Coffee Republic founder: How to create a bootstrapping culture

Workplace Evolution Podcast: Sahar Hashemi brought the American coffee shop concept to the UK. Here she discusses entrepreneurial culture, scaling and the importance of pessimistic business plans.

by Michael Costello
Last Updated: 28 Jul 2020

You could say Sahar Hashemi is the person most directly responsible for your skinny latte habit. A former corporate lawyer, she co-founded the UK’s first US-style coffee shop chain in the mid-1990s, Coffee Republic. By the time she left in 2001, it had over 100 stores nationwide.

In the below Workplace Evolution Podcast, in association with Management Today, she tells business psychologist Michael Costello how a bootstrapping, entrepreneurial culture requires an utter rejection of perfectionism, and how to hold onto it as your business scales.

She also advises on the importance of injecting a note of pessimism into your business plans, and discusses when pushing through rejection stops being a mark of honour and starts being a red flag that you need to reassess your ideas.

About the Workplace Evolution Podcast, in association with Management Today:

Business psychologist Michael Costello meets top business people and workplace experts to address common leadership, management and workplace challenges. This year Management Today will be sharing interviews with guests including Justin Hughes (former leader of the Red Arrows on psychological safety), Simon Woodroffe (founder of Yo!Sushi on creativity and innovation) and Formula 1's David Coulthard (on resilience).

Image credit: Horacio Villalobos/Corbis via Getty Images

Artwork: Workplace Evolution

Tags:

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

"Whatever you're selling, reputation is everything"

The leader that made me: Jonny Combe, UK CEO at PayByPhone, on the formative early...

What it takes to make multichannel work

The high street doesn't have to die, but it is full of zombies.

What every founder needs on their board

One minute briefing: So, you’re growing your company and want to shake up your board...

"Sense-making is part of the value of physical offices"

Q&A: Gillian Tett, chairman of the editorial board and editor-at-large, US, at the Financial Times,...

6 technologies that could revolutionise the world

From vaccines for cancer to the return of the milkman, Management Today examines emerging innovations....