Our Story So Far...
For over a year now, we've made it our mission to bring the finest loose leaf teas, the freshest gourmet coffee, and to top it off, slabs of delicious homemade cake to the good people of North Wales. We started by setting up shop in an old Citroen van, and decided to take it to the people, that way sidestepping footfall issues, and hopefully keeping our costs down.
Driven by our values, we wanted to:
- Get people's attention with our van, and then with our products, educating them to the variety of teas and coffees available from around the World.
- Have generosity to be at the heart of what we do.
- Motivate people to come back, become regulars, become friends.
- Share our passion and our knowledge about loose leaf tea and really good coffee, and spoil them with mouth-wateringly delicious cakes - an alternative to mediocre cafes and soulless coffee chains.
- Be accessible, not exclusive: we want people to go away with change in their pocket, and looking forward to their next visit.
Our ethos is simple: do a few things and do them well. And so that's what we've done. At the beach, in the hills, at people's offices, weddings, festivals and events. Through the wind and rain and snow, and the occasional glorious Welsh sunshine, we've been out there, doing our thing.
However, it's not been an easy or straightforward process. Being able to trade consistently has been virtually impossible. Apart from the weather, and numerous restrictions on where we can trade, we've had countless challenges with simply keeping the old van on the road, sometimes resulting in weeks off the road with no income and big repair bills!
The van is at the point where it needs some TLC and some repairs to allow it to continue bringing Providero to the North Wales coast. We believe the best course of action is not to hammer the van through bad weather, but have it available for what it's good at; small local events, office deliveries and sunny afternoons by the beach.
In order to keep the van out there we need to grow a little bit.
What's next? We've got a plan...
So we want to introduce to you a project we're very excited and equally passionate about, our Providero Tea and Coffee House.
We have found a small and affordable space in Llandudno Junction, undergoing some renovation and perfect for the next stage of the Providero adventure. With the van we have proven there is a market for gourmet tea & coffee along the coast in north Wales. People appreciate quality, value, and excellent service. Our customers tell us that they appreciate that we offer an alternative to other cafes and concessions along the coast. We've also proved that people are prepared to travel a good distance for a really great coffee. Alongside our planning and consulting, this has given us confidence that the Providero Tea & Coffee House will be a success.
What will it be like?
- A vibey and relaxed environment to enjoy your Providero beverage of choice and slice of homemade delicious cake.
- A space to meet people and connect, or to go and read your book or catch up on your emails.
- 5 minutes relaxation in your busy schedule.
- The place to geek out over the latest single estate beans we've just had roasted, or how long the latest oolong tea should be steeped for.
- A space for community, creativity and conversation. You'll always receive a warm welcome.
- An extension of what we already do. We'll also introduce new products, offers and educational tasting sessions.
- A retail space for our bags of tea & coffee, hampers and brewing paraphernalia.
- It will provide jobs and training opportunities, hopefully even careers for those with passion and aspirations.
How do we make it a success?
Thankfully, we are well placed for this next step:
We are in a position now where we have more experience, more knowledge, more skill, more connections, more customers, more support and more strategy, than when we first nervously ventured out in our little French van 15 months ago.
We've shown that our business model works and we're different to other cafes. We are specialist and we've proved there is a market for what we do.
We're working closely with a business consultant to ensure we can carry out our business plan and be in the best position to make this a success. If we raise the capital in 30 days we intend to open the Providero Tea and Coffee House by Christmas 2013.
We need your help!
We can honestly say we have only come this far thanks to the help and support of the many people who believe in us and what we we're about. And so we really know that to make this next phase happen, we can't do it on our own. We need your help!
How much do we need to raise?
We've worked out that £12,000 will enable us to do everything we need to open the Providero Tea & Coffee House in its basic form, borrowing the coffee machine and grinders from the van for the first 4-6 months of opening. (A percentage of this amount is taken by Kickstarter as an administrative fee.)
If we raise an additional £5000, we will be able to invest in a Point of Sale till system that fully integrates with our back office stock and finance management that will help us to grow further, more efficiently. We'll also be able to include a full security system on the premises.
For an additional £10,000 we will be able to purchase a new coffee machine and grinder - the hub of our operation - that will allow our current equipment to stay on the van, and enable us to churn out consistent delicious coffee all day long.
We could try and raise the funds by taking our business plan to a bank and asking for a big loan. However we love the way that “crowd sourcing” puts you, our customers and community at the heart of what we do and why we do it.
If you think there should be a Providero Tea and Coffee House and Van in this community, then you can actively make it happen by pledging and being a part of it. The personal interaction and exchange involved with this style of raising funds is a huge attraction for us, and resonates very much with who we are as people, and as Providero.
What will the money be used for?
- Approximately 10% of the budget is allocated for barista and front of house equipment, such as milk steaming jugs, bulk brew coffee equipment, cups and saucers, and the other essentials that go into physically making your drinks.
- 20% will be spent on bar equipment, including new sink and tap and sundries, and cup/dishwasher.
- A further 10% will cover the cost of the Tea & Coffee House's lighting.
- 35% will be spent on furniture (tables, chairs) building the bar, a till and our cake display unit.
- 10% is designated for the shop's signage outside of the building.
- 5% of this budget is allocated for decorating.
- 10% of the budget will be used on fitting new washroom facilities.
If we exceed the target by £5000, it will enable us to:
- Fit a comprehensive security system in the shop.
- Purchase a cafe-specific electronic point of sale till system that will help manage everything from stock, staff scheduling, accounts and more in one interface. This would make a real difference to the way we work and free up more time to developing the business.
If we smash the target and exceed £20,000:
- We can spend the money we need on the repairs to the van to allow it to be back on the road much sooner!
- We will also be able to buy a new coffee machine and grinder which will mean the van can be back on the road sooner, and we can churn out consistently amazing coffee all day long. (A new commercial coffee machine for around £7000 would give us complete control of pressure and temperature stability, which are important factors in making perfect coffee and tea.)
We hugely value your support, as friends, customers, and pledgers alike. Any donations are gratefully received and you can be assured we will use your money wisely and do all we can to make your pledges stretch as far as possible. We want our little business to have a really positive impact on our patrons, employees, communities, and wider world.
To thank you for your support, and for helping us to get there, we’ve put together a stack of rewards that will be delicious, amazing, and give you truly unique one-of-a-kind experiences, well beyond opening day. (From free drinks and Keep Cups to luxury hampers to personalised tasting sessions, to private parties and more!)
Please support us by pledging, and if you can't afford to do that, hugs and high fives are also gratefully received! Also, ask your friends to support us, post a link on Facebook, tweet about us, - these are all ways we can hopefully make it happen.
Here’s to celebrating soon!
And, thank you.
Jon & Ellie Hughes
Risks and challenges
If this project fails to reach its target, the reality is, it will become a much greater challenge for us to get it off the ground. It won't be funded through crowd sourcing, but we'll regroup and try to find another way.
Assuming the project has been successfully funded, there are a few obstacles that might need to be overcome. For a lot of the existing van customers, their purchase is an impulse one. We happen to be in the right place at the right time, when they fancy a hot drink. To get people to come to Llandudno Junction (not exactly a tourist hotspot) for tea coffee and cake could be seen by some as a bit of a challenge. The area is however a thriving town with a lot of through-trade and established businesses. We're confident that with our existing customer base, word of mouth recommendations, active use of on-line social networking, loyalty schemes, regular events and offers as a part of our on-going marketing strategy, we can make it work. We'll stagger how we implement all these, and work hard at building relationships with local businesses and workers in the area. We also feel that being located less than 5 minutes walk from the station gives us the opportunity to pick up some commuter custom, and being situated next door to such an established restaurant as Enochs Fish & Chip Shop also works in our favour. We share similar values to Enochs, and are already working together to find ways our businesses can complement and support each other.
Another challenge will be refurbishing and opening the Providero Tea & Coffee House within a time scale that suits us and our customers. At this stage, this time scale is unknown, but we are working closely with the landlord to find the best way forward, we are aiming to be up-and-running by Christmas.
Finding the right staff to train up and carry the business forward is a new area for us - we hope we can find the right people, who will view brewing coffee and tea and excellent customer service as something that is a valuable service to their community.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)