olives, capers, roasted red onion and potato, with a pancetta and tomato dressing (Celery) (DF,GF). 
Plum tomato, buffalo mozzarella, basil with three-corner garlic dressing (Milk, mustard) (V,GF). 
Buckwheat pasta with lemon, avocado, black mustard,

Tart: 4.40 or 8.00 with salad
Arancini with beef bolognese (Cereals, celery, milk, eggs)