The dawning of a new year brings promise of a fresh start. A time for resolutions, goal setting and, for many young people with fresh exam results in their hands, it is the time when a large question mark hovers over their future path.
25-year-old Jeremy Garvey, owner of Hipster Cup drive through café in Bullsbrook, remembers this transitional stage of life well. And it would be fair to say his current career is pretty far removed from the decisions he made back then!
“There’s a widespread cultural belief that by going to university you’re putting yourself ahead and by choosing to not go to uni you’re either putting yourself behind, or you are a fool,” said Jeremy.
“I chose to conform to the path that everyone else took.”
Although never quite fitting in at university, Jeremy continued his studies in marine engineering when he relocated from WA to Tasmania. It was here that he chanced upon a job in hospitality at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Launceston, quickly learning the ropes and rising to a senior role, one in which he thrived. It provided a stark contrast to his feelings towards university and when a family job opportunity in the industry he had come to love arose back home, an obvious choice was made.
“I was absolutely over uni. It was the most thoroughly draining and unfulfilling time,” said Jeremy. “My entire career as a hospitaly business owner is an accident!” he laughs.
In October 2016, at the age of 21, Jeremy took the wheel of the drive through outlet and Hipster Cup was born. Innocent and optimistic expectations of a ready-made customer base lining up for coffee were quickly dashed as he navigated those tough first years of running a small business.
“I was totally dependent on my brothers for low-cost labour and was also not paying myself,” he said. ”More than a year had passed and the business wasn’t going anywhere. At the start of 2018 my brother jumped shipped and I thought, ‘Right, if this business is to succeed, it’s entirely on me. How do I make it better?’”
“I saw a business coach, started networking and attending workshops and came to realise that my job as a business owner is not to sell coffee. My job is to create a good, consistent product and an efficient system — train the staff to carry out the systems, create a business reputation, and to facilitate continuous improvement and growth.”
Luckily for the bleary-eyed and caffeine-deprived trudging along Great Northern Highway every morning, Hipster Cup is pretty good at the coffee side of things as well. Using a bespoke blend of arabica and robusta coffee beans from small supplier in Wangara they deliver cup after cup of consistently great coffee — the delicate flavour of the arabica beans mixing perfectly with caffeinated punch of robusta. The same supplier also maintains their coffee machines, which ensures a perfect calibration between the two.
“When it comes to selecting our suppliers – coffee, cookies, muffins etc. — we practise what we preach. We always support small businesses and local suppliers when practical. We avoid getting pre-packaged frozen goods. Instead, we prepare all of our food items in-house fresh, to align with our business values,” said Jeremy.
You can be sure that whoever prepares your brew will do so to the high standards that Jeremy has set and trained his valued staff in. With his personal growth following the same trajectory as that of his business, he is far more humble, willing to admit mistakes and be open to new ideas than in the early days of running the business. This has made him a far better manager.
“The key achievement in the last year I can confidently say is hiring and retaining a devoted, competent and committed team of staff,” he said.
Having developed this growth mindset at such a young age will set Jeremy in good stead for the future.
“There are three axioms I came up with myself – I have never read them in a book – that I live by. If I knew these when I first started, I’d be miles ahead of where I am now. When it comes to running a business, firstly, you don’t know everything: just because you’ve always done it this way doesn’t mean it’s the only way or the best way. Secondly, you can’t do everything: in order for the business to grow you need to get staff on board to help you achieve your goals! Lastly, I am wrong. How often am I wrong? All the time! When you first realise you are wrong, only then you can improve.”