A Case Study
Small family operations, like the Little Red Roaster make up the largest part of our country’s business base. The problem is that too many of them fail, not because of the lack of expertise or motivation, but because of poor business decisions. The LRR is a perfect example of a small operation taken over by a very capable and knowledgeable person, Kendra Gordon-Green. She is one of those hard working employees that have been given the opportunity to become an owner-operator of a small business operation. At this point Kendra has not made the transition from employee to owner. Sadly this very situation is the reason most small businesses like the LRR never make. With two locations and 25 or more employees Kendra can no longer act like an employee or her business will most likely not make it. These are the changes she should make. (1) Kendra must begin to delegate the hands on operations of the business to key employees. (2) Concentrate on the retail and the catering and wholesale will naturally grow. (3) Invest in her people for they are her most important asset.
The Little Red Roaster, originally just a retail coffee shop in London, Ontario, offering a menu of coffees, teas, gourmet beverages, breakfast, light lunches and snacks, was established in 1995. The coffee shop had a reputation for having good food and coffee. Kendra Gordon-Green had been an employee of the LRR for seven of the eight years of operation and, in a leadership role, had been able to expand the business from a single retail business in to two, offering retail, wholesale and catering services. The original location was located in Wortley Village, the business and retail area of London. The second location, at Covent Garden Village, was in downtown London, where the vendors were numerous offering the best selection of organic foods, award-winning meats, ethic foods, dairy products, varieties of sweets, and fresh flowers and elegant