April 14

Retailer/Roaster Profile

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Back to Brooklyn, New York. This place is filled with outlets to relieve a java thirst of famous New York coffee geeks. That is why, as far as running a coffee business here, competition is tough. You have to be smart with your running costs. I won’t just present you with another successful business profile, but I will talk about one of its major tools to success – a powerful POS system – they use ShopKeep. Many of you have already heard about it. It is an uber simple app that uses any iPad to turn it into a powerful POS system for pretty much any kind of small business. You can download and check out the app right now to see how amazingly simple this thing is, free of charge. Meet Joel Branson, a GM of One Girl Cookies shop, to tell us about his experience with your POS system.

V. Briefly tell me about your business and the environment it operates in.
B. Well, I am not a famous girl from One Girl Cookies! This business was started about 12 years ago by Dawn Casale, who grew from baking cookies in her kitchen to now having two brick and mortar locations where we don’t just serve baking goodies anymore, but complement it with an excellent coffee program. There is a certain game that you have to play out here to be successful. Passion for what you are doing in every capacity is a must-have. Everything you do as a business has to be top notch. There is a lot of competition out here, and you can’t be offering what everyone else offers.

V. What made you search for this technology?
B. We have been using ShopKeep for about two and a half years now. Before I found out about it, I was looking for a POS system that basically could let me operate both stores very easily. If I am at home or at the office and want to know what is going on in either shop, I can access that through the Internet or through my phone. We did the trial version and it worked out great! We signed up pretty much immediately.

They are also based in New York, which is important for us because they are right here. Some people have coffee shops opening up on the east coast in the morning with their POS systems configured with west coast software. What that means is, if there is ever any trouble you have to wait for a few hours for them to pickup. ShopKeep is based right here in New York, and you can reach them pretty much anytime about any questions you have.

V. What advantages does this technology give you?
B. Well, it lets us perform operations really fast. Speed and efficiency are some of the many great things about it. It is super easy to ring someone up. I have a couple of registers set up in the store to expedite the transactions. So for example, if credit card situations happen, it is a bit easier to send someone paying with a credit card to one line and keep people ringing up on the other system. The transaction speeds are probably the fastest they could be at this point. Even though our shop is busy and has a line, slow service just doesn’t happen.

The other benefit is that aesthetically this system looks really nice and adapted well to our build out of this space. They adapt really well to our build out of this space. You know counter space is super valuable to any small business, and the system barely takes up any of it. Plus in addition to its main purpose as a POS system, I use the iPad for the stereo, time clock, Internet, scheduling, and a whole bunch of other things.

Other than aesthetics, we have a lot of customers who don’t speak English very well and time-to-time we have language barrier problems. However, usually it is very obvious for anyone to communicate with the ShopKeep screen.

At last, it is a very swift learning curve for any new barista or any other employee. I have just trained our new employee with it and it took him a minute to get it. To summarize, ShopKeep lets us fully concentrate on our products and customers, while it runs the store technically – it is just fantastic!

[iconbox title=”One Girl Cookies” icon=”adress_book.png”]
68 Dean St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201
+1 (212) 675-4996
www.onegirlcookies.com[/iconbox]

Maxim Vershinin has been a columnist for CoffeeTalk for the last few years highlighting various roasters and retailers in the industry. He has lived in Peru for the last few years and is now furthering his education at Columbia University seeking a B.A. in economics.

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