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Name organisation:
Tea Bar
Sara Verver-Gerritse
Organisation type:
Loose-leaf teas and sundries
Total staff:

Tea Bar Portret

Tea Bar is a shop on Haarlemmerdijk in Amsterdam that sells loose-leaf teas to retail and wholesale customers. It was in late 2008 that Sara Verver- Gerritse and Fenje Bolt first opened their shop door to the public. A web shop followed a few months later and was joined in due course by a wholesale operation. Whereas the shop started out as the largest of their three divisions, both the web shop and the wholesale business are set to overtake it sometime this year.

Koppel gives you the space to figure out what works best

“Having drafted our business plan as a professional document, we were determined to find an equally professional consultant, as we knew that a moonlighting bookkeeper would simply not do,” says Tea Bar’s founder, Sara Verver-Gerritse, who continues by explaining that although Koppel has been involved in the business right from the start, “delegating all the paperwork to them might break the bank, apart from which I’m all for self-reliance and gaining an insight into the income and expenditure of the business. And so we decided to do the preparatory work ourselves and get Koppel to run quarterly checks.”

“We started out using Excel for everything, but found that things were getting overly complicated. We then switched to the system that Koppel itself uses. We can always rely on them to advise us on how things work or what approach would be best. They’re great at giving you administrative pointers.”

Koppel is really good at handling complex administrative accounts

Sara continues: “Koppel also takes care of our personal financials. As it happens, Fenje’s life partner and mine both run their own business. The administrative accounts are correspondingly complex, but Koppel keeps on top of it all. I suppose we could have gone with different advisers for different types of advice, but we have come to know Koppel as a cracking tax consultant. And although it’s not exactly cheap, here too there are ways and means, such as payment in instalments. You can save a lot of money by tapping into Koppel’s intimate knowledge of (tax) structures. Their advice enables you to recover what they are costing you.”

Discussing our figures for the year has turned into a strategy summit of sorts

Sara continues: “We need Koppel’s tax advice more than ever now that our web shop is increasingly taking centre stage. There are differences with a traditional shop when it comes to rights and obligations, to name but one area. What is also quite helpful is that we can count on Koppel to come up with suggestions as soon as they notice, say, that our cross-border wholesale volume has been expanding. We never have to draw their attention to this or that, because they’re way ahead of us. They are our strategic thinking sidekick … and one that digs deep.”

“Nico always tells us that it makes much more sense for him to be told in advance what our plans are so that he can anticipate, rather than his having to make all kinds of time-consuming tweaks afterwards. We meet up at least once a year to discuss Tea Bar’s figures for the year. We used to confine ourselves to discussing just that: the financials, but have found that the meetings have gradually moved towards our outlining our vision for the future and Koppel providing us with advice: what is it you are aiming for? What are your designated growth areas? Where can we help? You could say that the discussion of our figures for the year has turned into a strategy summit of sorts.”

The old situation

Having drawn up a professional business plan, the Tea Bar ladies went looking for a professional consultant: “We knew a well-intentioned moonlighter wouldn’t do. What we needed was a full-service consultancy that would be able to handle complex sets of accounts and give financial advice.”

The solution

Enter Koppel, where proactiveness has always been the rule rather than the exception. They soon proved to be a keen thinking partner by turning what had started out as a discussion of Tea Bar’s figures for the year into something of a strategy summit. This is what Koppel does best: coming up with practical solutions for its clients’ visions of their future.

The benefits

  • Full-service professional
  • Conversant with high-complexity accounts systems
  • In-house accounts system development
  • Proactive approach
  • Strategic advice
  • Practical solutions in realisation of future visions

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