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espresso-a-young-businessman-on-the-launch-of-a-coffeehouse-in-semey

“ESPRESSO”: A YOUNG BUSINESSMAN ON THE LAUNCH OF A COFFEEHOUSE IN SEMEY
493

06.04.2018

“ESPRESSO”: A YOUNG BUSINESSMAN ON THE LAUNCH OF A COFFEEHOUSE IN SEMEY

Yernar Ibraikhanov, 30, from Semey, founder of the Espresso coffeehouse


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On the starting point


I’d worked as a barman for about three years when realized the need to start my own commercial activity. Watching videos on doing business, I grasped the idea to deal with activities I’m good at. That was when I launched a coffee shop.

There were few coffeehouses in Semey at that moment and we wanted to give the shop simple name associated with the business we do. So we called it “Espresso” like coffee drink.

I opened a coffee shop in 2015 and it’s been working for 3 years.


What the Espresso Coffee Shop is


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“Espresso” is in a busy area, in the center of the left bank. We have large panoramic windows where customers like sitting by and watching passers-by.

Our coffee house isn’t spacious: tables are close to each other, yet customers have enough personal space, people can hang out and enjoy talking.

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We tried to make our place atmospheric, so paid great attention to the decoration such as photographs on the walls, chalkboards with motivating and beautiful quotations. We emphasize small cute things so that people felt comfortable. That's why we have regular customers whom we really like.

We don’t have alcoholic beverages; families, young people and couples like gathering at ours at weekends.

Initially, we served "Jockey" grain coffee, which I used to buy at a local supermarket, but now we purchase quality grain in Almaty. There were Chinese coffee machine which we’ve recently changed, five tables turned into eleven.

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We’d cook desserts such as medovik, mishka-aristokrat. We’ve expanded the menu by adding popular desserts: tiramisu, cupcakes, etc. In addition to desserts, the menu has main dishes, salads and drinks which are really delicious, as we use natural and fresh products only.


On peculiarities


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We have a sign saying that we do not have Wi-Fi in the café so that people communicated in reality but not online.

We always have background music liked by visitors.

The café has a warm muffled light, so in winter evenings the it turns into a cozy island of warmth

We always decorate the café with candles and lightening balls to create a special atmosphere on holidays.

I think coziness and warmness, delicious food, desserts and coffee are the things attracting customers.


On difficulties



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We launched the coffee shop on the 20th of August. I remembered that day, as it was the day when dollar raised. My first thought was that it would affect business, but eventually nothing terrible happened.

Initially, I had a fear that it was hard to introduce something new in Semey and that the business would not be demanded. For the first six months my mom was helping me by baking all the desserts. We worked from 10 am to 12 am. The flow of visitors was weak and I started thinking that all my attempts were in vain as didn’t have enough experience. Then I began delving into the business, changing some things, and finally things worked out. My mother helped me and was always there.

Now we have four cooks, two waiters, and a barman. I work at a bar, and my mother helps to buy food and monitors the quality of the products. We try to encourage our staff by giving them different bonuses and treating them well.

I’m always not satisfied with things I’m doing, it seems that I always miss something really crucial. I always look for errors and opportunities for growth. We still have things to work on.


On plans


We’re planning to expand the menu so that our guests can try something new. In summer we’re opening open-air terraces. Besides, we’ll have more places for customers.

Many ask if we’re planning to start one more branch, but I’m not to do that.