How many pounds of coffee are you going through..

Fresh Roaster

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Jun 30, 2006
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No offense Tophie but I've never seen a shop that was able to stay afloat with less than 300 pounds per month. How do you do it?

EDIT: Oooops, one exception... a COE only type shop, but they average around $24 per pound and $5 per beverage...
 

Tophie2

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Jul 6, 2008
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St Augustine Fl
Im not a roaster, if that is any consession. I have very expensive drinks. But at this point your right, it is challenging to say the least. A pot of coffee cost $1, I sell it for $10. So that is pretty much 40$ a pound. The money is in espresso, and that my friend is the ONLY thing that keeps this thing going. If people knew what I paid for it they would die.
 

John P

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Jan 5, 2007
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Salt Lake City
We sold less than 35# per month for the first eighteen months (2005-2007) we were roasting with a small shop roaster, did ~ $20K in Capital improvements, and traveled to Japan three times during that time period (we close the shop when we go) and still made a profit. ... Oh, and our rent at the time was 16% of our income. And this is from business revenue only.

I know a shop close to us that was doing more than five times the (total) business we were and losing money. It's all in how you manage everything.
 

ElPugDiablo

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Jul 16, 2004
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Hartford and New Haven, CT
It depends on what percent coffee is your business and profit margin for each category. In my case tea is about 20% of my revenues, I was told an average coffee shop does about 5% in tea but am not sure where that number is from; tea is higher margin thus making how many pounds of coffee per month not very relevant. From a wholesale roaster perspective, which I think the original question is driving at, I'd think the smallest customer should be 200 pounds a month.

Tohpie, I am thinking you are using quite a bit of coffee if your daily intake is less than $400, what is your brewing weight vs water per batch? Do you dump the pot after 30 minutes?
 

John P

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Jan 5, 2007
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Salt Lake City
We are a low volume, niche market shop with an extremely loyal base. My wife is Taiwanese, so we have a balanced Tea/Coffee approach. Every drink is made by the cup. Most "coffee" drinks are espresso based. No drip coffee. No blended anything. Coffee is by the cup SO small farm and micro-lot siphon coffee, black and to stay only. Tea accounts for about 35-40% of total sales. Outside of Rishi, who has some remarkable teas, we source direct from Taiwan and Japan. We don't have employees, but we each work about six hours a day. We close the shop to travel a few times a year... for conventions, competitions, and Japan or Taiwan for (cough) business. Our rent was about $1850 at the time.

We working on a restaurant, and we WILL have employees there.
 

Tophie2

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Jul 6, 2008
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St Augustine Fl
Ok now that makes sense. I wish my rent was 1850. Tell me about it Pug, I use .25 pound per 16 cup T-TEK glass lined airpot, Hell no I don't dump after 30min, They don't last that long anyway LOL!
 

Fresh Roaster

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Jun 30, 2006
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I'm thinking out loud here Tophie... Couple of things I'm not clear on and you might want to check your numbers because I think you might be misleading yourself and/or in need of evaluating end product.

First, with 16 cups per 1/4 pound you get a 64 serving yield per pound. That seems extrememly high to me. Even with just drip I've never seen a calculation for yield above 40 and mixed beverage offerings yield is usually around 26 plus or minus. I think you should probably check the numbers because it seems to me to be too high a yield there or a miscalculation. Furthermore, if the pots don't last a half hour, you must be selling a TON of beverage at 128+ servings per hour and $1.80-2.00 drip? That's $1000++ gross in a daily four hour shift just on drip. Can that be right? I sort of doubt it.

Second is the $1 per pot which I assume is 1/4 pound. That tells me you're paying less than $4 per pound for your coffee and if figuring it as a net, possibly much less after milk, sugar, sweetner, etc. I hope that's another possible miscalculation because, and not trying to be rude here, if you're not a roaster (and probably, even if you were) wholesale landed whole bean cost at less than $4 cannot be of any acceptable quality as specialty coffee. Just can't be done and does not exist.

Anyway, I'd double check some of your math and bills in evaluating your your stats and overall profitability. The accuracy of your stats is an extremely important compnent of any business and mistakes can be fatal.
 

Tophie2

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Jul 6, 2008
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St Augustine Fl
Ok, This is gross pricing for sure. Yes Gavina makes a great product for very reasonable pricing. Yes The "16cup" yield is based on the numbers on the site glass. Which in reality is prob 3/4 of a gallon. My drip pricing is 12oz 1.40 16oz 1.75 20oz 2.00. The most expensive drip I buy is Kona blend @ 5.85# the least expensive is usually on sale for 3.60- 4.10# my espresso is 3.80 (BUT THATS ANOTHER STORY) So yes there is great coffee for inexpensive cost. When people tell me they pay 9-12$# for coffee,and its bitter, I don't get it. I sell about 7 pots a day. Gross of 70$ less cup,lid,stirrer, sleeve, cream, sugar and or sweeteners,,napkins,rent,power,and all other hard costs. I sell all my coffee beans for 10.50 a pound. Whether it be Kona or Java estate. So my calculations my be off by a little for cost of pot, but not the gross retail.

Some people drink black
Some people drink soup
some people want 1/2 a cup

Thats not the problem I am having, nor am I going to hijack another thread about a completely different topic, or worse, my sob story about financial suicide.

So in all interest, once again I make a pot of brewed coffee for about a dollar, and sell it for 10$ (gross)

I go through about 150#s of coffee a month, My coffee order is usally about 1k. This includes Chai mix and three cases of perfect touch cups. this will include espresso, and drip whole bean.

VOLUME IS WHAT I LACK
 

ElPugDiablo

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Jul 16, 2004
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Hartford and New Haven, CT
Tophie, 7 pots times quarter pound per pot is 1.75 pound a day which is about 50 pounds a month. Are you doing 100 pounds of espresso and whole beans a month? Are you being billed about 150 pounds a month?
 

Tophie2

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Jul 6, 2008
157
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St Augustine Fl
Correct, the rest is espresso and whole bean purchases. Oh yes I'm billed all right CUO (cash upon order, I owe my venders nothing, I pay cash) So to get back to the original question, how many pounds of coffee you go through Pug?
 

ElPugDiablo

New member
Jul 16, 2004
991
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Hartford and New Haven, CT
I have two locations, both fluctuate due to seasonality. The one in Hartford ranges about 300 to 450. The extra 150 is due to summer iced coffee. The New Haven location various from 120 to 400. This location is close to Yale's campus, during school year I do about 400, but in Summer I die and do next to nothing, I dumped more than served.
 
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