Looking to get started


New member
Jan 2, 2009
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Greetings everyone,

I know there have been a lot of these types of post, but I'd appreciate it if you could humor my own.

I've been wanting to start a small roasting operation for a few years. There's something I find very therapeutic about the process and I'd like to give it a shot at a small scale.

I've been roasting coffee at home for about 4 years (2 consumer roasters, 1 built by me), have interacted with an old Victoria and have been to numerous cuppings, not to mention cupping my own. I have a reasonably intuitive understanding of coffees from most regions and have a few espresso blends that I believe are competitive, though my consistency and quantity of course suffer through my home roasters.

I've researched Ambex, USRC, Diedrich, Toper, Probat, etc. and have tentatively decided on the Ambex YM2. It's close enough that I can get there for training relatively quickly (I'm in Atlanta) and I get a good impression of the company.

A few more things about me to give you a background:

1) I own a successful software company, so I will maintain my career and pursue this on the side. This also means I won't be low on cash flow and pressured to turn an immediate profit.
2) I'm already familiar with much of the operations. For our company, I've worked in manufacturing, retail, etc. and so have knowledge of shipping, receiving, POS, etc. I should be able to get the whole process going relatively smoothly, including the website with ordering, etc. I believe that helps as I won't need external resources.
3) I have the espresso (Isomac, Mazzer) and drip equipment to sample the coffees as I do now.

There are a few things I still need to figure out:

1) Where to roast. I'm not sure I can get the permits for my home and I'm not sure I'd want to. I'm considering a small storefront but haven't decided on anything. I'm going for as low cost as possible in the beginning of course.
2) Green suppliers. I haven't decided on anyone yet, but in my research there seems to be plenty of options.
3) Venues. I'm primarily looking to hit farmer's markets, online (especially with espresso blends) and potentially some boutique stores.

So, that's enough of me. I'm just trying to profile myself to see if those of you that have succeeded see that I am realistic. Any thoughts?

Like many of you I'm sure, I just love coffee. My passion is espresso, with dry-processed Ethiopian and Yemeni coffees being my favorite.

Finally, I would be willing to consider a partnership of some kind of there are some fellow enthusiasts that might like to get started. Is this the proper forum for that? Splitting up the effort might make sense over the long-term, or it might at least reduce the initial cost for both parties.

I'm all over the place with this post. Any feedback would be appreciated.


New member
Apr 12, 2009
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I noticed that you posted this message in January- have you made any progress on your plans? Also, where in the US are you located? Are you open for business?