I've got an idea-I'd like some input from the experts!

ksbell

New member
Sep 19, 2004
27
0
I am a "cafe' mocha" junkie......I admit it! I can't drink regular coffee anymore, I can only drink espresso! I've been making one every morning for about 5 years and can't get enough of the stuff! I am passionate about my "coffee"!

So, I've decided to turn my passion into a business opportunity. I can't open a coffee shop (I am already a part owner of another business and can't run 2). So, I thought I'd look into the supplier side of the business. I KNOW there are a "cajillion" roasters/suppliers/marketers to the business world, but is anyone marketing to the "home conniseuer"? So, I have looked into building a business (kind of like a pampered chef, mary kay, tupperware concept) hosting "tasting" parties and sell coffee and supplies thru networks of people.

I found a company named "Inspired Aroma" that is doing this now, but I am not sure of the quality of their beans. So, I think I could do this myself and cut out the "middle man". I can order direct from a reputable roaster wholesale and repackage the beans, maintaining freshness and quality, and resale retail.......or I could become a roaster myself and take orders from individuals.

I would love to become a roaster, although I've never tried, I am fascinated by the process! I would love to build a business around this concept. I would need to offer syrups and additives as well as beans.

So, how would I go about getting this started? Anyone doing this already?

Thanks in advance.......everyone here is so eager to share their experience and that makes this forum great!

Kim in TN
 

topher

Super Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2003
3,724
11
Boca Raton
Better decide what you want to do...if you are going to become a roaster you are not going to have time with your first job...that is if you are going to roast...to make it profitable you can't make this a part-time gig...the start up in roasting is not cheap...you have roaster, green coffee, packaging...not trying to rain on your parade just trying to be honest.
 
OP
K

ksbell

New member
Sep 19, 2004
27
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
I'd like to phase out of my regular job and do this full time by the 1st of the year. Is that possible? Can I build this slowly?

I posted a question to you in another forum, but I'll repeat it here:

What's Monster? Can I find a used roaster that I can use at home to build this business? How did you get started and who do you market your products to?

Thanks for responding!
 

topher

Super Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2003
3,724
11
Boca Raton
I got started in the biz cuz I wanted a slacker job and wanted to meet girls...haha I worked in a coffee shop when I started college...see 75% of biz in coffee shops are girls between the ages of 18-45...well I worked the coffee shop for about 3 years and then got offered a job as an apprentice roaster in a coffee shop....I was like wait you are going to pay me to learn this killer trade...all the free coffee I can drink and to flirt with girls?! Well 13 years later and here I am now...roasting with no girls in sight...haha my wife likes it like that! :oops:
 
OP
K

ksbell

New member
Sep 19, 2004
27
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
So that explains it! :grin:

I am in that "18-45" category (just about splitting the category!) I've noticed most of the people working in coffee shops are college aged guys and now I know why! :wink:

I think I would be extremely good at this business. I can't open another outside business right now and wouldn't want to put a whole lot of money into it anyway. I want to start slowly and build up as I go. That's how we built our "other" business and it worked out very well.

So, what do you guys think.....is it a feasible way to enter the business?
 

topher

Super Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2003
3,724
11
Boca Raton
The only down fall that I see in your idea is how are you going to make money doing parties? I tell people to buy in small amounts more frequently than large amounts and stock pile...so if you have a party to make money you are going to have to sell bulk...then the coffee goes stale and you have an unhappy customer.
 
OP
K

ksbell

New member
Sep 19, 2004
27
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #7
OK, how about I have "taste testing parties" and take orders for specific roasts? I would only roast for prepaid orders and not waste any beans. I could offer several sizes from "one pot", 4 oz and 8 oz (in Espresso, I go thru an 8 oz of Starbucks in about 2 weeks, is this normal?) Of course, I'd have some on hand of the one pot and 4 oz to sell at the party. Then reorders will take care of the bulk of the business. When it really takes off, I'll let others host these parties and pay a commission to them.

Could it work?
 

topher

Super Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2003
3,724
11
Boca Raton
They put a man on the moon...I guess it might work...remember that coffee comes in 132-154 lbs bags...and if you are going to have blends you are going to probably have to carry about 5-6 different coffees for everything...a flavor base...and some decafe....but yes I guess it could be done....don't be so closed to only one avenue of the biz...if you like roasting look at doing some wholesale also...just a thought...so where you going to do this? Tampa?
 
OP
K

ksbell

New member
Sep 19, 2004
27
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #9
I would prefer selling wholesale to businesses! I thought that venue was overdone and I wouldn't be able to compete with the big roasters!

I live in Nashville, TN (our main office of our other company is here, too). I looked on switchboard.com and could only find a roaster in Ft. Campbell, KY (about 1 1/2 hours from here). Does that mean there is a market for me?

How would I go about setting up wholesale?
 
OP
K

ksbell

New member
Sep 19, 2004
27
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #10
OK, so this is what I'm thinking (after REALLY spending some time thinking!)---I am going to try my hand at roasting and THEN see if I want to turn it into a business!

I am extremely passionate about coffee, for some reason! We'll see how I feel about roasting. When something gets under my skin, it's usually there to stay!

Sounds more reasonable, huh?
 

doncoffee

New member
Oct 11, 2004
5
0
san diego
wholesale gourmet-green coffee

I am starting inthe coffee business as well the only difference my dad has been in the coffee business for a while...I own coffee land in El Salvador which it is my dream to bring it to United States...I have some good connections in the roasting, green and gourmet industry so if you are interested we may be able to do business..right now I have gourmet coffee from Nicaragua whole as well as ground...

doncoffee@usa.com


Leo Magana
 

ddent4

New member
Oct 13, 2004
2
0
Please do some serious reading!! I briefly read some of your comments, and it sounds like your about to become another supplier that doesn't really "get it". There is NO way you can become self-employed by the end of the year, it takes years to become a great roaster and only months to ruin the product "we" should be roasting. If your only drinking one espresso drink in the morning and 8 oz. of some other coffee in two weeks, you have no passion. Stick with your daily job.
 

espressomaniac

New member
Jul 8, 2004
67
0
Tacoma
Good Idea

Extrapolating upon the volume of random ideas, I get what you are trying to say and do, it does have alot of potential, if organized correctly, a significant amount.

You want to be the mary K of espresso, showing up with your small serving cart, a baby machine and grinder, the beans, and perhaps a few odds and ends, but mainly you have now became a "rep" for the products you sell. You can then move into home machines, grinders, utensiles, selling the carts themselves, etc. You'll need a game plan to work with organzing the suppliers, costs, mark up's, ads', etc. it's not a complex model to gather together in my opinion, just it will take alot of one on one time then you may be prepared for with closing each individual sale. I'm sure if you don't do it, someone will eventually.
 

jpscoffee

New member
Nov 3, 2004
92
0
Michigan
Electronics are marked up 15%. WB coffee is marked up 50%. Average sale from a "coffee-tupperware like show" ??

Show up at someones house with three other potentials there, find them at the moment they need the new brewer-more coffee-have the money for it, convince them to buy equipment and beans, keep them buying from you and never visit SB or CC again (a HUGE portion of our customers come to us because of the social aspect). Sounds like a tough sell to me.

You'd have to do a lot of parties, change the way people buy, keep them from the local grocery store and coffeehouse, all while keeping your "day job".

Good luck!

PS Keurig, Douwe Egberts, and other major coffee suppliers ARE marketing directly to the home buyer (maybe not the "true" coffee lover, but a large part of the market is not gourmet). They are making the single cup (pod, k-cup) a viable market. BTW, I have a Keurig brewer and it is very good. It is not as good as my own fresh beans, but is a definite advance in the whole coffee market. It works well when I am in a hurry or don't want to/can't make a whole pot.
 

Latest posts

Top