18 episodes

Starting and running a #local restaurant isn’t easy. With a big upfront investment, small margins, and lots of hard work required, you need to be a little bit crazy to run a successful restaurant. Yet, we all know amazing local entrepreneurs who take on this challenge every day. These people make our local economies stronger.

Amin Yazdani, CEO & Co-Founder of Craver, hosts one of these amazing people each week. #LocalBites shares helpful strategies that you can use in your restaurant mixed with inspiring stories, and great conversation.

#LocalBites Craver

    • Business

Starting and running a #local restaurant isn’t easy. With a big upfront investment, small margins, and lots of hard work required, you need to be a little bit crazy to run a successful restaurant. Yet, we all know amazing local entrepreneurs who take on this challenge every day. These people make our local economies stronger.

Amin Yazdani, CEO & Co-Founder of Craver, hosts one of these amazing people each week. #LocalBites shares helpful strategies that you can use in your restaurant mixed with inspiring stories, and great conversation.

    You Have to Be Kind with Cynthia Lubin

    You Have to Be Kind with Cynthia Lubin

    From nursing school and phlebotomy to smoothie trucks, Cynthia Lubin, the owner of Earth N Zest, utilized the opportunity the pandemic provided her to embrace a new part of her journey. Cynthia tested the waters for her market by selling smoothies out of her house and then switched to a smoothie truck. She is sharing her smoothie truck strategy and how it works with her business model. From smaller spaces to a small staff, Cynthia is telling us about how she has streamlined her processes while providing high standard products. She loves building empathetic relationships with her regular clients and prioritizes kindness over all. Do your research, don’t give up, and be kind to others.

    Website- https://www.earthnzest.com/
    Instagram- @earthnzest

    [00:00] Show intro
    [00:30] The story of Earth N Zest
    [03:13] Selling smoothies from Cynthia’s house
    [04:27] Transitioning to a smoothie truck
    [05:41] Picking the spots in the city
    [06:18] Catering to the clientele
    [08:09] Challenges with space
    [09:03] Efficient processes in a limited space and staff
    [10:10] Technology in customer service
    [10:56] Creating a relationship with repeat customers
    [12:17] Keeping customer service consistent
    [13:38] Issues with staffing with a small team
    [14:28] Learning the business side of things
    [16:54] Putting together the recipes
    [17:58] Building relationships with other business owners
    [20:17] Advice for aspiring business owners
    [21:37] Closing comments

    • 21 min
    Connecting With Your Customer Base with Dave Fulwider

    Connecting With Your Customer Base with Dave Fulwider

    David Fulwinder, co-owner of Old Salt Coffee Company is joining us on today’s episode of #localbites. David started in the Navy, but ended up in coffee roasting after a failed attempt to move he and his wife to a coffee farm in Hawaii. After 10 years of development, Old Salt Coffee Co. came to be through a series of decisions, coffee roasting dilemmas, and design ideas. A name that goes back to the roots of the company’s team, Old Salt Coffee is a nod to those who have served in the Navy or love someone who has. Each bag of coffee tells a story of someone who has been involved in the Navy to highlight this wonderful community. David is sharing some of the business side of Old Salt Coffee, including the challenges and lessons that have been learned over the last two years.

    Old Salt Coffee-
    https://www.oldsaltcoffee.com/

    [00:00] Show intro
    [00:33] Welcome to David
    [00:40] How did David get into the coffee roasting business?
    [04:12] The steps to getting to a starting point
    [07:42] What is the meaning behind the name?
    [10:06] The importance of connecting with navy vets
    [11:48] Marketing to your target customers
    [14:30] Choosing the stories to tell the people
    [17:42] What’s next for Old Salt Coffee?
    [21:34] The biggest challenges for Old Salt Coffee
    [23:20] Lessons from coffee
    [24:26] Advice for someone who wants to open a roasting company
    [25:43] Wrap up

    • 26 min
    15 Years in Business with Mo Alhakim

    15 Years in Business with Mo Alhakim

    On today’s episode of #localbites we’re talking to Mo Alhakim, owner of Mo’z Cafe. Mo started at the Marriott as a valet before becoming a manager at a restaurant. Years later, Mo’z Cafe was opened. Mo’z Cafe has been open for over 15 years and Moe is telling us what it’s like to open and own multiple locations. When COVID-19 came, Mo lost two of his locations leaving only one. At his current location, there is a loyal customer base in his small town and Mo is talking about how to build your cafe to what you want it to be. The biggest lessons Mo has to teach is to keep things simple and be on time, so listen in to find out more from the owner of Mo’z Cafe.

    [00:00] Show intro
    [00:30] Welcome to Moe
    [00:38] How Moe ended up in the restaurant industry
    [01:27] Why Moe wanted his own cafe
    [01:57] 15 years of success
    [02:29] Opening a second location
    [03:29] The emotions of the pandemic
    [04:27] Moe’s reason for fighting through
    [05:20] Creating a loyal customer base
    [06:09] Building something the community wants
    [06:40] The biggest challenges before the pandemic
    [08:54] Business people and fast service with relationship
    [09:42] Mountains that have been overcome
    [10:19] What would Moe do differently next time?
    [11:16] Supply chain issues
    [12:57] Advice for someone who wants to start their own cafe
    [14:22] Outro

    • 14 min
    Expanding Through Ghost Kitchens with Joelle Parenteau

    Expanding Through Ghost Kitchens with Joelle Parenteau

    Joelle Parenteau opened Wolf Down, a German street food restaurant, because her husband was missing out on the food from his home country. Being an entrepreneur by nature, Joelle took it upon herself to create the solution to her and her husband’s problem. She is sharing with us what it’s like to open a restaurant, ride out the pandemic, and even sharing about the ghost kitchens Wolf Down is working with.

    Wolf Down’s website:https://www.wolfdown.com/

    [00:00] Show intro
    [00:28] Welcome to Joelle Parenteau
    [00:39] Why German street food?
    [01:55] What Joelle was doing before restaurants
    [02:24] From the first bite to the opening of Wolf Down
    [03:35] What makes it special?
    [05:40] Lessons learned from one to multiple locations
    [07:01] The motions of COVID-19
    [09:06] How opening locations went (with a twist)
    [10:21] The challenges of working from a ghost kitchen model
    [12:04] Staffing shortages and ways to solve it
    [14:03] Expectations of the government that fell short
    [16:26] Expansion plans: present and future
    [19:28] Creating a community around Wolf Down franchises
    [20:15] The regulars vs. one offs
    [21:59] Why do people come back?
    [23:00] Advice for someone who wants to open their own restaurant
    [23:51] Outro

    • 24 min
    A Third Place with Katie Kutler

    A Third Place with Katie Kutler

    Kaffe Karma is a coffee shop by day and a yoga studio by night. The owner, Katie Kutler, is talking to us about her unique business plan for Kaffe Karma and how she is preparing for the grand opening. Learn more about Kaffe Karma by clicking one of the links below.

    https://www.kaffekarma.com/
    https://www.instagram.com/kaffe.karma/

    [00:00] Show intro
    [00:30] Welcome to Katie
    [00:38] What is Kaffe Karma and how did it come to be?
    [06:57] The things Katie learned from working in other coffee shops
    [09:16] The importance of community and how Kaffee Karma encourages it
    [13:02] Preparing for a grand opening
    [15:51] From coffee shop to yoga studio
    [20:22] Where Kaffe Karma is finding their roaster
    [22:16] All things barista training
    [23:37] The most unexpected challenge of opening
    [25:05] Advice for someone who wants to open a coffee shop
    [25:52] Wrap up

    • 26 min
    Roasting Great Coffee with Mike Ayars

    Roasting Great Coffee with Mike Ayars

    We are welcoming Mike Ayars, owner of Turnstile Coffee in NJ, to this episode of #localbites! Mike has over a decade of experience in the specialty coffee business, and is talking to us today about some unique experiences he has had and how he runs a wholesale roastery business at the same time.

    Website: https://www.turnstilecoffee.com/
    Instagram: @turnstilecoffee
    Coffee Pick Up Window: https://943thepoint.com/turnstile-coffee-in-belmar-opens-takeout-window/

    [00:00] Show intro
    [00:35] Welcome to Mike
    [00:50] Biggest lessons learned after a decade of specialty coffee
    [01:34] Why start with specialty coffee?
    [02:56] How do you survive in a world without coffee
    [03:17] From a first taste of coffee to opening Turnstile
    [04:45] Where Mike looked for roasting classes
    [05:30] What’s the draw for roasting?
    [06:54] The unique aspects of roasting and owning a cafe
    [08:44] Finding good sources
    [11:05] Who is over the roasting business?
    [11:45] How to keep up with the trends?
    [12:54] Customer education
    [16:16] What does Mike do to make Turnstile unique?
    [18:55] Why do other cafes come to Turnstile for their coffee?
    [20:11] Ratio of wholesale to cafe business
    [21:28] What the pandemic was like: take out window edition
    [25:23] How special events can promote coffee
    [28:04] The biggest challenges in 11 years of Turnstile
    [30:09] #1 piece of staffing advice
    [31:30] Advice for aspiring coffee shop/roastery owners
    [33:47] Wrap up

    • 34 min

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