I live in a regional mining town in Queensland Australia with a population of
90,000 and over the last few months a friend of mine have decided that we
are going to start researching our business idea.
We would like to open a bookstore cafe. From the bookstore perspective it
would have both a new and used section, at this stage not focusing on a
particular niche genre. The cafe will be connected to the bookstore and
ideally you would need to walk through the cafe to get to the books. It
would be a pre-prepared cafe, as in no hot food unless able to be toasted in
a sandwich press or heated in a microwave. That is sandwiches, paninis,
cakes, biscuits and such. And of course good coffee.
The cafe would also be set out so that there is an indoor lounging area.
Comfortable chairs and sofa and an outdoor garden area with outdoor tables
and chairs. The atmosphere we want to create is an environment where you can
peruse the bookshop holding you takeaway coffee and once your selection has
been made, sit down relax and spend time reading. The idea is to get them
into the store for the books and make them stay longer with the food and
coffee. We also want to organise weekly book clubs and “reading times” for
children while their mothers sit and chat over coffee and cake.
I have worked in the hospitality industry for over 10 years (my parents
owned a restaurant/bar, which i helped run) but am currently working in the
IT industry. Both myself and my friend are obsessed with food and books,
with both of us owning large book collections. The town we are in has two
small franchise book stores and one middle sized second hand book store.
None of the existing books stores have a “stay for awhile” atmosphere
whereas cafes in town, as long as they are in the right street and have
outdoor seating, seem to do well. The most important thing we know for our
store to suceed is to find the perfect location that would allow us to do
this and we are willing to wait until we find it.
We are in the process of researching our idea and trying to figure out how
to do a business plan. At the moment there seems to be so much to think
about that we are not too sure where to start.
One question that I seem to always come back to is how do we get our hands
on stock. We would like to sell a combination of new and old stock. The
old stuff would be easier with estate sales, garage sales, church sales.
But what process do we go through to set up connections with publishing
companies and how do we know if we are paying too much.
Any help or advice that you could advise would be much appreciated, I love
your blog and think your website is amazing.