Our first meeting with a local inspiring business person is with 25 year old Preston born & bred entrepreneur, Conrad Carter. He has set up & succeeded in running his family owned café and, this month, is celebrating his two year anniversary. Here’s how our meeting went…
Other than Cuppa Caffe, what ties you to Preston?
My family are here; I have 2 amazing children, and loads of friends. It’s where I was born & grew up so it’s everything to me; happy memories, good times.
Talk to us about how you overcome any challenges that the business faces?
Hmm, there’s several! [He laughs] The cost of running things is a constant & huge challenge; that generates a constant worry. I overcome this by always trying new things & generally managing the costs as effectively as possible; I always tell myself I need to make sure the doors don’t close.
What would you say is your biggest attraction for pulling in customers?
Our service is exceptional, our food home-made rather than brought in plus we’re not a chain; we’re completely independent – and we do have a lot of support from our regular customers in that sense. We’re competitive in price too – we don’t charge a fiver for a coffee.
What do you like about your current customers?
They’re loyal, friendly; they’re the ones who keep us going.
And what do you think about Podio Magazine? (*flutters eye lashes)
It’s a great idea; and it shares the same opinion that I have with regards to supporting local business. I also think it’s telling that you guys are from here & have ran your own business in the city centre previously, so you understand enterprises like mine far more than other publications ever could.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of launching a business?
Keep it small, don’t try to do too much, research & look at competitors; see if your idea is already out there and, if it is, figure out how you will be different to them.
And any final tips to share? Drawing from your personal experience…
I started working here at 15 & all I wanted to do was own it one day. When the place became empty I stopped at nothing & tried everything to raise the funds. Leaning on family & friends I was able to do so and, now, I am living my childhood dream. My tip would be to follow your dreams & don’t give up.
Cuppa Caffe is a family-run fresh food establishment serving hot meals, drinks & cakes. Located in the Lune Street entrance of St George’s Shopping Centre, they are open 7 days a week & have offered our readers a complimentary tea or coffee – simply grab a coupon from the printed magazine.