Cafe Design and Architecture - DNA for The Specialty Coffee and Tea Industry

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Do I need an architect or designer for my project?

If you haven't worked with an architect or designer before, you may wonder whether your project really requires it. Particularly if your coffee shop design project is a remodel or renovation of an existing space. Hiring a design professional will add value to your ideas and give the entire project direction. A good designer can assist you in considering all structural, aesthetic and sustainable options for your coffee shop design project, not to mention, obtaining building permits and health department approvals.

Do I need building permit?

Yes. Retail Coffee establishments are considered restaurants by virtually every state. In every community there are public health guidelines and food service standards that will be considered by your building department. Most likely, you will need County Health Department and/or Environmental Health review and approval of your project before you can even apply for a building permit. Some jurisdictions require proprietors to take a food service test to assure that new establishments are being managed in accordance with their states food code. If you are doing more than painting, then most likely you'll need a permit.

How long will design take?

The coffee shop design process takes about 3 � 4 weeks, depending on your team's ability to communicate clearly, commit and communicate over email, and make decisions. Establishing a clear design goal with your designer will make this process quicker.

What about a water filtration system? Do I need it?

In the coffee business water is essential to proper brewing quality and taste of coffee and espresso drinks. We recommend anyone in the specialty beverage industry to get their water tested by a specialty water filtration provider. Free of charge a reputable company will send you a test kit. The sample is sent back to their lab for testing and a recommendation for filtration and conditioning system is then made.

Does Cafe Design & Architecture help me with casework and display cases?

Yes, we provide coffee shop design drawings and specifications based on the equipment ergonomics for your menu and the configuration of your space. All coffee shop design drawings are thoroughly detailed to solicit pricing from manufacturers and sub-contractors. We always consider specialty companies like Curro in Colorado to assist in fabrication, quality control and cost estimating casework products.

How long will the health department take to approve my cafe?

Health department review can take as little as 3 hours for approval in a face to face meeting if your jurisdiction allows, to up to 45 days in a jurisdiction where complete contract document submittal is required. Cafe Design & Architecture will see you through this process and accompany you to the Health Department for a plan review meeting or submittal.

How long does construction take?

Depending on your location and availability of sub-contractors to do the work, we estimate that 8 to 12 weeks be scheduled for the on-site construction process. This time frame includes building inspections and installation of equipment and furniture, but will not include the permitting process.

Can you help me select a contractor?

Yes, Cafe Design & Architecture provides this service. We will assist you in sorting through the pool of general contractors' in your area. Being an outsider can help you out in the long run by screening out "un-qualified" contractors.

How much will this cafe cost me to build?

Depending on your coffee shop design project size and location. A new tenant improvement space at 1800 square feet with a drive up will be much more expensive than a kiosk or a drive-thru only style building. Example: 2007 Boise Idaho 1700 square foot T.I. build out walk-in with drive up window construction costs only with minor upgrades = $255,000.00 Add to that $55,000 in equipment costs, not to mention sewage and municipal fees and permits add an additional $12,000; $19,500 for a refrigerated display case, add food, supplies, etc. Cafe Design & Architecture can help you with a complete construction estimate before contract documents go to bid.

Can you help us select and purchase equipment?

Cafe Design & Architecture stays current with specialty coffee industry and food service industry trends. We provide full specification and quotes from at least 2 equipment providers so you can get a competitive edge. WE DO NOT sell equipment, but we help you decide on what is best for your budget and use.

What about lighting and furniture?

As part of the coffee shop interior design package, Cafe Design & Architecture provides complete retail lighting design and specifications that will meet local energy requirements. In addition, we can provide you with the best sources for cafe seating, and other furnishings.

Who do I get to do my health department and building department permit drawings?

Cafe Design & Architecture provides full Interior Architectural permit contract document services, including Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Engineering drawings throughout the country, including Hawaii and Puerto Rico. With our network of licensed professionals, be assured your project will have a state seal from a licensed professional in your area.

What about signage? Do you design it?

We can certainly assist in designing your site signage as well as locating on the property. We recommend using a local signage professional to service and install your exterior signage.

Who will design my website? Can I get a logo design from Cafe Design & Architecture?

Yes, Cafe Design & Architecture provides logo and web design. Our logo designs are produced based on a questionnaire we provide to you to determine the desired aesthetic of your coffee shop design, then we give you a dozen or so to choose from. Our web designs are produced in-house by a professional web developer and are completely customized based on your needs.


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