While it may reside in Sin City, Daniel’s Coffee & More prides itself on “No drama, just coffee.” A boutique cafe that offers a back-to-basics approach to its coffee, the new shop has had breakout success thanks to a choice business card.
Before Daniel Kermani opened his eponymous cafe, Daniel’s Coffee & More, he spent 15 years in the luxury retail industry.
“I have always had a passion for customer service and leading an amazing team of individuals,” says Kermani. “But I also knew I wanted to be a business owner and execute my own goals on my own terms and exit the corporate life.”
So, Kermani left his job as director of sales at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City and entered the java-selling space in June 2019. An avid coffee drinker, the move felt right for the entrepreneurial greenhorn. Based out of Las Vegas, Daniel’s Coffee & More percolated into an upscale coffee boutique with a focus on quality.
“I was able to secure a partnership with La Colombe, a premier coffee roaster and distributer,” says Kermani. “They believe that America deserves better coffee and I couldn’t agree more. In a time when coffee seems to be everywhere, how do we take it back to the basics and make our consumers understand that coffee is so much more than 10 pumps of sugar mixed with heavy whipping cream?”
Although Daniel’s Coffee & More has only been open for a couple of months, the shop is buzzing – and Kermani sees more success on the horizon.
In addition to a credit card utilized from the start, Kermani credits his distinct back-to-the-best-basics approach for his breakout success.
“We offer an environment where our guests can come in, enjoy an amazing cup of coffee with a fresh baked pastry and stay a while, and maybe even get a second cup to go.”
See related: Attending the hottest ticket in town with a credit card in tow
Your cafe is young, so how is it going so far?
The beginning has been like any new project – however, this time, I had so much personal investment.
Plotting out the idea, making sure it was done right and executing it was my main focus. I always knew I had a certain vision and staying true to what I wanted was the toughest part. I didn’t cut corners on my design vision and what I wanted to provide for our customers. I hope that it shows.
There are many times that you have an idea of what one thing will be and the next thing you know, you find yourself over budget. For me, what really stood out was the cost of equipment.
We use La Marzocco machines that are handmade in Florence, Italy, and shipped to us. They cost thousands of dollars, but I knew we needed them so we could continue providing the best quality coffee. Not to mention we purchased two to help facilitate our drive-thru business.
How have credit cards helped you so far?
I, myself, am a huge credit card buff and like to always stay in the know. It’s a huge market and there is definitely something out there for everyone.
I most recently met Brian Kelly, the founder and creator of The Points Guy, and it was like meeting someone I have looked up to for so long.
Almost any expense I had while opening this new business was put on a credit card. I don’t believe that you should have to spend a cent and not receive rewards for it.
For the business, I went with the American Express® Business Gold Card. I chose it because I’m a loyal customer with American Express and have built my credit relationship with them over the years.
They offered a great introductory bonus of $500 back in statement credits (by purchasing qualifying services with FedEx within the first 3 months), and the Gold Card has many different ways for small businesses to earn points. The cafe comes with a lot of operating expenses – with payroll, cost of goods, insurance and utilities at the top. I do my best to remain debt-free. (This introductory bonus is no longer available.)
Outside of that, I have The Platinum Card® from American Express for personal use. It’s a great travel card with many benefits for someone who is always traveling back and forth like myself.
They offer 5 points for every dollar spent on almost all my airline purchases – and the platinum concierge service and purchase protection are a nice added bonus. The $550 annual fee almost pays for itself with the automatic bonus and reward structure they provide yearly for their customers.
How is Daniel’s Coffee & More doing and what does the future hold?
The business is doing great, and we are so lucky to have such an awesome local community embrace us the way they have. We are just about three months along and very much still a newborn in that sense. We have a lot in store and can’t wait to grow with our community!
Our future looks bright with an expansion plan in play. That was always my goal: To be able to take my vision out to major market cities and show as many people as possible what we are doing.
As a business owner, what have you learned about borrowing money along the way? Can you offer any words of wisdom?
Money can be tricky, and borrowing it can be even trickier. If you are blessed and starting out with your own funds, then great.However, if you are borrowing money, make sure that your loan terms are very clear cut and direct. Your legal team needs to be involved, and you should always have a trusted advisor you can exchange ideas with. Like anything else, you must know what you’re doing before you do it.
Starting a business has a lot of different financial obstacles and there are many ways to overcome them. Always stay ahead of what you are taking on and never let anyone assume control over the main aspects of the finances while you are getting started. It’s never fun to have too many cooks in the kitchen.
My advice to other entrepreneurs is to always go for it. No matter what, follow your heart and gut. No one ever got anywhere by letting the fear of the unknown get in the way of executing their passion. And remember to have fun!