How much does it cost to open/start/launch Cafe and Bookstore

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According to recent studies, the US coffee and bookstore industry has seen steady growth, reflecting consumers’ growing preference for a combination of caffeinated beverages and a place to browse and purchase books. In recent times, an emerging business model is a combination of a cafe and a bookstore. It’s a hybrid approach that involves offering a well-curated selection of books alongside a cozy on-site cafe serving coffee, tea, and light bites.

The pandemic has forced many brick-and-mortar stores to close, but this reduced competition has created opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs to create unique business models. The combination cafe and bookstore caters to avid readers looking for a comfortable and convenient place to pick up a book and enjoy a cup of coffee or a quiet snack.

This blog post dives into the unique costs associated with starting a coffee shop and bookstore business in the United States. There are many expenses to consider, including kitchen equipment, furniture, fixtures, website design, and crucial initial inventory. We’ll focus on reviewing these expenses and how much you should budget for each.

Opening a coffee shop and bookstore business can be a daunting task, but this guide seeks to simplify the start-up process and provide you with a rough cost estimate.

    One-time costs we will cover through this blog post include:

  • Commercial grade espresso machine
  • Custom Libraids
  • Point of sale (POS) system
  • kitchen equipment
  • Furniture (tables, chairs, sofas)
  • Lightening devices
  • Website design and development
  • Renovations and remodeling
  • Initial inventory (books, food, supplies)

Start-up costs

A hybrid cafe and bookstore business model can be a great way to combine two popular businesses and generate income from both. However, it is important to plan for start-up costs before opening the store. Here is a breakdown of some potential startup costs for a coffee shop and bookstore:

Article Average cost
Commercial grade espresso machine ,500 – ,000
Custom Libraids ,000 – ,000
Point of sale (POS) system ,200 – ,000
kitchen equipment ,000 – ,000
Furniture (tables, chairs, sofas) ,000 – ,000
Lightening devices ,000 – ,000
Website design and development ,500 – ,000
Renovations and remodeling ,000 – ,000
Initial inventory (books, food, supplies) ,000 – ,000
Total ,200 – 5,000

It is important to note that these costs are all estimates and may vary depending on factors such as store location, specific equipment and materials used, and size of space being renovated. Additionally, it is important to consider ongoing operating costs such as rent, utilities and staff salaries.

  • Commercial-grade espresso machine: ,500 – ,000
  • Custom shelves: ,000 – ,000
  • Point of sale (POS) system: ,200 – ,000
  • Kitchen equipment: ,000 – ,000
  • Furniture (tables, chairs, sofas): ,000 – ,000
  • Lighting: ,000 – ,000
  • Website design and development: ,500 – ,000
  • Renovations and renovations: ,000 – ,000
  • Initial inventory (books, food, supplies): ,000 – ,000
  • Total: ,200 – 5,000

1. Commercial grade espresso machine

One of the most important components of a coffee shop is a high-quality, commercial-grade espresso machine. These machines are designed for heavy use and can produce consistent and excellent coffee drinks. The price of a commercial-grade espresso machine can vary widely depending on brand, model, and features.

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On average, a commercial-grade espresso machine can cost anywhere from ,000 to ,000. However, some higher-end models can cost even more than ,000. These machines are typically designed for high-volume use, with large boilers to handle constant use and the ability to produce multiple shots of espresso at once.

When choosing a commercial-grade espresso machine, it’s important to consider your business needs. For example, if your cafe focuses on high-quality espresso drinks, you might want to invest in a more expensive machine that offers advanced features like programmable shot volumes and temperature controls.

In addition to the initial cost of the machine, it is important to remember that maintenance and repairs can also be expensive. You may need to hire a qualified technician to perform regular maintenance, and parts and repairs can add up over time.

  • Case in point: The popular Marzocco Linea PB 2 commercial espresso machine can cost around ,000.
  • Case in point: The Nuova Simonelli Appia II 2 Group’s commercial espresso machine, which features electronic temperature control and programmable shot volumes, can cost around ,000.
  • Case in point: The Espresso Slayer single-group commercial espresso machine, which offers advanced temperature profiling, can cost upwards of ,000.

All in all, a high-quality commercial-grade espresso machine is a vital investment for any coffee shop and bookstore looking to provide great coffee drinks to their customers. It’s important to consider both the initial cost and ongoing maintenance costs when choosing the right machine for your business.

2. Custom Libraries

One of the key components of a successful cafe and bookstore is bespoke shelving that can showcase a curated selection of books that appeals to the store’s target audience. The cost of custom shelving can vary depending on a variety of factors, such as the size of the store, the type of wood used, and the complexity of the design.

The cost of custom shelves can range from 0 to ,000 or more. However, investing in high-quality shelving can pay off in the long run by attracting customers and helping create a comfortable atmosphere that keeps them coming back.

Some retailers opt for pre-made shelving to save on cost, but these may not be as effective in creating the desired atmosphere. Bespoke shelving allows retailers to design shelving that matches their unique store layout and showcases books in the most visually appealing way possible.

  • Cost range: 0 to ,000 or more
  • Factors Affecting Cost: Size of store, type of wood used, complexity of design
  • Benefits of custom shelving: Attracts customers, creates a comfortable atmosphere, and allows for unique design and layout
  • Alternative options: Pre-made shelves, which may be less expensive but not as effective in creating the desired atmosphere

For example, a coffee shop and bookstore in a small town might opt for simple, wooden shelves that cost around 0. However, a larger store in a major city may choose to invest several thousand dollars in more elaborate shelving designed to be a main focal point of the store.

In addition to creating a cozy atmosphere, bespoke shelving can be a valuable marketing tool for a cafe and bookstore hybrid. By presenting a carefully curated selection of books, customers are more likely to browse the shelves and make a purchase. Additionally, the shelves can serve as an Instagram-worthy backdrop for customers to take photos and share on social media, which can help attract new customers and build brand awareness.

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3. Point of sale (POS) system

As with any business, a coffee shop and bookstore require a reliable point-of-sale (POS) system to handle transactions. The cost of a POS system can vary depending on the size of your business, the number of terminals needed and the features required. According to recent statistics, the average cost of a POS system in the United States is around ,500 to ,500 for software and hardware, with monthly fees ranging from to 0 per terminal.

Hardware Costs: The hardware required for a POS system typically includes a tablet or computer for the terminal, a cash drawer, a credit card reader, and a receipt printer. The cost of this hardware can range from 0 to ,000 per terminal depending on brand and features. For example, a basic iPad POS system may cost around ,000 for hardware and software, while a more advanced option with additional features such as inventory management and customer relationship management (CRM) may cost over ,000.

Software Costs: In addition to hardware, software for a POS system is also a necessary expense. Most POS systems charge a monthly fee per terminal to access software and updates. The cost can vary depending on the features you need, but on average the charges are around per month per terminal. Some POS systems may offer lower fees than annual subscriptions, which can lower costs in the long run.

Additional Costs: It is important to consider the additional costs associated with implementing and maintaining a POS system. These may include setup fees, training fees, and technical support fees. Installation costs can range from 0 to 0 per terminal, while training and support costs can range from to 0 per hour.

  • Examples of popular POS systems for cafes and bookstores include Square, Shopify, Lightspeed, and Toast.
  • Consider factors such as ease of use, integration with e-commerce capabilities, and customer support when selecting a POS system for your business.

While a POS system can be a big expense for a coffee shop and bookstore, investing in a reliable and efficient system is important to ensure smooth transactions and accurate record keeping for your business.

4. Kitchen equipment

One of the biggest expenses for a cafe and bookstore is kitchen equipment. According to recent statistics, the average cost of kitchen equipment is around ,000 to ,000. However, this cost may vary depending on the configuration of the equipment, the supplier and the location.

Refrigeration Equipment: This category includes walk-in cooler, freezers, and refrigerators. These can cost between ,000 and ,000 each, depending on their capacity and features. For example, a commercial refrigerator can cost around ,000, while a walk-in cooler can cost up to ,000.

Cooking Equipment: This category includes ovens, ranges, fryers, grills and skillets. The cost varies depending on the type of equipment, but it can cost between ,000 and ,000 each. For example, a commercial range might cost around ,000, while a decent grill might cost upwards of ,000. Additionally, installing a high quality vent cowl can add an additional cost of ,000 to ,000.

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Small appliances: These include microwaves, toasters, blenders, coffee machines, food processors and water dispensers. It can cost between 0 and ,000 each, depending on the quality of the equipment and the brand. For example, a high-end coffee machine can cost up to ,000, while a decent quality blender can cost around 0.

  • Dishwasher: A commercial dishwasher can cost between ,500 and ,000.
  • Prep Board: The prep board is used for food preparation and can cost around 0 to ,000.
  • Kitchen utensils and utensils: These include pots, pans, knives, mixing bowls, cutting boards, etc., and can cost around ,500 to ,000.

Conclusion: The cost of kitchen equipment can have a significant impact on the overall cost of opening a cafe and bookstore. It is essential to choose high quality equipment that can last a long time and offer the best value for money. However, a cost-effective option would be to buy used equipment or rent the equipment instead of buying it. Also, it is advisable to prioritize essential equipment for the operation of the store and add the remaining equipment as the business grows.

5. Furniture (tables, chairs, sofas)

When it comes to furnishing your cafe and bookstore, a significant portion of your budget will be allocated to tables, chairs, and sofas. The cost of furniture varies depending on quality, style, and materials, among other factors. According to recent industry reports, the average cost of tables, chairs, and couches for a cafe and bookstore ranges from ,000 to ,000 . Of course, this depends on the size of your space, the number of tables and chairs you need, and the type of furniture you select.

One way to save on furniture costs is to search for quality used furniture online or at used furniture stores. You can also rent tables and chairs for events, which can be a cost-effective option for sporadic events and gatherings. However, this may not be a practical option if you plan to hold regular events such as book signings and book clubs.

Another option to consider is buying versatile furniture, such as tables with built-in shelves or modular seating arrangements that can be easily rearranged to accommodate different events and gatherings. It can help you save on space while adding a unique design element to your store.

  • Tables: Tables can cost anywhere from 0 to ,000 depending on the type of material, size, and design. Consider the durability of the table as it will be used for dining, reading, and other activities.
  • Chairs: Chairs can cost anywhere from to 0 per piece. Be sure to test the chairs for comfort and ergonomic features, because you want your customers to linger in your space for hours.
  • Couches: A comfy couch can be a great addition to your bookstore and cafe. The cost of canapes can range from 0 to ,000 . Be sure to consider durability and ease of cleaning when selecting a sofa.

In summary, while the cost of furniture for your cafe and bookstore can be significant, there are ways to save on cost without compromising on quality and comfort. With careful planning and consideration, you can create an inviting space that encourages customers to stay and enjoy all that your store has to offer.

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6. Appliance lighting

Light fixtures are an essential aspect of a cafe and bookstore ambiance. According to the latest statistical information, the average cost of installing light fixtures in such a business can range from 0 to ,000 or more , depending on the size of the store, the type of lighting, and the design and decoration scheme. .

The cost of lighting fixtures can vary depending on the type of lighting the business wants to achieve. For example, if a store owner wants a warm and cozy atmosphere, they might consider installing pendant lights, track lighting, or accent lighting on the shelves. These lighting options can cost anywhere from to 0 per light .

Another aspect that affects the cost of lighting is the power source. A cafe and bookstore could opt for energy-efficient LED lighting or traditional incandescent bulbs. Although LED lights are more durable and environmentally friendly, they often come at a higher price, costing up to 0 per bulb .

In addition, the design of the luminaires can influence their cost. Bespoke light fixtures that match the theme and style of the cafe and bookstore can cost significantly more than off-the-shelf alternatives. For example, a chandelier made from reclaimed wood and wrought iron could set a business back from 0 to ,000 .

It is essential to keep in mind that the installation of lighting fixtures is an investment that can improve the customer experience and contribute to a profitable business. Some stores opt for minimalist lighting schemes that highlight the books and keep the space inviting, reducing their lighting expenses while providing a welcoming atmosphere for their customers.

  • Warm and cozy lighting options: Pendants, track lighting and accent lighting on shelves
  • Cost range for lighting fixtures: to 0 per light
  • LED vs. traditional incandescent: LED costs up to 0 per bulb but is more durable and energy efficient
  • Custom light fixtures: A chandelier made from reclaimed wood and wrought iron costs 0 to ,000
  • Minimalist lighting schemes: Can keep the space inviting while reducing lighting expenses

7. Website design and development

Website design and development is an essential component when starting a cafe and bookstore. The average cost of designing and developing a website for a business in the United States ranges from ,000 to ,000, depending on the complexity of the website and the level of customization required. This cost includes website design, layout and web development services.

When designing the website for a cafe and bookstore, it is essential to keep in mind the target audience and the type of user experience you want to provide. Your website should be visually appealing, functional, and easy to navigate. The website should also be optimized for search engines to attract potential customers.

One of the vital factors when it comes to website design and development is website maintenance. A website requires regular maintenance to ensure that it runs smoothly and provides an excellent user experience. The cost of website maintenance varies greatly depending on the size and complexity of the website and can range from to 0 per month.

Example: Website development and maintenance for a cafe and bookstore in the United States can range from ,000 to ,000, depending on the level of customization required.

To ensure a seamless website design and development process, it is essential to select a reliable and experienced web design and development company. The cost of hiring a web design and development company in the USA varies depending on the size and complexity of the project and can range from to 0 per hour.

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One of the benefits of integrating e-commerce capabilities into your website is the ability to generate additional revenue beyond your physical store location. Adding e-commerce features such as online book sales, merchandise sales, and gift card sales can be an effective way to increase revenue. The cost of integrating e-commerce capabilities varies depending on the level of customization required and can range from ,000 to ,000.

Example: Integrating e-commerce capabilities such as an online store and gift card sales on a coffee shop and bookstore website in the United States can cost around ,500.

When designing and developing a website for your cafe and bookstore, it is essential to consider the long-term benefits of having an online presence. A well-designed and maintained website can help attract new customers, increase brand visibility and generate additional revenue streams. Therefore, allocating sufficient budget for website design, development and maintenance is essential to ensure that your website looks professional and effective.

  • Total costs: ,550 to ,500
  • Design and development costs: ,000 to ,000
  • Maintenance costs: to 0 per month
  • Web design and development costs: to 0 per hour
  • Ecommerce integration costs: ,000 to ,000

8. Renovations and remodeling

Starting a cafe and bookstore will likely require some remodeling and renovating the space. According to recent data, the average cost of a commercial renovation in the United States ranges from to 5 per square foot. The type and extent of renovations needed will depend on the size and condition of the space, as well as the aesthetics and functionality desired.

Some common renovation costs to consider include:

  • Electrical upgrades: If the space needs electrical upgrades to meet code requirements or accommodate new appliances and lighting, it can cost anywhere from ,000 to ,000.
  • Plumbing Upgrades: Similarly, if the plumbing needs to be updated or reconfigured for the cafe and restroom facilities, costs can range from ,500 to ,000.
  • Flooring: Depending on the existing flooring and desired aesthetic, new flooring can cost between and per square foot.
  • Paint and Finishes: Paint and other finishing touches, such as trim and moldings, can cost between ,000 and ,000.

In addition to these basic renovation costs, remodeling the space to include a cafe and bookstore layout will require additional expenses. For example, equipping the cafe with tables, chairs, and kitchen equipment can cost up to ,000, while shelves and displays for the bookstore can range from ,000 to ,000.

It is important to carefully consider the cost of renovations and remodeling when budgeting for your cafe and bookstore. Working with experienced contractors and designers can help you create a space that is both functional and aesthetic, while minimizing unnecessary costs.

9. Initial inventory (books, food, supplies)

The initial inventory of a cafe and bookstore can vary depending on the size of the store and the selection of books and food provided. On average, the cost of initial inventory ranges from ,000 to ,000 . This includes purchasing books, food, equipment and other supplies needed to begin operations.

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The purchase of books will probably be the largest initial inventory expense. The average cost of books for a small independent bookstore is around ,000 . This price can vary considerably depending on the type of books sold. For a coffee shop and bookstore, it’s important to have a well-balanced selection of popular and niche titles to appeal to a wider range of customers.

Food inventory will also need to be considered. It can range from small snacks and pastries to a full cafe menu. The cost of food inventory can vary greatly depending on the size of the menu and the ingredients used. On average, the cost of food inventory is around ,000 to ,000 .

In addition to books and food, other supplies such as coffee machines, tables and chairs will need to be purchased. These items can be purchased new or used, which can impact the overall cost of inventory. The cost of supplies can range from ,000 to ,000 , depending on the quality and quantity of items needed.

  • Books: ,000
  • Food: ,000 to ,000
  • Supplies: ,000 to ,000

It is important to allocate enough budget for initial inventory to ensure the store is well stocked and able to meet customer demand. It can also be beneficial to invest in additional marketing and advertising to generate buzz about the new café and bookstore, which can help increase sales and attract new customers.


A coffee shop and bookstore business is a great idea for anyone who loves books and coffee while catering to a growing market. However, starting such a business requires a significant investment in one-time costs. In this blog post, we’ve given an overview of the expenses you can expect when starting a cafe and bookstore business, so you know how much to budget for each expense.

One-time costs we have covered include:

  • Commercial Grade Espresso Machine – ,000-,000
  • Bespoke bookstores – ,000-,000
  • Point of Sale (POS) System – ,000-,000
  • Kitchen Equipment – ,000-,000
  • Furniture (tables, chairs, sofas) – ,000-,000
  • Lighting fixtures – ,000-,000
  • Website design and development – ,000-,000
  • Renovations and remodeling – ,000-,000
  • Initial inventory (books, food, supplies) – ,000-,000

The total estimated cost to start a coffee shop and bookstore business in the United States can be anywhere from ,000-2,000 . Keep in mind that these expenses can vary depending on factors such as location, size of space, and quality of products you wish to sell.

Before diving into any new business venture, it is essential to have a well thought out plan and budget in place. By understanding the unique costs associated with starting a coffee shop and bookstore business, you can plan for those expenses and set yourself up for success.

Finding the right balance between attractive store design, quality food and coffee, great customer service, and a great selection of books can be difficult, but it can be the difference between a thriving business and a failing one.

Remember that starting a coffee shop and bookstore business takes hard work and dedication, but if done right, it can be an incredibly rewarding and profitable business.