Sunday, January 31, 2010

Where the Magic Happens

This morning Jason and I spent almost four hours breaking down our costs, finalizing our menu and figuring out our prices. Until construction is done our office is at our townhouse in our guest room/office. It's amazing the amount of paper you collect while trying to open a business. The desk is not normally this cluttered but I thought I'd give you all a sneak peak on where everything goes down.

And yes, there's two for iTunes and one for everything else.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

World Exclusive!!!

That's right folks! It's the moment you've all been waiting for...THE FLOORS ARE DONE!!!

View from the front door.

View from the back door.

Fireplace again, because I love it so much!

Our Back Room & Office.

One of the bathrooms.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Soup's On

Today Jason and I have a meeting with our soup vendor! I am super excited because we get to go and basically try a ton of different soup, and I love soup! We debated on whether or not would should carry and serve soup at Coffee Buzz, but I think it will be a really great option for people. For me personally, I love having the option to get a side of soup, heck, half the time I go to Bruegger's Bagels I get soup instead of a bagel.

I think what we'll do is pick about five different flavors and then just serve one every day, we might really branch out and call it "Soup of the Day". We'll just rotate between the five and then once we see how popular or unpopular it is we can adjust the amount of flavors, the different kinds of flavors, etc.

What would be super helpful is if everyone who reads this post could leave a comment below and just let us know what your favorite kind of soup is! If Jason and I can't decide between a couple we would love to have you guys be the tie-breaker! I mean, we've got to give the people what they want!!!

I'll start you all favorite soup is Broccoli Cheddar (Chicken Tortilla is a close second).

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ahead of Schedule?

I never thought I'd hear the words but this morning during my meeting with our contractor he did in fact say, "We are about a week ahead of schedule." WOW!!!

The guys are working on putting down the main tile, which is already looking amazing (sorry you'll have to wait for a picture). They will finish that today then do all the grouting tomorrow. Tile will be done by Friday. Then, on Monday all of our backroom room equipment will be coming, so the fridge, freezer, three-compartment sink, etc. From there, Gary the millwork guy, will come on Tuesday and install our cabinetry and counter!!! Then Thursday and Friday we are scheduled to have the rest of our equipment and furniture delivered! I am trying to not to get too excited, because we still need to pass a little thing called INSPECTION! Barring any major issues it's looking like that February 22nd opening might just work!

More exciting news, we got the go ahead for our signage! So our sign guys are working on getting their permit from the city a manufacturing our sign. It's pretty amazing how quick the process is! It's possible we could have our sign up by the end of next week!

Get ready Ladies and Gents, the Buzz is coming!!!!

And, just because I feel bad for not having a picture of the tile, here's a mock-up of our store front signage...What do you think???

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Shout Out!

This week's shout out has to go to my partner in crime, Jason Fawver. Jason and I cannot quite believe this amazing opportunity we have been given and being able to do this together makes it that much more exciting. As much as Jason loves to look at paint swatches and floor tiles for hours, his role in Coffee Buzz will come after we're opened. Jason will work out front with me but his main role will be the business aspect and the bookkeeping. Those of you who know of my amazing math skills (sense the sarcasm) know how lucky I am to have a boyfriend and business partner who can handle all of the numbers for me. It will be A LOT of time spent together which will be a challenge but the success of our business will be well worth it. We have butt heads a couple of  times, but nothing major, let's just say he got the TV above the fireplace but ESPN will only be played during March Madness. Even though Jason's contribution has yet to start, I could not have gotten to this point without him. He has been so supportive and so good at keeping me calm and helping me de-stress. I feel so blessed to have Jason in my life and to be able to go on this adventure with him right by my side makes it that much sweeter.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Tiling Chalk Line

I had a meeting with our contractor this afternoon and was thrilled to hear things are still moving along according to schedule. I was shocked to see that the guys had already completed the wall tiling in BOTH bathrooms by the time I got there! It's looking great!

The picture does not do it justice but the tile looks amazing against the yellow walls.

Here the guys are getting ready to lay the quarry tile which will be behind the service area and in the back room. They measure out each square so it's even, something which I am sure is common knowledge, but I've never tiled anything before. I stood there and watched them measure with this chalk tool for at least 10 minutes, it was fascinating. When I told Jason about it he just laughed, I mean "duh". For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about I have included a picture of this marvel tiling tool below!

Check out this link for tips on how to use one of these sweet things...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Wainscot (pronounced wān'skät)

Last night Jason and I were able to bring our friends Libby and Per to Coffee Buzz and show them around. The wainscot is complete and has been painted. I am really excited about how it turned out! I am very anxious for next week to see the floors go in! Until then, Go Vikes!!!

Here's a couple pics of how it's looking now:

Friday, January 22, 2010

One Month Countown!

I am hoping I don't jinx anything with this post but if all goes according to plan our opening date will be Monday, February 22nd or ONE MONTH FROM TODAY!

Here's the current schedule which will hopefully be followed perfectly so that we can open on time:

Week of Jan. 18th--Wainscot installed, Fireplace stone installed, wainscot, trim & doors painted. (This week has gone exactly to schedule!)
Week of Jan. 25th--Next week all of the tiling will be installed, and there's a lot of it! The floors are tile, half of the bathroom walls are tile and there is tile behind the service counter. Because of the amount this could take the entire week, BUT word on the street is that the tilers entire crew will be there so the hope is that they can cruise through it and be done by Wednesday. Knock on wood!
Week of Feb. 1st--Once the flooring is completed our mill work guy, Gary, will come in and install all of our cabinetry, our front counter, condiment stands, etc. Again, if the tiling gets done ahead of schedule, Gary will be able to come in ahead of schedule too. After the mill work is installed the painters will come and finish and touch up anything they have left to do. I am assuming the electrician will finish all the lighting at this point as well (SCONCES!!!)
Week of Feb. 8th--We have all of our equipment scheduled to be delivered this week! So our espresso machine, coffee brewer, refrigerators, sinks, bakery case, TV, EVERYTHING will be coming and being hooked up this week.
Week of Feb. 15th--At this point we will hopefully be finishing up hiring our sure-to-be-awesome staff and TRAINING, TRAINING, TRAINING. I have my experience from Caribou but our espresso machine is completely different than the ones they use. So I'll have to get comfortable enough on it to train everyone. Hopefully this week we will also have a Friends and Family event so the V.I.P's can check out the space and sample some of our goodies!

Within the next four weeks we also need to get our sign installed, our menu boards made and installed, AND the hardest part of all we need to pass inspection. St. Louis Park is notorious for being overly critical and difficult, but we have passed everything up until this point so hopefully there will be no problems. Fingers crossed!!! 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Shaking with Excitement

As I'm sure you could tell from my previous post, this morning was a little rough. Just as I said, however, there is always something exciting waiting in the wings. We made a pit stop on the way home from signing a ton of bank forms and were thrilled with the progress they have made this week!

Monday, we had a little problem with the wainscot---they had it measured at 52 inches up the wall but our chairs only measure 35 inches, isn't the purpose of a chair rail to meet the chairs? So after some last minute adjustments they cut it down and started getting the wainscot up and its looking great!
It will be black by the end of the week! 

Our track lighting is up! It's amazing what just a small amount of lighting can do! There's still a lot of different lighting to be installed but this is a start and I think it looks great!

AHHHHHH! This is what totally made my day! As you can see this amazing man from Boulder Creek Stone is putting the finishing touches on the stone around the fireplace! What a difference! It looks so amazing! Wait until you see it in person!

Highs and Lows

Starting your own business puts you through emotions you never knew existed. You can go from being so excited that you are shaking about something as simple as a fireplace mantel to so frustrated that you are pulling your hair out about something as simple as a bank form. There are moments you are so proud and you can't believe what you have accomplished and other moments where you just want to throw in the towel.

It's been over a year since this journey began and now that we're down to the final weeks I feel like there's still another years worth of work to get done. People (especially people I know--mom) always say, "don't sweat the small stuff." The problem with opening your own business is there is no such thing as "small stuff." Everything needs to get done, it needs to be done right, and it needs be done within a certain time frame or it has the potential to set you back weeks. This has been very much a learn-as-you-go process for me which is hard but also amazing. I can say with total confidence that I have learned more in the past 13 months than I did in 12 years of elementary/high school and 5 years of college combined. I can also say with total confidence that when we're ready for Coffee Buzz #2 it will be done in less than 6 months.

It's days like today I wish I had a punching bag hanging in my family room, but I know that if I stick it out and get through it there could be a shaking with excitement moment just around the corner. My only advice for someone opening their own business is to make sure you have a happy place. Mine? Laying in bed with my puggle dreaming of chandelier wall sconces.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Shout Out!

I haven't given a shout out in a while, but I've been saving up for a good one. This Shout Out has to go to B&W Specialty Coffee Co. and namely Chrissy Kelsch.

B&W is a local roastery and will be supplying Coffee Buzz with the most important aspect of our business--our beans (among many other things). B&W roasts all of their beans to order so we know we are always getting the highest quality, freshest beans. One thing that I am pretty passionate about, and a reason I really love B&W, is they offer a great selection of Organic and Fair Trade beans.

Fair Trade is an equitable and fair partnership between consumers in North America and producers in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The chief concern of the Fair Trade movement has been to ensure that the vast majority of the world's coffee farmers get a fair price for their harvests in order to achieve a decent living wage. Fair Trade guarantees to poor farmers organized in cooperatives around the world: a living wage; much needed credit at fair prices; and long term relationships. These fair payments are invested in health care, education, environmental stewardship, and economic independence. For more information on Fair Trade go to

I am very proud to say that ALL of the coffee and espresso that we will be serving at Coffee Buzz is Certified Fair Trade and Organic!

Back to how awesome B&W is...Chrissy has been my contact at B&W since day one and has been nothing short of amazing. She has been such a huge help! She has answered so many questions, given us so many samples and has made me feel really excited and proud of the choices I have made. Every time I go to B&W everyone is so nice, so interested in our business and so helpful. I cannot wait to show Chrissy the finished product since she has wanted to come check out the space since last January when this all got started--but I keep holding her off until there is actually something to see. I can't thank Chrissy and B&W enough for what they have already done and I am really excited to continue this relationship and work with them for a VERY long time!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Starting to feel like Home

We were at Coffee Buzz this weekend and there were a couple of new additions, one being all the tracks for our lighting, which is very exciting. As you can see from the picture they also put up the mantel on our fireplace! Love it! They did not get to the wainscot like I was hoping, but that just means there will be even more going on this next week! I can't wait!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dancing on the Ceiling!

That's right people, the ceiling is painted! I absolutely LOVE it! Without anything else in there yet it has quite the Vikings feel....maybe not such a coincidence considering Sunday's game.

Here's a couple pics:

Monday, January 11, 2010

We're Comin'...

Our banners are up! The neighborhood knows we're coming! I am really happy with how they turned out!

I had a meeting with Eric, our contractor, today and he confirmed that the wiring is officially taken care of and we can FINALLY move on. On tap for this week: tomorrow they will be taping and prepping to finish painting, Wednesday--they'll be painting the ceiling and then finishing up the walls, by Friday--our wainscot will be installed! It's really going to start taking shape this week, which will be really refreshing after 3 weeks of looking exactly the same. Next week we'll get our floors and the stone on the fireplace will be installed! I asked Eric to give me a time line and he said if we're really ambitious it could be done in 3 weeks! However, we have to keep in mind that we have to pass inspection. So far, the inspector has approved everything that's been done but St. Louis Park is notorious for being difficult. Hopefully, I can I bribe them with lattes and mochas and they will pass us with flying colors!

On another note, hearing the "3 weeks" made me realize how much I still need to accomplish. I'm not going to share for fear that seeing it in writing will send me into a major panic attack but lets just say I really need to get my ducks in a row. Thank goodness I got that yoga package to try to keep me calm, at least for an hour or so.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Coming Soon!

Today was a  very positive day, very refreshing after the past couple of days. We have some re-wiring being done tomorrow and hopefully after that we can continue with construction. In the meantime, I am having some banners made up to put in the windows. I just got the proof today and am very excited! Don't you think these will look great hanging in the windows?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Don't Say Wire

So, without going into a really long, elaborate and boring story about wiring, I will simply say I am so sick of the word WIRE. Construction has now been delayed three weeks because of wiring---miscommunication regarding wiring, wiring done wrong, people thinking someone is doing certain wiring when really they are supposed to do the wiring, wiring that needs to be done that no one knew needed to be done. You can see how this could get exhausting.

I had a meeting today that will hopefully remedy the wiring debauchery. Once some of the wiring gets fixed they can finish painting and finally do the ceiling. From there, it's downhill. We are hoping we can still hit our early February opening, but right now that all depends on the "w" word. So keep your fingers crossed.

While I was there today I took this picture of our spot:

We are right up front on the corner. The whole complex is called Harmony Vista and will be a part of the community Hoigaard Village. Want to live above Coffee Buzz? Check it out:

Saturday, January 2, 2010


On New Years Eve, I had the pleasure of bringing my first guests to Coffee Buzz! My close college friends, Robyn and Sarah, came by and got the grand pre-finished tour and witnessed a very pointless meeting with Comcast. Sarah, took this glorious picture of me stomping on a Caribou Coffee cup (hey, I have to get coffee somewhere until we're open) but as she so eloquently put it, I am "crushing the competition."

During the grand tour I showed Robyn and Sarah three electrical holes in the walls--these three holes represent the design element of Coffee Buzz that I am most excited about.....WALL SCONCES. So, as promised, Robyn and Sarah--here is a picture of the highly anticipated sconce:


Don't you just love it?!?

I hope everyone had a Happy New Year! 2009 was all about making Coffee Buzz happen and 2010 is all about making it work...wish us luck! :o)