Exciting and frustrating week

Plenty of stuff accomplished this week – having agreed on terms verbally with 6130 last Friday, I went into full execution mode to source for the right equipment and suppliers for Red Bulb. I met with the La Marzocco twice this week to discuss about the espresso machines and the FB80 machine(pictured) has really caught my eye.

The La Marzocco FB80 - does this not make you yearn for a latte?

The La Marzocco FB80 - does this not make you yearn for a latte?

La Marzocco and Synesso are generally regarded by the coffee folks to be the 2 leading brands for espresso machines – an important principle of Red Bulb is to ensure the best quality in our product offerings, and even though it costs a fair bit more to go for the best machines, it will provide our customers with the best espresso. Talks are still ongoing and hopefully we can reach a fair deal with La Marzocco. The other area I have to settle on is the drip coffee brewing machines – again I am focusing on quality and it will either be the Twin Infusion Bunn or the Fetco Extraction series with pulse brewing. I could not wait to serve out the coffee to Red Bulb’s customers.

I have also been discussing extensively with coffee suppliers, including areas like the syrups, teas, chai, disposable cups etc. A cafe looks really simple to set up but the list of inventory runs and runs, and then runs some more. Great machines must go with great coffee and I have obtained plenty of samples this week to test out the right product mix to bring into Red Bulb, in addition to all the coffee that I have drank while visiting cafes around the city.

Another big area is the non-coffee equipment that has to be brought in. This includes the oven, pastry case, coolers(kitchen and undercounter), blenders, ice-machine, kitchen sink, freezer, dishwasher, panini press, cash register, water softener, water filtration – this is of course only a partial list of items. I have been visiting both old and new equipment places and they have been an eye-opening experience, especially the price tags associated with the commercial equipment. To say that they are not cheap is the biggest understatement – I have to figure out how we can get some of these equipment used to stay within our budget.

Last but not least, we bought a bulb making tool that basically allows us to create hanging lamps from discarded bulbs.

Hanging Lamp with discarded bulbs

Hanging Lamp with discarded bulbs

We intend to build 3 of these hanging lamps above our coffee bar counter and I think it fits in so nicely with Red Bulb. If you have any unused or spoilt E27 bulbs, please give us a shout and we will come and pick them up – we need loads of them.

Although it has been an extremely busy and stressful week, I have not enjoyed myself so much in a long time – I guess the passion has fueled me and it is exciting to see my seven-year cafe dream slowly turn into tangibles.  I guess it is somewhat disappointing and frustrating to find out over the past 2 days that we are not moving forward with 6130 as there are additional leasehold improvement costs that we have been asked to pay. Hey, nobody says this is easy – life always throws you a sidewinder when you least expect it and it is a matter of picking myself up and try some other place again.

Let’s move on and forward… :-)

Posted on
Friday, September 18th, 2009

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September 22nd, 2009