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‘Coffee and Vinyl’ – the new music cafe in town – opening soon – or maybe not

I know these two retired guys (68 year old pensioners) who are neighbours and friends. They love coffee, red wine and music, particularly modern jazz /funk. They lives are happy and busy with family and various interests but they want to feel productive, increase their income and have some fun.

They come up with an idea for a hobby cum part-time business which they can share. Most of the details of that plan are inspired by fantasy and cognitive impairment brought on by age and alcohol.

You’ve probably guessed that the business proposition is a music shop (selling new and pre-owned cds and vinyl records) which is also a coffee bar and licensed to sell wine. They wouldn’t want to work full-time so opening hours would be limited to a comfortable 5 hours a day, 3 days a week. The business will be in a small rented property conveniently situated about half a mile away from their homes in a small northern district centre.

When fuelled by alcohol, they convince themselves that there is a market for this business and that the business model might even attract a big investor. They would be able to drink and listen to music tax-free whilst supporting the local community. They would become local celebrities, reverse the trend for coffee bar mediocrity and become the saviour of so many people who have never been introduced to good music.

One day they did a little bit of research whilst completely sober. They found a small, cheap 700 sq ft shop unit on the main road at the edge of the centre. Taking into account the rent, business rates, energy costs, insurance etc. they were looking at £1,500 per month or £21,000 per year. Start up costs for equipment, fittings, signage, furniture and stock could be limited to a miserly £12,000. There would be other running costs of course.

Six grand each didn’t seem a big initial investment – even for two pensioners with dwindling savings and static pension pots. But what about takings? Surely they could source stock easily enough and could make a decent coffee with the right equipment. At least a 50% profit on everything seemed feasible.

In the cold light of day they worked out that they would be lucky to make a £200 profit on sales per day. Taking account of limited opening hours and holidays, they would make about £19,000 per year after tax, significantly less than just the rent and rates. Altogether, it would be a very expensive hobby.

It was dead in the water!

Devastated by this injection of reality, they blamed the government, greedy landlords, the state of the UK economy, the cost of living crisis, unreliable supply chains etc. but most of all their own naivety, stupidity and crazy imaginations. As they grew to accept their lack of judgment, they saw the funny side of it. They reflected on what a typical day might have been like……….

Partner 1: Good morning, Now what can I get you?

Customer 1: Coffee please

Partner 1: What type would you like?

Customer 1: Have you got any Nescafe?

Partner 1: No

Customer 1: OK I’ll leave it then. I’ll go to my usual coffee shop


Customer 2: What music are you playing?

Partner 2: Oh that’s ‘Shuftokan’ by Snarky Puppy. Cool isn’t it?

Customer 2: Not my thing I’m afraid. Have you got any Neil Diamond? I love him.

Partner 2: No, sorry. Well not sorry, really. We have some great music though if you want to look through.

Customer 2 : I’ve not heard of most of them. And I’ve noticed your second hand cds are much dearer than the charity shop.

Partner 2: Yes. That’s because our cds are sought after albums and feature great modern jazz artists. Not albums that people want to get rid of.

Customer 2: Oh. Do you think anyone round here will like jazz? You want to get Spotify. Its saves buying and messing with vinyl and cds. You can listen to anything from Neil Diamond to ABBA.

Partner 2: Yes I know. But I think some people want to explore non-pop, to own their own physical music collection with the artwork and information that goes with it and like to ensure that artists get more reward for their efforts and talent.

Customer 2: I’m not bothered about owning records. They just take up space and get damaged by the dog. For one of your CDs, I can listen to anything I want at any time for a whole month on Spotify.

Partner 2: Give me fucking strength!


Partner 1: Yes, What would you like to drink?

Customer 3: Have you got any red wine?

Partner 1: Yes, Any particular type?

Customer 3: I’ll have some Merlot please.

Partner 1: I can recommend the Chateau Los Boldos Tradition Resérve Merlot 2019.

Customer 3: Not sure I’ll like that. Have you got any of that Isla Negra ? Its quite nice. Tescos sell it.

Partner 1: Then I suggest you go to Tesco. Also, you might prefer the music they play there.


Partner 1: Over the last 3 hours, you’ve had 4 wines and 3 coffees. Would you like me to get you the bill?

Partner 2: Ha ha. Funny. I think I’m getting a bit light headed. Could you take over the coffee making while I have a lay down or are you a bit pissed also?

Partner 1: Seriously, we’re cutting into the profits big time. I’ve been through the accounts with Dodgy Dave and he says we can’t claim tax relief for wine and coffee testing.

Partner 2: What does he know, he’s not a real accountant, he runs that rubbish removal firm ‘Van Morris & Sons Make it Disappear’

Partner 1: He’s never paid tax though, so he should know what he’s talking about.

Partner 2: We just need to get more customers. We need to advertise and do some marketing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all those.

Partner 1: Are you on them?

Partner 2: No. Wouldn’t have a clue anyway.

Partner 1: I’ll lock up shall I?


Yes. You’ve guessed. I’m one of those old guys


Author: Paul

I am a retired, married bloke, dad and grandad - growing old with attitude.

10 thoughts on “‘Coffee and Vinyl’ – the new music cafe in town – opening soon – or maybe not”

  1. A few years ago, I was part of a team that was hoping to start a ‘deli’ in our village. Basically, coffee and cake, and a place for the villagers to meet. It didn’t happen, for all the reasons you mention here (and some others). Something along those lines might just be possible if a suitable venue were to fall into our laps, but paying the bills wouldn’t be easy even then. Still, you can’t help dreaming, can you?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s a shame your deli/cafe idea didn’t take off! You’re right though……we have to keep dreaming. We never know….one day…


  3. We did create the experience in our homes. It involved more than a couple of glasses though. You’re right, the world did look better and definitely more blurry.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sadly, yes. It used to be an occasion going shopping for records on a Saturday, followed by a coffee and a BLT. Our nearest decent record shops are now in Manchester city centre. Hopefully someone will open a nice record and coffee shop a bit nearer soon.


  5. We have got a flower shop locally that sells coffee and cake; flowers and cake both expensive. You can squash inside or sit outside on the very narrow pavement next to the traditional ( eg not designer ) charity shop that spills onto the pavement. It seems to be popular!

    Liked by 1 person

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