Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Happy Changes 

We have the PayPal account verified finally. The process took longer than a personal PayPal account would.

With that verified and available for use now, we quickly got a Cafe Press account.

Within the next few days, we'll be able to offer mugs, buttons, bumper stickers, aprons, and T-shirts from the Cracked Cauldron.

The Calender is presenting a few problems, but should be up later this month. We're making it an 13 month calender so the delay won't be as devastating to calender buyers.

Part of the delay on the calender is the change in opening dates and removing all the coupons and special events from it based on our old opening date. Part of it is the possibility of opening as a CoffeeHouse only next month

See, last night, we found a building in the area where we hope to have the physical Cracked Cauldron that we could possibly rent. It's small, but plenty large enough to open first as a coffeehouse. The best thing about the location is that it's immediately across the street from a private college. The street it's on gets 27,000 drive-bys a day - one of the major east-west thoroughfares. It's 5 minutes from downtown and the State Capitol, making it a reasonable distance for those who have an hour for lunch.

It was formerly a florist's, so it already has a walk-in cooler, the sink system the Health Department requires, and the rest would be inexpensive enough to adapt.

If the rent is reasonable, we may have the coffeeshop open next month.

Oh yes, it would be vastly scaled down from our original plans.

There's a company that provides a "coffeehouse in a box" (actually, there's several, but we checked them out and like this one the best), and this one doesn't require we use their product once we use up what comes with. This is a Good Thing because we already have selected our coffee, tea, and other beverage suppliers.

So, what will we offer?

Coffee, of course. We'll go with a couple of small roasters because they have consistently good coffee - Specialty Coffee Association of America good. Far superior to what is available locally.

We'll have chai because it's popular and we have some outstanding recipes for making it from our friends who are from India.

We'll have only a few juices to start with, orange and apple, because they are the top selling juices and they'll go well with the goodies we'll offer.

Sodas because they sell.

Milk because we need it for the coffees and teas anyway - and because people drink it.

Hot cocoas, because we'll already have the ingredients on hand.

Our herb teas will be simples and special blends we make.

And we'll have our cookies and cheesecakes. No breads, or pies, or cakes yet. That's for the expansion.

And the soups, because they are a really high profit item that will sell - especially if we open in January - the coldest time of the year.

Each of these items presents us with at least an 80% profit margin, which we can save towards expansion.

We'll see how things work out.

So, that's why the Calender is still on hold.

In the meantime, we should have the Cafe Press offerings up in the next day or so.

Unless, of course, we've overestimated how easy it is to get established at Cafe Press (as we did for Pay Pal).

We have some marvelous art we bought from a very good artist (we bought all distribution rights from her as well) that will appear on the items we'll put up through Cafe Press. Just wait until you see the logo she designed for us!

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