On the May 9 my brain exploded with pure joy, relief, optimism and ambition. Our startup loan got approved. When I read the subject of the email I only saw the word “APPROVED” and the air in the room filled my lungs to capacity.
What followed were a few days of celebration amidst thoughts like “HOLY &%$@%£ SH%&!@ &$£%”. For me, it was the single scariest moment throughout this whole process. Not because we were now in a rather large monetary hole, but because we knew our café was going to actually open, our lives were (and are) going to completely change.
Unboxed - Location Location Location
A few weeks beforehand we had decided to go and view a couple of premises just to get the ball rolling. We wanted to have our café in the seaside town of Ayr. Burns country.
So we started looking at properties online and quickly found a place that looked as if it was £10,000 to buy outright. Given that we had applied for a £20,000 loan, we thought if we could buy the place for half of that and not worry about monthly rent it’d be too good a deal to pass up.
On speaking with the landlord we discovered it was actually £10,000 upfront for “key-costs” then monthly rent. Ok, not exactly the deal we were hoping for, but looking round the place we saw so much potential that we never viewed anywhere else. Not only this but the premises had previously been completely refurbished as a nautical-themed café/bar. This pretty much meant that all we needed to do was paint it and decorate it however we wanted. We were actually extremely lucky that our landlord (and his Mum) really liked our idea and held out for us to get our loan.
After some more paperwork (seriously, I’d be happy if I never had to sign my name ever again) we received our loan and signed our lease. Since then, we’ve been here every day planning our decoration scheme, painting the walls and throwing everything that we don’t want into the cellar to be picked up later.
Operation: Awesome Café
A couple of days ago we made the announcement on our podcast that Operation: Awesome Café Place was a go, launched the social media pages and received amazingly positive support from all our friends and family, not to mention people who live in this area who are just excited to see a gaming café being opened that isn’t 30-40 miles away.
Next door, there’s an old pub that we’re assured has a good crowd. The owner and a couple of their patrons have popped their heads through the door to find out what we’re doing with the place and even they have been very encouraging about it.
I find it endlessly reassuring when we tell people what we’re doing and they react by saying, “oh wow! That’ll be great, there’s nothing like that round here!” It reminds me that when we open we will fill a gap in the market for café’s like ours, especially when they’re pooping up all over the country.
Unboxed - Grand Opening
Speaking of when we’re opening, save the June 23 in your calendars, it’ll be the Grand Opening of the Unboxed Gaming Café and we sincerely hope to see you all there.
Till then, we’ll be painting, decorating, more painting, stocking up on board games, practicing our barista skills and working on our people skills. I better get back to painting, the guys are giving me dirty looks.
Till next month, lovely people. I’ll let you know how the grand opening goes and whether or not Blair and I are in way over our heads!