Coffee Shop/Farmer's Market Question
Greetings from Iowa.
It appears we have found a spot to put our coffee roaster. The city should give us its official blessing tomorrow and the lease should be signed soon after. The catch is that we will not be allowed to sell coffee by the cup, due to fire regulations. The fire marshal says that the entire building including other tenants spaces under the same roof would need to have sprinkler systems installed if we open a coffee shop. However, they are letting us roast beans on premise as long as we also have a retail shop in front. So we plan on selling organic certified coffee and tea by the bag, coffee and tea making equipment, travel mugs, clothing with our logo and some art work. Any other ideas/suggestions of items to sell retail in our shop would be appreciated.
However, we ARE allowed to sell coffee by the cup at farmer's markets because the state legislature has written that exemption into the state code. We are considering doing coffee pour-overs at the markets but i'm not sure how the logistics of that would work. Can we keep water hot enough in a urn at a market to make good coffee? Could we use a propane unit to boil water? What about cleaning the pour-over filter units? Would we be able to clean in between customers in that setting?
Thanks in advance.
Corazon Coffee Roasters
06-03-2012 12:08 PM
I remember reading a lot of posts from someone who was successfully selling roasted beans and coffee at Farmer's Markets. His name is Jim Lyon (Jim's Coffee Beans) and his user name on this forum is jlyon10. However, I noticed that he hasn't visit the forum since February.
I'll try to find some of his posts. I think I remember him describing how he set up his space for brewed coffee. I guess it's time for me to do some more exploring.
Hi Again Scott,
I also recall that another forum member, caffe biscotto, (David's Biscotti in MA) used to sell coffee along with his biscotti at Farmers Markets. He made the coffee before he left his store, and he put it into preheated pump pots. The coffee stayed hot and he was happy with the results. Since his main focus was selling his biscotti, the brewed coffee was and extra bonus that worked out okay for him.
I know there were other people on the forum who were selling coffee at Farmer's Markets. Hopefully someone will respond with a perfect answer to your questions.
Last edited by PinkRose; 06-04-2012 at 02:59 PM.
The problem we have is that the city won't let us sell coffee in the shop by the cup. So we're not planning on having the commercial fetco brewing system initially, as previously planned. I'm also wondering about the freshness factor when brewing before the market.
It would be nice if you could brew some of your roasted coffee and then "give" some to your customers to taste. Would that still be against the fire regulation rules?
We're currently asking ourselves that very question, Rose....
Read my thread called "I want to roast & sell from home - why not?" I started that years ago and perhpas it can help you know.
Thanks for the heads up concerning your home roasting thread.
As an update..... We roast beans in the shop and sell organic coffee and tea by the pound. The city also gave us the OK to sell by the cup as long as it's "to go."
The shop has ben bringing in enough money through retail and wholesales accounts to pay the bills. (With the wife's income, that's all we need or expect at this point.) Its still a one man show, but I'll prolly need some help when farmer's market season rolls around. Once we are bringing in enough money to turn a profit, we'll probably hire a part-time person to allow me more time away from the shop visiting potential wholesale customers.
Still interested in learning details/logistics of making the farmer's markets work.
I was thinking about doing the same in local farmers market as well.
I was asking myself the same questions.
How can you keep fresh coffee without compromise in quality when you have to brew ahead of time or serve good coffee without investing in mobile cafe type of operation....
We've had a few members of this forum who were pretty successful with their Farmers Market activities. One person "jlyon10" actually took a small home roaster and roasted the beans outside of his van (he had a small generator) so people could smell the beans roasting and walk over to his area. He sold the fresh roasted beans as well as packaged beans that he roasted a day before. From what I remember, he was happy with his Farmers Market experience.
I remember "caffe biscotto" brewed coffee at his shop (David's Biscotti) and put it in large pump pots and brought it over to the Farmer's Market along with his biscotti. He also was very happy with the experience. He filled the pump pots with hot water to take the chill off before he put the hot coffee into them and the coffee stayed hot for hours. He brought along the Mini Moo type of creamers that you see in diners because they don't need refrigeration.
They haven't visited the forum in a while, but you can do a search or explore their profile and find their posts.