Răzvan Crișan – Co-founder of m60

Răzvan Crișan – Co-founder of m60 1417 1417 Bucharest Real Estate Club

BREC Talks to Răzvan Crișan

Co-founder of m60

“There is potential for specialty coffee shops in niched shopping malls.“

A smart coffee shop concept is an “anchor” for a successful office building: a benefit for tenants and a landmark for the building, attracting new clientele in the place. With new office hubs and retail formats developing, we sat down with Răzvan Crișan, Co-founder of m60 and talked about the specialty coffee market development and opportunities.

The market has expanded significantly in the last two years especially in the downtown area. Do you see potential for such coffee shops in a mall, as an alternative for the offer of the big chains- Starbucks, Gloria Jeans etc?

The coffee shop market is to be divided in two major categories: the specialty ones, independently operated, and the big chains. In shopping malls, for the moment, it is all about convenience: fast, big and accessible, while specialty coffee shops are more about experience, quality and niched products.

It’s hard to imagine a specialty coffee shop in a mall, while they focus on fast, big and accessible. Outside Romania there are niched shopping malls and maybe when those type of real estate developments will appear on the local market, we will also see there some concepts focused on experience and quality.

What are your estimations regarding the annual value of the specialty coffee shops’ market?

Theoretically, there are around 40 places in Bucharest, called as ‘specialty coffee shops’, but I believe that only 10-15 are preoccupied to do a truly good job. And when I say a good job, I am referring to investments in equipment, working with good beans and most of all the investment in the staff to offer a nice experience for the clients. At M60 we decided to serve along specialty coffee, simple but delicious food. If you do your job honestly, with a coffee shop like m60 you can reach an annual turnover of over 2 million RON, like us, in the third year.

What were the key elements in the success of m60? How many daily customers does the coffee shop have?

We started in 2015 and we have succeeded to double our business. Regarding the clients’ daily average, we have increased significantly, at a level of 250-300 persons. We have three criteria which we try to implement every time we invest in a new location: we focus on quality design, with an original approach, that suits the location, we offer very good quality products, trying as much as we can to buy from local producers and we invest in creating a motivated and involved team. Interestingly, when we chose the location from Mendeleev street we were discouraged by real estate experts on the market, arguing the area was inappropriate. The lesson here was that sometimes you don’t listen to the expert’s opinion and trust your entrepreneurial instinct, especially when you are a start-up.