Manga Cafe and Bakery
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19 / M / Chicago
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Posted 2/22/12
I am thinking about opening a cafe that people can get pastries shaped as anime characters and things having to do with Japanese Culture. There would also be manga that people could read and a lounge area that could be used to read and meet with people at the cafe. I was wondering where might the best place to open this be and would love to get any advice on what could be added or removed in order to please customers. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to open this for a few years until I finish culinary school and have raised enough money to get this started. Just wondering what people's opinions would be on this and if it would be worth doing. Please respond, I will gladly take any feedback I can get.
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F / Somewhere in the...
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Posted 2/22/12
I'd find out where the people you want to attract meet. Manga clubs, cosplay groups, what's the demographics of con attendees. Near a university would be good. Good luck to you!
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18 / M / Stoke, England
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Posted 2/22/12 , edited 2/22/12
Pastries shaped as anime characters? Surely they would take a bit too long to make, and they would look shite with no detail if you tried to make them fast enough.
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Posted 2/22/12
Meh, I wouldn't go. It'll be like an otaku-breeding ground o.0 But I guess there might be some money to be made if you do it well...
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25 / M / Colorado, USA
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Posted 2/22/12
I've likewise considered similar, but I realized that California is probably a necessary environment for success. At least until such things can start to gain momentum. Mostly because the economy is still not in a generous state, I advise preparing yourself for California in any plans to pursue it. I live in Colorado, a plenty culturally centralized location, and I know all the greatest locations here, but I still had to drop the idea of doing it here.

I personally wouldn't be interested in buying any online, so you'd likely have to expect it to be entirely local.

I like the idea, and would definitely stop by if I was near. But the chances of me being near and knowing about it is tough.

If you pursue having manga, I advise not traditional printed manga. They'll wear out and need replacements. There's certainly business-level deals for e-readers, though I don't know what to say about digital manga.
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19 / M / Chicago
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Posted 2/22/12 , edited 2/22/12
I was planning on doing it in California, and have been leaning towards magazines and beginning volumes.
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Morroωιɴd
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Posted 2/22/12
It's not a bad idea. I used to live in California about 45 min away from San Fran, and I would drive to Japan town on occasion. There were manga cafe type places that were some what popular. You could look into opening it in an area similar to a Japan town or something, it would attract people who are there for that sort of thing.
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18 / M / Stoke, England
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Posted 2/22/12
All your stakeholders would be weeaboos though, which is a shame.
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Posted 2/22/12
Hah, any money is good money though right? It's all about taking advantage of your target audience.
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18 / M / Stoke, England
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Posted 2/22/12
Taking advantage of clueless wapanese tools and getting their money. Sounds like fun.
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20 / F / NJ, USA
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Posted 2/22/12 , edited 2/22/12
You'll need to work hard. Let's draw an outline.

Location:
1. What is the noise level like? Is it quiet enough for people to read in peace but still in a pretty social area?
2. What is the ambience like? Does it make people want to check it out? Does it look trendy but casual?
3. Are people in the area aware of anime and/or Japanese culture? For this, a high school or university would be best.
4. Is it a wide, open space where people can relax, sit down, and stretch?
5. Is it within walking distance for customers? Is there a parking lot?

Services and Things to Think About:
1. Is it wheelchair accessible?
2. Is there Internet or free Wi-Fi?
3. Do you serve cheap, delicious food and/or drinks quickly? Are there vending machines?
4. Are the hours reasonable?
5. Is there some kind of seating or furniture (rugs, cushions, chairs, tables, etc.)?
6. Is there good lighting?
7. Is there good advertising? Even if it's in a good location, you need some way for people to find out about it.
8. Are they charged per hour? What's the price? What's your business plan to increase revenue?
9. Is there a rental program? Is there a membership program? Can you buy the inventory?
10. Are there anime events, lotteries, and prize contests?
11. Is there a computer area or a an area with just multiple outlets/terminals for people bringing in their own laptops?
12. Are the bathrooms large (multiple people can go in at once)?
13. Are your employees capable and kind? Do they attract new customers?
14. Are the bookshelves organized alphabetically? By genre?
15. How will you keep it clean?

Inventory:
1. Are there manga in BOTH Japanese and English?
2. Do you have both old and current series?
3. Do you have multiples in stock?
4. Are they digital or traditional printed books?
5. Will you also stock DVDs?

You can find a lot of information online. There were articles about manga cafes in California as well and what happened to them. I'm always for creating this sort of business, but you have to be careful. It'll either end up badly or you won't make much money off of it due to little influence.
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21 / F / United Kingdom
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Posted 2/22/12
That idea is awesome! I would love to go to a cafe exactly like that. No idea where you would open it though. Anime fans tend to be spread around rather than in one place. That's why there's hardly any anime stores but loads of anime sites.
Posted 2/22/12
I would definitely eat a nyan cat pastry lol, but seriously it could be an alright idea.... I think the only good location to do this, is Japan
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20 / M / Modesto California
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Posted 2/22/12
Its gonna be tough.
Posted 2/23/12
Sugoi ne?!
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