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Thread: Mobile Roasting

  1. #11
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    Shep,
    I would love to hear more about your plans. Sounds like you are a year or so ahead of me. One thing I am pondering is how to balance a trailer with a roaster in it. You would need to ensure that the weight is properly distributed. I like the idea of the trailer because you are not tied into a propulsion plant that will get old faster than the trailer. I figure i could easily keep a trailer set-up for twenty years, but a truck may not be so lucky (or could be more expensive to repair). But the step van sounds intriguing. Buzz, would also like to hear about your roaster, if you are still marketing them.

  2. #12
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    One other thing. My assumption with the trailer/mobile roasting kit is that I will be able to operate under the cottage food laws, as long as I only sell at non-retail sites. What experience have you all had with this?

    Thanks again!

  3. #13
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    Feb 2012
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    Farmers Markets are the exception, at least in my area you are allowed to sell retail directly to customers.

    Usually cottage laws only pertain to foods made in the home and brought to the event. Preparing or "roasting" at the event is a whole different set of rules. You will most likely need an inspection done of your trailer by the local Health Dept.

  4. #14
    Junior Member
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    Great white north
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    I too have thought about it and found out that San Franciscan makes a 6lb roaster that they also have a very cool vintage looking mobile cart to go with as an option. You could use that for fairs, markets, and just for your own profiling as it's not directly mounted to a trailer. Come to think of it I may have to revisit this option!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - now Free

  5. #15
    Junior Member
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    Aug 2004
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    Louisville, KY
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    Bald Guy in NC started out with a Sprinter and a San Franciscan at markets. There are a lot of things to think about here, which is why I have only thought and not acted yet. Coffee roasting is sensitive to the climate. Back when I had a wholesale shop I could see differences in my machine as winter turned to spring and then again to fall. This brings up some thoughts:

    1. How will you control climate in a trailer/truck so you can roast in winter? Summer?
    2. I just roasted 16 consecutive batches on the machine in the shop and I was sweating by the time I was done.
    3. What roaster would you use? I currently roast on a US Roaster. The 3 kilo machine weighs 400lbs and has a 3'x4' footprint. That is a lot of space.

    Just things to consider.

    Feel free to pm me or email if you want to kick the ideas around further.

    Shep

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shep View Post
    Bald Guy in NC started out with a Sprinter and a San Franciscan at markets. There are a lot of things to think about here, which is why I have only thought and not acted yet. Coffee roasting is sensitive to the climate. Back when I had a wholesale shop I could see differences in my machine as winter turned to spring and then again to fall. This brings up some thoughts:

    1. How will you control climate in a trailer/truck so you can roast in winter? Summer?
    2. I just roasted 16 consecutive batches on the machine in the shop and I was sweating by the time I was done.
    3. What roaster would you use? I currently roast on a US Roaster. The 3 kilo machine weighs 400lbs and has a 3'x4' footprint. That is a lot of space.

    Just things to consider.

    Feel free to pm me or email if you want to kick the ideas around further.

    Shep

    To roast coffee in BBQ grill in farmers market is not very appealing for my taste.
    I do roast my own coffee using home made roaster I made using bbq grill but I don't think I bring out the consistent quality to actually sell to the customers.

    I think if you are trying to target Farmers Market, you should get 1 or 2 kg small roaster and roast for the show but bring 30-50 pounds of pre roasted coffee(day before) and pre-package them and sell them.
    Yes you can also sell the coffee you roast in farmers market but I would never try to sell my own beans that I roast on my bbq grill at the farmers market because sometimes you will get the bad batch of beans if you are in hurry.

    You can normally pick up a used small roaster for around 3-5,000 dollars and they do not weight more then 150 pounds.

  7. #17
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    One of our (currently inactive) Forum members used to do what CoffeeJunky suggested, but at a smaller scale.

    He would roast a lot of coffee the day before and pre-package it. Then he would go to the Farmers Markets or other events and set up his area and roast coffee on a home-size roaster. I think he was using either a Nesco Roaster or a GeneCafe Roaster. He did the roasting mainly to get people's attention. It was mainly for the "show" and the fresh roasted coffee aroma lured in the customers. He didn't sell the coffee that he roasted there because, like CoffeeJunky said, anything can happen, and sometimes you end up with a not-so-good result when you roast coffee in less than ideal places.

  8. #18
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    Feb 2012
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    The only problem with a purpose built roaster is the air quality issues you are opening yourself up to. You have to add in permit costs and some towns require afterburners for coffee roasters which are very expensive and not very portable.

    I've never had anybody tell me I need a permit or an afterburner for my BBQ.

    As far as the quality and consistency of my product, just ask my clients.

  9. #19
    Junior Member
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    Louisville, KY
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeJunky View Post
    To roast coffee in BBQ grill in farmers market is not very appealing for my taste.
    I do roast my own coffee using home made roaster I made using bbq grill but I don't think I bring out the consistent quality to actually sell to the customers.

    I think if you are trying to target Farmers Market, you should get 1 or 2 kg small roaster and roast for the show but bring 30-50 pounds of pre roasted coffee(day before) and pre-package them and sell them.
    Yes you can also sell the coffee you roast in farmers market but I would never try to sell my own beans that I roast on my bbq grill at the farmers market because sometimes you will get the bad batch of beans if you are in hurry.

    You can normally pick up a used small roaster for around 3-5,000 dollars and they do not weight more then 150 pounds.
    Agreed. I was talking about using a commercial roaster, not a grill or home machine. If you are in business, I think you need to look legitimate.

  10. #20
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    Feb 2012
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    Thanks for the heads up Shep. This whole time I thought I was a legitimate business.

    I started out mobile roasting part time. I built a pretty big client base, some of which found me roasting at Farmers Markets. They seemed to think I was legitimate enough. They have all become faithful customers without any complaints.

    My business is legitimate enough to keep me, my wife and five kids fed and living a pretty decent life. Decent enough that I quit my job to do this full time because it offers me more freedom and more money.

    Off the top of my head I can think of five people that I built roasters for that are roasting full time and making a decent living. Try telling them they are not running a legitimate business.

 

 
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