Saturday, August 30, 2008

Business Banking

Did you know that business checking accounts have monthly fees? We didn't! I'd heard good things about Johnson Bank, so Jane and I talked with them about opening an account. The woman we met was extremely nice and very honest, which was awesome. She recommended that we open a money market account to hold investments until we're ready to make a lot of withdrawals, but not do so until we check out some other banks first. She admitted that bars and restaurants aren't Johnson's strong suit, emphasized how important location will be in choosing a bank (daily deposits once we're up and running), and even recommended a few banks for us to talk with. Given that my research of the restaurant industry has gone mostly as follows,

Restaurant industry: give me $500 and I'll give you a tiny clue towards solving this one problem.
Me: that's not much incentive for me to put some clothes on and leave the forest.

talking with Johnson Bank was pretty refreshing. We didn't open a checking account, but the process didn't happen without progress. Having an IRS Employer Identification Number is required to open a business checking account, so we got one.

We didn't make a hard decision on having a bakery, but we're going to proceed as though we chose 'yes'. I'm halfway through a surprisingly good book about opening a bakery, and I'm just getting to the chapters on equipment and space requirements. Those plus ingredient, labor and energy costs will give us the foundation of making a feasibility decision. I did some work on updating the business plan to include a bakery, but I still have a ways to go.

Jane will be out of town for a couple of weeks, so I'm flying solo. My plan is to finish the book and work on the logistics of a bakery-focused menu. I'll be trying to answer questions like "how much do ingredients cost? How will we transform bulk purchases into individual portions? What will our prices be? What equipment will be required for each step? How much space will it take up? How much can we expect to sell each day? How many employees will that require?" If I can get that done by the time Jane gets back, I'll be pretty excited.

The latest pilot batch is a biere de garde with maple syrup. I fermented the beer at cool temperatures with a blend of Saison Dupont yeast and a neutral American ale yeast, then warmed it up as fermentation began to slow. My goal is to keep the saison character subtle while fermenting as much of the sugar as possible. Jeff brewed the beer with me last Saturday and it's still fermenting away, which is a full 2-3 days after fermentation usually stops. My plan just might work, mwahaha!

1 comment:

Matt Lange said...

using the Dupont strain would likely dry the beer out more than a "typical" biere de garde (if you can say "typical" for such an open ended style). Sounds really interesting.