Case study for Marvin and Smith coffee shop

Case study for Marvin and Smith coffee shop

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Case Study


Hank Marvin and Patty Smith have worked together for years in the food and catering industry and, having the same dream to run their own business, decided to open their own coffee shop. Hank and Patty spent 12 months researching and planning the details of their coffee shop to decide on the best location, who their target market was, how much capital they would be able to raise, key competitors, what suppliers they would use and what products and services they would offer in their coffee shop and so forth.  Then in January 2016 Marvin and Smith’s coffee shop was opened in Wandsworth in South London.


In order to stand out from other coffee shops that seem to be flooding the market in London, Hank and Patty decided on the following:


  • To use the finest coffee beans from Gumutindo Coffee, a Fairtrade supplier in Uganda that focuses on enabling farmers in Uganda to earn an independent income and to run their own farms, as research had shown that ethical concerns were high amongst potential customers in this location. High quality tea and herbal infusions would also be sourced from Fairtrade registered Foundations in Eastern Uganda and, where possible, East African inspired snacks, pastries and cold drinks (e.g. fresh mango juice) will be offered.


  • To offer an environment that is both relaxing with an East African feel to it (to continue the Ugandan influence) as well as being practical for customers’ needs (including access to a power point socket for charging phones/laptops, etc. and free Wi-Fi)


  • To ensure that staff (including Baristas) were trained to the highest standard and were offered a wage and development opportunities that were above and beyond their competitors


  • To offer themed evenings such as board game night and chat with Nanna (for a chat and advice)


Marvin and Smith’s coffee shop has a strong ethos of promoting fair trade and equality and expect their staff to respect and value these beliefs and to promote and demonstrate such attitudes and behaviour in the workplace. Staff are also expected to help out with the themed evenings where applicable such as playing short board games if customers have no-one to play with. These are areas which they highlight during the recruitment process.


Since their initial shop opening, Marvin and Smith have opened an additional two coffee shops in and around London. However, the initial information system that was set up for the coffee shop was only structured and set up to manage the information with regards to one or possibly two coffee shops. Hank and Patty are therefore beginning to realise that this initial information system structure is quickly becoming outdated in terms of their business needs because of their continued expansion. As the demand for their East African-inspired coffee shop with themed evenings increasing and because International tourists have even started seeking out these coffee shops, as they are becoming known abroad, Hank and Patty have decided to focus on an overseas expansion plan.


They have therefore decided to focus on an expansion plan and want to open up one of their coffee shops in a European Union country. However, they are unsure as to which of these countries to expand their coffee shop into and have asked you to carry out and write up your research.

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