Equipment for Small Roasters to Distribute


New member
Feb 28, 2005
Upper Sansusky, Ohio
Visit site
I am a small roaster with 10 other coffee house accounts. one problem I run into is the EQUIPMENT. I can't go and purchase all the airpot brewers and so on with the capital I gain. I am looking to find a company that will help me find ways to purchase equipment with a 30 day grace period. If anyone has any information on this I would appreciate it considerably. Thank you so much and have a good day.
With the Extractor series brewers coming out, there is a bunch of used equipment coming back in. You could probably get a deal on some pre-owned airpot brewers to bootstrap yourself into wider distribution.

If you stick to tried and true models, they will be fairly reliable and you won't have the service costs to deal with. New technology usually breaks down more frequently. You could use that to your advantage.
In addition to that, you may also consider some small changes to your business model that could help to alleviate the cash crunch, improve the quality of your customers' product and your position as a partner to their business rather than just a supplier.

The "free brewer for every account" business model has some big flaws, including but not limited to the capital outlay; sure, it is helpful to to attract the uneducated customers that do not understand (or worse, care) about the difference between what you offer and the Folgers crystals they drink at home, but are these really your ideal customers?

I suggest that you develop an equipment plan that allows you to provide your customers with better quality equipment, such as was mentioned in javahill's previous post, but help them to understand that there is a cost involved (whether they see it or not, as in the case where equipment is provided for free).

Some of the roasters that we have worked with charge the new customer up-front for equipment at cost and then credit a portion of each subsequent sale toward paying them back; for example, 5-10% back on a monthly statement until the equipment purchase price is refunded. If the customer decides to stop working with you, at least they got good equipment at cost - no harm done.

This means 1) you don't need to scramble to come up with all of that cash 2) your customer has an incentive to buy more coffee from you 3) the customer has the security to walk away at anytime (and this doesn't cost you any money) and 4) the customer receives a better quality brewer than they would have otherwise, leading to better output and reliability... and theoretically higher sales volumes.

Explain that you have chosen to go this route in order to maintain a high level of quality rather than switch to a cheaper product in order to supplement equipment costs; the ones that understand the approach will pay, the ones that don't... well, they probably would have left when the roaster across town dropped their prices $.25 anyway. Even the bowling alley charges for loaner shoes! (and I still wouldn't want to wear them home)