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Thread: Mobile Roasting

  1. #1
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    Mobile Roasting

    I am roasting recreationally, but am interested in starting the roasting business, as are many here. I have read threads about roasting at home, or starting with the full up commercial operation, coffee shops and coffee trailers. What I have not seen (may just not have looked hard enough) is a coffee roasting trailer. I have been looking at trailers used by food preparers, that have full deep-fat fryers, with chimneys and appropriate plumbing, that have equivelant weight loads to a roaster, I think (many variables taken into consideration). I believe that such a trailer based operation would be possible, and could be advantageous. I think it would be great to carry the roaster to various locations, like fairs and farmers markets, and roast on site, while selling the coffee. I have not run the numbers on cost of such a trailer yet, but think that the outlay could be in the 40-70k range, with a modest roaster installed. Depending on the rent and other fixed and variable costs of a commercial facility, it occurs to me that the break-even point with such a trailer could be quite reasonable, and that it might have many advantages to it. And after the break even point on the initial capital outlay is reached, the expense side of the finanacial statements would look better. Has anyone tried this business model? Thank you for your thoughts.

  2. #2
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    Hey Bardo, i believe you may be onto something here! farmers market for sure! who wouldn't love the waft of fresh roasting coffee before their very eyes. i would definately look more into that. i could see that being done year round as well.
    Good luck and keep us posted

  3. #3
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    Mobile roasting is where I started. Of course my start up costs were more in the $400 - -$700 range. I traveled around to Farmers Markets and Fairs bringing only my BBQ grill, roasting drum, coffee bags and sack of green coffee. I sold literally tons of coffee that way.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuzzRoaster View Post
    Mobile roasting is where I started. Of course my start up costs were more in the $400 - -$700 range. I traveled around to Farmers Markets and Fairs bringing only my BBQ grill, roasting drum, coffee bags and sack of green coffee. I sold literally tons of coffee that way.
    still doing it?

  5. #5
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    Absolutely. I'm still making roasters too but honestly, I make way more money roasting coffee for a living.

    I still do Fairs and Farmers Markets every once in a while but most of my time is spent roasting for accounts I managed to acquire through those local events. I mainly use those for networking.

  6. #6
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    Sorry Bardo, I didn't mean to hijack your thread. The point I was trying to make was you don't need to spend a lot of money to get into the mobile roasting business.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the input. I have been looking into the BBQ drum roasters, and assumed that that would be my first foray into the larger batch roasting. I am looking at the 10 lb drum on a 65k Btu grill. Seems to run in the 1500 range, plus the peripherals. I had not thought of taking that with me to the markets, although it would serve the same purpose while I learn the ropes and build a following. Great idea!

  8. #8
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    imo, 65k btu should be more than enough heat.

  9. #9
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    A lot of people that have bought my roaster are doing the same thing. It's kind of a novelty, when people see you roasting great tasting coffee in a BBQ they are amazed that its that simple. Apparently most people were under the impression there was some kind of magic involved.

  10. #10
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    I've been working toward the same idea for a while now. I have already owned a wholesale roasting shop. I used to get invited to set up as a vendor at various events all the time, but just couldn't do it. As I near retirement age, I am considering going this route. I have taken a 2 kilo machine on site before, and truthfully, most people ignored it. I was a bit disappointed. I am currently trying to decide between a trailer (cheapest alternative I think) a step van or a Sprinter. And I've got to decide on what machine I'm going to take along. Window shopping for those right now. I expect to have mine on the road by this time next year as the retail face of the business.

    Shep

 

 
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