Four Tips for Choosing the Right Location from Teaffee's David and Meno Fernandez

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David and Meno Fernandez are two brothers starting out on their very first retail adventure with a specialty coffee and tea shop in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.  The store is named for their signature drink, Teaffee - a heady blend of tea and coffee, which as kooky as it sounds, is actually delicious.  If you're ever in the neighborhood, make sure to give it a try. 

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Older brother David helped finance and set up the store, while Meno runs day-to-day operations. We asked them both for their tips on choosing the right location.  

 1. All-Day Traffic

In a place like New York where rents are really high, you have to be able to get people through your door throughout the day.  Some locations will attract young professionals on their way to the subway, others are more likely to see young mothers getting together mid-morning.  Some will let you attract a working lunch crowd while some can even work as a late-night meetup spot.  We're doing well with the morning professional crowd and we're hoping to attract more customers during the day as we grow.    

2. Choose the 'right' location for your business 

Every business is different. A bathroom supplies store is going to want different things from its location than a coffee shop. We knew we wanted to sell loose leaf teas and coffee beans so we knew we'd need a bigger space than if we'd just wanted a grab'n'run style coffee joint.  We knew we'd want to be able to expand our offering so space to display items was important. For other coffee shops, space may have been less of an issue.  For us, it was an important factor.  

3. Foot Traffic is everything.  

It's worth extra cost. It's worth extra effort looking. It's worth extra time waiting for the right location to come available. Find the best foot traffic location you can afford.  

We literally came and sat outside potential locations counting how many people passed by in the morning, during the day and in the evening.  As a good rule of thumb you'll be happy to get 10% of those people coming through your door.  

4.  Pick an up and coming neighborhood

We've chosen a space in a neighborhood that's developing quickly with a view to riding the wave of gentrification. In particular we had a sense that the local area had been held back by the local Subway line being closed for repairs for about two years. We got set up before the station re-opened and we were able to capture a nice amount of the commuters who started using it again. 

Whatever you choose, make sure you get to know the local area, both the people and the property prices. Take the time to do proper research and you'll avoid heartaches later on.  

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Note From The Lean Retailer: if you're as good at Instagram as these guys, make sure to include cool photos like this one... 
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David Fernandez

Co-Owner Teaffee Coffee & Tea Shop  

David and Meno Fernandez are two brothers starting out on the brick and mortar journey with a specialty coffee and tea shop in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.  

David oversaw the launch of Teaffee.    

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Meno Fernandez

Manager Teaffee Coffee & Tea Shop  

David and Meno Fernandez are two brothers starting out on the brick and mortar journey with a specialty coffee and tea shop in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.

Meno runs the store's day-to-day operations.