Who: The Crowded Lounge
What: Art gallery, Art Teaching Studio, and Specialty Coffee Lounge
Where: Tasmania, Australia
Can you tell us a little bit about how you got started and what you’re all about?
My wife is a professional artist who worked and taught from a home studio for 15 years. I have always loved all things coffee. When the opportunity for a lifestyle change appeared, we seized the opportunity and purchased a 1920s grocery store.
After some quick refurbishing, we immediately established the Art Gallery and Teaching Studio. Two years later I finished building an eco-friendly home adjacent to the Studio, and we opened The Crowded Lounge. Set within the gallery space, it’s a place to serve specialty coffee, tea, and all things tasty!
What’s your local community like?
We’re in the rural township of Latrobe in north west Tasmania. A small town, it has a beautiful mix of young and old, farmers and working professionals, residents and visitors. The main street is scattered with stately, Victorian-style buildings.
My favourite characteristic of the village is the Sunday markets, that bring lively culture and commercial activity to the main street. Our business sits right in the middle of all the excitement. They’re a great way to meet new visitors and catch up with regulars who love coffee or art.
What brought you to Vend and how have you found it? Would you recommend Vend to retailers like you?
Although we’re in a rural setting where the hustle and bustle of city life seems like another universe, we love keeping up with the latest technologies. Vend fits the picture perfectly.
I first saw an iPad POS mounted in a small coffee shop in Smith Street, Melbourne, and had a chat with the attendant about Vend’s versatility. So I gave it a try, and was hooked. It’s been everything I hoped for. We’re able to conduct a threefold business from one location, and through one register. It’s customizable nature, visual appeal and stability make it ideal for anyone looking to track sales, products and orders, whilst caring for a growing business.
What does your passion come from for what you do?
Our main passion is people. We love to engage, encourage and serve our community in a way that benefits both of us. Every week we encounter locals and visitors who are keen to share their stories with us. And they always need a coffee! We’re happy to help with our excellent Precision Roastcraft Coffee.
What’s the best thing about using iPads in your store compared to a traditional cash register?
I love the flexibility of moving around the store, or even going up to the house without losing touch of what’s happening on the shop floor. Even if I’m in the next town, I can see how my business is going and how busy the staff have been at anytime.
Do you have any advice for retailers that you wish you’d known?
The biggest lesson we’ve learned in our short four years working in retail is that your product is not the only thing you need to get right. Clients come in for a product, but they come back for more than what you sell. Attention must be given to atmosphere. Managers and staff should be trained in the art of making everyone feel they belong in their space and that they will always be made welcome.
About Ashley Gilgrist
Ashley looks after product marketing at Vend — working hard to bring exciting product launches to retailers around the globe. When she’s not busy talking all-things-Vend, Ashley also has a love of tea, candle-crafting, binge-watching, and hiking the pointy peaks of New Zealand.