Husband-and-wife team Adnen and Lenora Marouani are seasoned veterans of the restaurant and hospitality industry.
They’ve spent years working their way through Europe, Africa, and the United States, with Lenora honing her skills as a chef, while Adnen developed his deep knowledge of food and wine as an experienced restaurateur.
When they settled back to Manhattan Beach, CA, they sought to craft a business doing what they love, while creating an experience for their customers that is quite unique to others in their industry. They combined their knowledge of food and wine, with a desire to create a space of comfort and ease, to establish Barsha into what it is currently. Barsha combines a wine shop and tasting room, a tap room, and small eatery – all in one beautifully crafted space. Lenora recently sat down with us to chat about Barsha, how they use ShopKeep, and to give us her advice for prospective business owners.
How did you get started with the business?
My husband and I initially wanted to start a traditional restaurant, as we were both chefs, but eventually decided to go a slightly different route. We really wanted to create a more fun, interactive, almost-loungey space where people could really feel at home and enjoy the atmosphere. Our location and connection with the local community was a really important aspect of what we wanted to create. After purchasing the business, which was previously just a wine store, we turned it into a combination of a wine store, tasting room, and small restaurant.
What were the things that you were looking for in a POS System and why did you choose ShopKeep?
We were looking for a system that was user-friendly, easy to train our staff, and great at tracking sales and inventory. When we were researching POS systems, there really was no comparison with the simplicity of ShopKeep. Most restaurant and bar systems were more bulky and you had to make an expensive upfront investment. The iPad on the other hand, was a great touch. When you see an iPad being used as a POS at a wine shop, a lounge, or restaurant, it really adds to the experience and feel of the place. It was a major selling point for us, and we’ve loved it so far.
How do you measure success with this business and how has ShopKeep helped you achieve that thus far?
For us, our true metric of success is how we serve our customers and the experience that we are creating, and of course sales and growth year-over-year. This is one way that this system has helped substantially. ShopKeep has given us a simple and easy way to track our growth and help us take Barsha to the next level. We doubled our sales from year 1 to year 2, and this system has not only helped us achieve that with our team, but has also made it easy to track important information like this as we continue to grow and improve the business.
What has been the greatest reward of owning your business so far?
The greatest reward is definitely the feeling that you get when interacting with happy customers. We are super focused on making sure that we are always aware of the experience that we’re creating for our customers. Knowing that someone got as much or more than they expected coming in is a gratifying feeling. Also, we have great relationships with our partners and suppliers – from our domestic wineries, to cheesemakers, to breweries. We really believe in the products and food that we offer so we’re really passionate and happy to promote good products.
What advice would you give to a prospective business owner – particularly someone in your industry?
I would say to take your time, do your homework, and focus on your passion and expertise. Determine what you enjoy doing and focus on doing it as well as possible for your customer base. Nothing can substitute a good customer experience and quality product – it is absolutely necessary for success in this type of business. Lastly, be in tune with your market and learn to adapt as well as possible. Very few things will remain constant in business, so it’s important to adapt and improve while sticking to your core focus.