Janice Chua


Bitter + Sweet

Cupertino, CA

Bitter + Sweet was also featured on the cover of Specialty Coffee Retailer Magazine, December 2011

In its first 7 months of business Bitter+Sweet has received over 150 Yelp Reviews with a 4.5 star average

Bitter+Sweet was launched in July 2011 by Janice Chua with the mission of serving the best coffee and desserts in the South Bay community. Janice, an ex-banker of 17 years, wanted to create a café for members of the community to come hang out and enjoy great coffee and food. At Bitter+Sweet, her team of talented baristas will serve customers expertly prepared espresso and coffee drinks, using fresh beans from Sightglass Coffee. Customers will notice that her shop has a rather unique look to it. Its modern sleek with clean architectural lines.

I attended a workshop at Bellissimo Coffee Advisors in May 2010. Bellissimo has helped in so many ways, including:

i) Understanding the importance of a good business plan – The Cupertino Economic Development Manager was so impressed with my business plan and concept presentation that she told many people that the business plan was the best one they had ever seen! The business plan, which was written with Bellissimo Coffee Advisors’ help, was integral to my business’ success.

ii) Learning all about espresso and coffee – at the school, I learned the basics of espresso and coffee preparation. I remember very clearly the exercise we went through before we started the session on “The Perfect Shot”…..I had a eureka moment when I tasted the espresso that was pulled perfectly, “So, that’s what espresso is supposed to taste like!” With a ton of hands-on practice time in the training lab, I was able to gain enough confidence to prepare espresso drinks on my own. To think that I had ZERO coffee experience when I stepped into Bellissimo. Now, at my own shop, my staff knows that I am the one who can dial in great shots.

iii) Having the opportunity to work with so many pieces of great equipment in their lab – Bellissimo allowed me to try out the various makes and models of espresso machines, and helped me decide very early on in my planning process as to which machines I was going to purchase. Seriously, where else can you work on 10+ different types of espresso machines in one sitting?

iv) Getting all the tips from the pros (Bruce, Matt and company) on what to focus on:

To set myself apart from the chain stores….I think I have done very well in this area as my store has a truly unique feel and ambience. It’s a HUGE differentiating factor for us, and is what draws customers in.

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