Thursday, December 08, 2005

Recommended Book: Coffee Republic

Anyone Can Do It: Building Coffee Republic from our Kitchen Table
(Authors: Sahar and Bobby Hashemi)

This book is about an actual experience of a sister and brother building a business of coffee specialty outlets from just an idea into a real big business.

It started with an idea: One night in 1994 Sahar (the sister) said to her brother Bobby that she missed the experience of drinking coffee in the US, the taste, etc. At that time, to get coffee in London, you have to go to places selling sandwiches; coffees were merely additionals with poor taste, presentation (plastic cups and lids made from cheap materials). England was (and is) a tea drinking nation.

So Bobby thought building american style coffee outlet in London was a very brilliant idea.
With that idea in minds, they quit jobs. Sahar, formerly a lawyer, lost interest in the job, and Bobby, formerly an investment banker in the US, felt it's better for him to stay close with family in London (Sahar and his mother). They started the search and research for knowledge of coffee, the market, demand and supply, technology, potential places for outlets, financing alternatives, etc. This book gives so much valuable lessons in starting a business from zero.
About a year since idea (in 1995), they opened an initial outlet, the first Coffee Republic outlet.

Bobby almost gave up since it did not do well in several first months but eventually people spread the words of the great experience drinking coffee at Coffee Republic.
Coffee Republic expanded into 20 outlets a year after and became giant in 5 years and eventually publicly listed.

Sahar and Bobby did a great job, I admire their bro and sis relationships, their hardwork, dedication, courage, how they're so organized, and so smart as well. I enjoy reading the book.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Formalin dan Borax di Makanan Kita

1-2 bln yg lalu dibacakan di radio hasil temuan di jakarta: sekitar 90%-an tahu mengandung formalin, bahkan yang jelas-jelas bertuliskan "tanpa bahan pengawet", bahkan yang dijual di supermarket. Dari dulu sih kasus kek gini udah kejadian, kalo di bakso ditaro borax (plus isu-isu bahwa bakso banyak yg dibuat dari campuran daging tikus, malah pernah liat di tv ada org yg mencampur daging celeng alias babi hutan untuk bikin bakso karna daging celeng lebih murah).

Tapi kalo benar sampai sekitar 90%-an pake formalin kan luar biasa udah bejatnya para pembuat makanan kita. Di sisi lain pengawasan dan penegakan hukum bener-bener mengecewakan.

Karna itu gua usahakan ngga makan tahu, tempe gua masih mau lah karena blm denger kabar kalo tempe dikasih bahan aneh-aneh juga.

Makan ayam udah agak berani sekarang, walaupun flu burung masih menghantui, abis bosen juga ikan mulu walaupun gua penggemar berat ikan.

Nah berita terakhir dari imel-imelan yang bikin kesel. Katanya ikan juga udah ditaro formalin saat ditangkap sama nelayan, dgn alasan untuk menghemat pemakaian es. Gila. Trus katanya ikan asin juga proses pengeringannya pake formalin. Cepat dan ikan asin jadi lebih berat (karena ikan asin ngga kering-kering benar seperti kalo diproses tanpa formalin). Nah untuk ulat/belatung mereka pake insektisida, langsung disemprot aja ke ikan. Gila.

Kacau dah kita ini. Ayam takut flu burung, tahu dan ikan ada formalin. Belakangan katanya jgn makan sapi dan kambing krn anthrax lagi menyerang... Wallahu a'lam.

TGIF

Ini minggu pertama kembali ngantor setelah libur lebaran yg asik di Medan. Pengen cepat2 bisa libur lagi, tapi cuti dah abis hehehe...

Berita2 hot dan kirim2an imel yg masuk mailbox minggu ini diisi antara lain masih sekitar tewasnya Azahari, o iya di tv ada tayangan vcd pesan2 terakhir suicide bombers bom bali 2... ada juga ttg beredarnya gambar melorotnya kemben di trans tv hehehe... gambar yg serem ttg gadis Poso yg dipenggal kepalanya (sadis!). Yg serem juga ini nih berita di detik.com tentang Hantu Cekik di Demak (Strangling Ghosts? hihihi... negeri ini masih penuh klenik...): klik di sini.

Wiken akan mulai sebentar lagi... TGIF!

Dennis Prager's Questions...

Today I read Dennis Prager's Questions to Muslims on LA Times (http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-op-prager13nov13,0,5189241.story?coll=la-news-comment-opinions). I was about to email Mr. Dennis Prager himself to try to answer some of those questions, but with so many things in my head, I lost for words... I hope many people have had answered him.

I am sad for so many bad things happenned in this world. I cried for what happenned in Beslan, but yes I cried quietly.