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  1. #11
    Junior Member
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    Jul 2019
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    10
    That makes sense. I think we're going to roast enough for a couple days at a time to keep it as fresh as we can. Sorry for being a bit ridiculous.

  2. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
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    10
    It's been about a year since I made this post. A lot of times people make some sort of intro and they're never heard from again. The wife and I did open the coffee shop last August and it has gone pretty smoothly for the most part. It took a bit of time to figure out the new espresso machine, not that it was THAT much different from the previous machine, we just needed to learn how to do espressos correctly. Once we got in our groove, we didn't spend much time having to remake drinks anymore. One of the best compliments we received was from a New Zealand couple who travels the world and seeks out little independent coffee shops along the way. They ordered some flat whites and they said that our coffee was the best they'd ever had in the states. Maybe they both woke up on the right side of the bed that day, who knows, but it made us feel pretty good for awhile.

    We had been slightly under breaking even since we opened. We got a little break when some Hollywood types were in town, liked our shop, and decided to shoot a scene in it. We shut the shop down for two days and they paid us enough that we could have closed the shop for a week and a half. So that was a nice little bump. And then the coronavirus hit. Business quickly slowed to a crawl, and other shops around us started to close. We were going to try to stay open for as long as we could, because if we closed, we were probably going to close for good. But then business started to pick back up, and it picked up enough that it was better than it had ever been. We are located on a busy street in the middle of a very walkable neighborhood. It turns out, that since the other neighborhood restaurants closed (I'm guessing because they had much higher overhead, such as a hostess, bartender, cooks, servers, etc) we became the go to for a quick bite. And since everybody was working from home, they were all now a lot closer to us during breakfast and lunch!

    Roasting has gone pretty well. We sell about 225-250 pounds of coffee per month. We haven't gotten a website together yet, or sold anything through Amazon, although we do really want to get that going. I still have my full time job, and the wife has her contract jobs. In fact, she's trying to pick up another 20 hour per week contract. Oh yeah, I had rotator cuff surgery in February, and then found out I had cancer in March. Just finished chemo (well, I hope I'm finished) two weeks ago. So, definitely been too busy to do a website. Soon though!

  3. #13
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Near Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    5,064
    Hello Coffee_Noob,

    Wow! Thanks for the update. It sure sounds like you've had quite a journey in less than a year's time.

    I'm happy to hear that the ongoing Covid situation didn't destroy your coffee shop. After all, you're just getting your business off the ground. It usually takes a year (or so) to break even before you can feel like you're getting somewhere. It's good that you were able to keep your doors open these past few months. I'm sure your customers were very happy that you were there for them.

    I'm sorry to hear that you had to go through chemo in addition to dealing with running a new business and dealing with the Covid problem. I join you in hoping that you are all finished with chemo, and I really hope that it "did the trick" to banish the cancer. Since you only finished chemo two weeks ago, I really hope you're taking time to take care of yourself and give your body a chance to bounce back.

    Thanks again for the update.

    ~ Rose

  4. #14
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Boca Raton
    Posts
    3,613
    Lets say open and sell out. Great thing is you have your roaster right there. If you see it is going insanely well. You need to fire up the roaster and roast for the next day. Just make sure you let the coffee rest for a minimum of 24 hours. Last thing...have a water fire extinguisher or hose handy if you happen to have a fire. Good luck and let us know how you are doing.
    "Wine is for aging, not coffee."
    Ken Hutchinson, Starsky and Hutch

  5. #15
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by PinkRose View Post
    Hello Coffee_Noob,

    Wow! Thanks for the update. It sure sounds like you've had quite a journey in less than a year's time.

    I'm happy to hear that the ongoing Covid situation didn't destroy your coffee shop. After all, you're just getting your business off the ground. It usually takes a year (or so) to break even before you can feel like you're getting somewhere. It's good that you were able to keep your doors open these past few months. I'm sure your customers were very happy that you were there for them.

    I'm sorry to hear that you had to go through chemo in addition to dealing with running a new business and dealing with the Covid problem. I join you in hoping that you are all finished with chemo, and I really hope that it "did the trick" to banish the cancer. Since you only finished chemo two weeks ago, I really hope you're taking time to take care of yourself and give your body a chance to bounce back.

    Thanks again for the update.

    ~ Rose
    Thank you for your kind words! I get about 5 solid hours of sleep per night. I'm the roaster and the baker, and I still have my full time job that I go to, so rest is a luxury I can't afford right now! Hopefully we get to a point where we can hire and train someone to do these things.

  6. #16
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by topher View Post
    Lets say open and sell out. Great thing is you have your roaster right there. If you see it is going insanely well. You need to fire up the roaster and roast for the next day. Just make sure you let the coffee rest for a minimum of 24 hours. Last thing...have a water fire extinguisher or hose handy if you happen to have a fire. Good luck and let us know how you are doing.
    Oh yeah, we have an extinguisher on the wall right beside the roaster. And five more in the back just in case. When I roast, I do about 100 pounds at a time, not all of the same roast. Costa Rican for light, Brazilian for medium, Sumatra for dark. We use the Brazilian for our flavored coffees (it's not an overwhelming flavor and takes the flavor that we put in it very well). We grind the coffee fresh every day and we end up having to roast about twice a week.

    Only twice have we been caught where we can't wait 24 hours to let the beans rest after roasting. If anybody noticed a difference, they didn't complain. There's a very local successful roaster that sells thousands of pounds to other coffee shops, and I watched her roast for a bit while I was in their shop to purchase some syrups. She'd drop one batch and immediately throw another batch up top, which I thought was weird. Didn't check temps or anything! I asked the owner about it and he said, "yep, sometimes when you get a rush like we've had lately, you just push it through. Most people can't tell the difference one way or the other."

  7. #17
    Super Moderator
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    Aug 2003
    Location
    Boca Raton
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    3,613
    You just push through. That's no way to run a business. He said people haven't complained? I am the customer that doesn't complain. I just do not return. Side note. With Sumatra I wouldn't roast to dark. The thing is Sumatra sits on your tongue like a brick and is super smooth...low acidity. The darker you roast the lower the acidity. If you have a heavy body coffee low in acid roasted dark you end up with a mouth full of mud. You need some balance. This is just my opinion so I hope you are not offended.
    "Wine is for aging, not coffee."
    Ken Hutchinson, Starsky and Hutch

  8. #18
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by topher View Post
    You just push through. That's no way to run a business. He said people haven't complained? I am the customer that doesn't complain. I just do not return. Side note. With Sumatra I wouldn't roast to dark. The thing is Sumatra sits on your tongue like a brick and is super smooth...low acidity. The darker you roast the lower the acidity. If you have a heavy body coffee low in acid roasted dark you end up with a mouth full of mud. You need some balance. This is just my opinion so I hope you are not offended.
    I'm going to assume that people haven't complained enough to bother his business. He just has one 12kg roaster that does all of their beans, and it's going all day long every day. It's pretty impressive. He's a very hard worker and is very accommodating to his customers, so I'm sure that plays into any errors along the way.

    I don't roast the Sumatra too dark. I dump it right after second crack. I've accidentally roasted it to about 450 once, and it came out super oily and tasted a little ashy. I gave away a few pounds of it before I threw it away, and just this weekend, one of the customers came in and said, "hey man, let me know when you mess up again, I really liked it!"

  9. #19
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Boca Raton
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee_Noob View Post
    "hey man, let me know when you mess up again, I really liked it!"
    That's hilarious! I love to hear success stories! Just keep tasting everything you roast. Take loads of notes during roasting and cupping. You will get dialed in quickly. I run my 60 kilo all day Monday through Friday. I like being busy....Busy keeps me out of trouble
    "Wine is for aging, not coffee."
    Ken Hutchinson, Starsky and Hutch

  10. #20
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Posts
    2
    Oh, conglatulations! This is great news

 

 
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