Hi! I'm new =)


New member

My name is Mike. After reading and reading and reading, I've finally made the plunge and registered. There are two reasons why I registered. One: I love coffee! :-D Two: I have a question that I just can't seem to find an answer to and I was hoping to get some expert opinion on.

I would like to get into the coffee business. There are only a few problems that I can foresee. The market is flooded and I live in Canada. Therefore, I want to break into the Chinese market in China (like everyone else in the world, lol). I realize that there is only a small market there at the moment, but I think (and I'm sure everyone else does) the market will be growing and I want to grow with it. I don't mind starting out slowly and building just as slow :) since I'm only one person.

I have people to help me set up a base in China, and the people are locals, so they know the place and able to communicate with the industry people on a local level. I also have a port that is willing to receive the beans. I just can't seem to find the laws regarding coffee beans though. Need more research on that, but if anyone could help me with that too, that would be great!

The main question I guess is: How viable do you (the experts) think this is? Should I even consider starting this or am I just in dream mode? :D

Very much appreciate any and all feedback in advance! Thanks people!
1) Are you going to move to China? If not don't do it.
2) How connected are you or your partners? If not, are you willing to grease multiple palms?
3) Where in China? If in Shanghai/Shenzheng/Beijing have you look into rent? Two years ago prime location in Shanghai was as high as U$ 60/sf. Sure, you can offset it somewhat with low labor cost, but you still need to put out U$10,000 per month for 2000 sf. Two years ago there were three Starbucks in Shanghai, and I don't think they were profitable.
4) Are you offering other items beside coffees, pastries? Meaning are you offering food items? I don't think pure coffeehouse concept does well in China. There is a Taiwanese chain with about 200 stores that do well, but they have traditional Chinese and quasi-Western food menu, and coffees were really secondary, not to mention not very good. Come to think of it, their food were so-so too. They are really selling Taiwan/Japan style Western atmosphere.
5) Foreign operators that are making piles over there, are KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonald with name recognition and beaucoup bucks. They are not selling quality stuffs, what they are selling is the perceived piece of Americana. I know of of one group of Chinese Americans with similar idea, but their concept is more like the Taiwanese group mentioned above. They have a every American name trademarked, New York Coffee??? But they know jack about coffee. That does not mean I think they will fail, it just that they are not selling good coffee. One thing they are pretty smart about is that they will start in smaller secondary market where cost of doing business is cheaper.

Someone once asked Richard Branson what is the secret of be coming a millionair, he replied "start out with a billion, and start an airline". So...if you still want to be a millionair, I can find out (green or roasted??) coffee beans laws for you. My sister-in-law works for an American commodity firm in Shanghai that brings and sells all type of argri-commodities, her sister is a custom broker.
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
Hi ElPugDiablo,

I guess I should have been more detailed in what I want to do. Sorry about that. :D

I'm not going to move to China. But I have family there that is willing to help me open up an office. I also have family that runs a shipping/receiving company there. So having someone recieve the goods isn't a problem either. No greasing of any palms required :) I'm not opening a shop either. I just want to start up a distribution center, where I would supply the smaller shops and grocery stores coffee.

So what do you think?

PS. I'm looking at roasted coffee beans, maybe green beans later. I would still like to know the laws. If it isn't to much trouble, could you find out for me? Thanks so very much!
- coffee which is not processed, duty 8%, vat 17%
- coffee which has been processed, duty 15%, vat 17%

the duty metioned above was for last year, the new duty has not been published yet.

Hope this is what you are looking for; if you have questions just let me know.

As far as distribution only, I don't know much about the logistic requirement, but to get products into stores, another (Chinese) poster mentioned to get coffee into a Chinese hotel, the going bribery rate to the hotel manager is RMB 100,000 or about $12,500, so make sure you factor in is cost of doing business.
Yuks I did not even need Coffee to spot this!

What a great Post between to kind and professional people!

I learned more about china then ever

Thanks to both of you
for the wisdom!

Latest posts