How much we Talkin Here???
Now I know its rude to talk about money, but I also know there are a lot of people interested in how much such a venture costs, and I want to be as open as possible with the hope of inspiring others to create...and for jokes. So that said, probably the number one theme of questioning I receive regarding Double Decker Coffee Roasting is, how much money are you putting in? Generally, it seems most people expect me to say I got into this for some wicked deal or life hack. When in reality its much more boring in that I simply set a goal in my early 20s to own property or a business by 30. In order to realize that goal I just worked as much as possible to load up two main bank accounts; a projects account, and a wow you really blew it with that project account, account (RRSP). Although to some people the numbers I am discussing here are not a huge sum of money, but when you work hourly labour jobs it can take awhile to add up...or at least in my case it did.
Although I saved primarily to execute a project of this type, I can’t seem to shake a voice in my head of that dink on Dragons Den that is always yelling “YOU ARE KILLING MONEY”! But at the end of the day, I want to create a business from the ground up, and if catastrophic monetary failure is a part of that lesson, so be it. I mean it is really no more of a loss than paying for a business degree and never using it. Nothing ventured nothing gained is the mentality I try to keep, and at the very least I will have a neat place to sip some decent coffee!
So lets brake things down. As far as the bus purchase went, by the time my week on Vancouver Island putting the deal together was done, buying the bus, transferring titles, insuring it, hiring a driver, ferries, and fuel to get it up to the Callaghan I was into the bus for $20k. Now a lot of people seem quite shocked when they hear this figure, but really, what are they comparing it too? Its not like there is a flooded market of double decker buses on the west coast. The market value of the bus was just what the seller wanted, as he had the only one for sale. Anyways, I find its easier to swallow when its put in the context of $20k for 480 square feet of rent free space on wheels.
With $20k invested in the space, I was not about to halfass the rest of the project. It would have been very simple to paint the inside, turn some seats around, chuck in some tables, toss in a $400 Breville espresso machine and call it a day. But I wanted to build something I could be proud of, whether it succeeded as a business or not I needed to be fulfilled by the build. Since the start of the project, the budget has been reallocated several times, but originally, I set the budget around $50k in enhancements to the already paid for bus. In order to best meet the budget I split it into four main categories: Construction cost (the roof upgrades, interior cafe conversion), Servicing Cost (electricity, plumbing, gas), Equipment Cost, and unforeseen/whoopsies.
Now anyone involved in the café business is all thinking the same thing, you think you can outfit a café and a roastery for $20k? And at the time, yes I did believe this... lets just say it’s a good thing the woopsies fund was so high.
Patrick Sills is the owner and creator of Double Decker Coffee Roasting. The purpose of the Build Blog is to share the story of the physical build, its components, Patrick's growing education in the coffee industry, and the overall creation of the business. Warning: if run on sentences, poor sentence structure, or simple spelling mistakes bother you to the core stop reading! The Build Blog has a very loose format, I am a builder not a writer, just thought some people might be interested in the story. Enjoy!