“As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?”
― Cassandra Clare,
The Stick in the Mud Coffee House Ltd first open its doors for business on the magical date of 07/07/07, an anniversary that one would be hard pressed to forget. I have had the opportunity to speak with David several times about entrepreneurship over the years. Not included in his feedback below is a little gem he passed along to me a few years back, which was that when he was opening, he made a point of being everywhere, all the time. Also not explicitly mentioned here (though briefly touched upon in the second point) is the importance of treating your employees well.
David Evans is a good mentor and an excellent business operator. The Stick in the Mud received recognition in 2015 as the Chamber’s Business of the Year, their top annual award.
Following are some very wise words from David Evans, founder, owner and operator of Sooke’s Stick in the Mud Coffee House. At the end of the survey, we are also including his Daily Gem interview with Jarvis Emerald.
-Britt Santowski, SPN
Describe your business.
We roast coffee and we make food.[sam id=”15″ codes=”true”]As well as our three retail cafes, The Stick also provides roasted coffee, baked goods and coffee brewing equipment to approximately 25 other businesses from B&B’s to hotels, restaurants, cafes and offices. The Stick provides training to our wholesale accounts as well as maintenance service on their equipment.
The Stick innovates within the industry by developing delicious and non traditional coffee preparations (on-tap cold-brewed coffee and iced tea for example) and niche-market baking (dairy-free, reduced sugar and gluten-free).
The Stick sources coffee beans during on-site visits to coffee producers in Central and South America. We also contribute to charitable projects in these origin nations.
When did you first know that you wanted to be self employed? Are you an entrepreneur by choice or by necessity?
I have been self-employed, freelancing or contacting in one industry or another since 1992. To say that self-employment is freedom is a myth. Instead of one boss, I have several hundred people to account to — including my coworkers and every single customer. What self-employment provides is a sense of controlling your own fate.
What was the one thing you could not have done without when you got started?
Industry specific training. I took classes in exactly those things that was emerging in this industry prior to opening. That way we could be on the leading edge of something. We had our USP (unique sales proposition -ed) in a market with duplication of services.
If you were to advise other potential entrepreneurs, what is the ONE thing they should always do when they first get started?
Ensure that you are well capitalised. Running out of money before your business is up to speed and running well would suck.
What keeps you motivated? What keeps you working at your businesses? What are the biggest rewards and the worst challenges? What could you do without?[sam id=”15″ codes=”true”]Motivation comes from knowing that there is so much more to be done and wanting to be in the forefront of my industry. The fact that The Stick can do what it does in a market this size is constantly amazing! 12,000 people have made it possible for Sooke to have a service that many cities do not have.
Rewards comes from when staff and customers have epiphanies! When a new barista lays down her first milk art Rosetta in a cappuccino, or when a skeptic new customer tries our coffee and says, “Wow!”
One thing I wish for is that there was a coffee bar in Sooke where I could sit and get some work done anonymously!
Looking back, knowing what you now know, what would you have done differently?
I might relinquish control of the bar sooner so that I could work on other aspects of the business sooner … though I probably could not afford that.
Name David Evans
Company The Stick in the Mud Coffee House Ltd.
Address 6715 Eustace Rd/PO Box 191, Sooke, V9Z0P7
Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone Number 250-642-5635
- For the full video and article from Jarvis Emerald, visit the Daily Gem website here.