Case Study: 3 Days in Paris

Posted: January 29, 2014 - 11:50am

3 Days in Paris is a small, local crepe shop that specializes in making hand-held, street style, sweet and savory crepes.  The journey began in 2008 when I went on a tour of Europe with my family and spent 3 days in Paris. While there we all enjoyed eating crepes on the go while touring the sights. Once back home, I craved those same crepes and began the process of learning to make them in my kitchen. Encourage by both family and friends, who were more than happy to sample my creations, I started selling made to order sweet and savory crepes at our local farmers markets.  It became obvious that others love crepes as much as I do.  In 2010 I was approached by the historic Indianapolis City Market to open a permanent shop inside their beautiful building.  I knew I needed to offer a wonderful cup of coffee to go with our crepes, so started researching how to provide that.  That research led me to Intelligentsia Coffee.

What kind of coffee program do you run?

Our footprint is a mere 170 square feet, most of which is taken up with crepe equipment.  Still, I knew I wanted to provide the best cup of coffee possible in that limited space.  The pourover method of brewing allows us to achieve that.  With just our Curtis water tower, Grindmaster grinder, Hario V60 drippers, range servers, filters, and Buono water kettles we can give our customers a wonderful cup every time.  They have a choice of one blend and two single origins to choose from which rotates with the season.

How do you ensure quality control behind the bar?

Coffees are prepared in front of the customer, and baristas often provide details about the brewing process and origin of the beans.  We take quality very serious in all aspects of our menu. Our coffee beans are pre-measured into color-coded and numbered individual tins for easy use. Baristas need only grab the corresponding tin according the customer’s order.  Filtered Water is run through a hot water tower with digital temperature controls and aeration then measured out to Intelligentsia standards before ever entering a customer’s cup of coffee.  Often baristas will ask the customer to sip their coffee and comment on the quality once their beverage has been completed. By doing so, out staff receives instant feedback and our customers are given the service experience we cultivate at our shop.

How long have you worked with Intelligentsia?

We have been working with Intelligentsia since before our doors opened on Valentine’s Day 2011.  Jay at Intelligentsia was so helpful in guiding us on what method would be best in our venue and since then we have travelled twice to Chicago to take advantage of Jesse’s open lab and education.  The support and training provided has been outstanding and their commitment to and support of growers and retailers go hand in hand, which in turn allows us to provide great coffee in a small space.

3 Days prides itself on offering our customers both a unique product and a unique experience. Working with Intelligentsia has allowed our coffee to be as exceptional as our crepes.

  

What’s the coffee culture like in your town?

Coffee culture in Indianapolis is growing.  We benefit from our proximity to Chicago and the name recognition that comes with Intelligentsia.  We also find ourselves providing a lot of education not only about our coffee process, but about our crepes.   Both are made to order right in front of the customer, in a unique, visual way, thereby lending themselves to conversation.

What’s next for you guys?

3 Days has been growing steadily over the past three years and is now ready to launch our first   travelling crepe trailer.  Planning to make her debut this summer “Gigi” the teardrop crepe trailer will be able to bring crepes to special events.  She is pulled by “Crepe 1” our mini cooper clubman and is quite the sight.  We think that our customers have been gracious enough to visit us at our shop; it’s high time we come visit them!

We also are making our 20 layer “Cloud 9” crepe cake available to our customers.  Varieties change with the season, our current being 20 chocolate crepes with raspberry cream between each layer.

Take home crepe mix is also on line with a choice of buckwheat, gluten-free and chocolate, made with Intelligentsias omanhene cocoa!

Retail coffee sales have grown steadily with December being our peak month to date. I would also like to expand our coffee offering to include espresso and am trying to figure out where to put a GS/3 in our little space!  Or, grow to a larger space.  Stay tuned!