In the summer of 2021 I built Cafe Del Bar in my garden. Sat in the bar on Saturday night in my garden with a glass of Single Malt I started reflecting on the process, and how much I had learnt from it.
Building a bar is so similar to building a business, you need a vision, you need a strategy, you need plans, you need research, you need experts, you have to get your hands dirty, be determined, learn new skills, refine and refine, and enjoy and celebrate the success of what you are doing.
My former co-worker Ashley Turner had shown me lots of pictures and we had also done a zoom from his garden bar in Birmingham which is magnificent he built during the first lockdown of 2020. I was inspired by his efforts and started to think about what I would like to do in my garden, a vision started to form of a space where I could store my growing Whisky collection and entertain friends and family.
As many of my friends, colleagues and family know DIY is not my thing, my lack of practical skills is widely known and celebrated. So when a lorry turned up with a giant shed flat pack kit I was a little nervous as to how this would turn out, this was then followed by a second lorry from Wickes with timber, screws, shelving, yacht varnish and plywood.
Luckily I called upon a series of friends and experts who taught me a lot of new skills as well as on one of the hottest days of the year building the structure of Cafe Del Bar (How to use ply, building wooden struts, wiring, roofing – the list goes on as to the new skills learnt.) Over the course of 6 weeks, Cafe Del Bar was built and refined, before a couple of test events leading up to my birthday in July.
I wanted to put my personality into the bar and my love of music was behind the naming convention a tip of the hat to Cafe Del Mar in Ibiza I even built a Spotify chilled playlist perfect for an afternoon of relaxation or when you need to work. I had a series of signs, bar mats and runners designed, created and printed by the brilliant team at Two FB they were also invaluable in helping me fit out the bar and putting up with banging their heads on the door!
At the end of the process, it was fantastic to celebrate the achievement of creating Cafe Del Bar and succeeding in the delivery of all of the planning and execution, as business owners it’s so important to enjoy the success and this is easily forgotten in the day to day running of a business.
I have loved building Richer Solutions and Cafe Del Bar, I always bring my knowledge of business into my mentoring and marketing and the experience of creating Cafe Del Bar has reaffirmed so many valuable lessons. One of the most important of these is to say thank you to everyone that has helped in the process, cheers to you all.