New coffee ninche


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Jul 10, 2012
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First post I've submitted her so please be gentle. First and foremost I am motorcycle enthusiast and a coffee enthusiast. I am have been a home roaster for about three years now with my trusty whirl popper. Through various injuries and various birthdays my physical labor work (auto and cycle mechanic) has taken its toll on the body and through positive responses from many I am thinking of beginning a coffee retail business. It would start out as an online and rented space business at swap meets farmers market...etc. My theme would be to go with the motorcyclist crowd (we all don't all drink beer and liquor exclusively :/ ) I would like to eventually get a brick and mortar shop in the future. To the meat of the matter, I was wondering if (A) This sounds like a good idea, (B) If it would be a good idea to go with a contracted roast/private label, just to get things started or just do it at home and run through the Michigan Cottage Food Act where I can can only many up to a certain amount profit each year? Just looking for some feed back.

Hello shawnv37

Welcome to the Coffee Forums website.

As you explore the various thread areas in the Coffee Forums and read through the posts, you will see that we have several members who started out roasting at home in their garage, and then they eventually branched out from there. It may be a good place for you to start building your business. Some of our members have been very successful roasting and selling the coffee from home, and some have moved on to bigger spaces..

I'm guessing that first you'll probably want to move up from using a whirly popper and get yourself a more substantial roaster. Maybe some of our experienced members can help you with that.

Wow what an inspirational first post. I don't have much to offer, but this reminds me of a motorcycle lover in Taiwan who's been able to merge his two passions. I can't post the link since I'm under 5 posts. But if you Google "Watch This Chopper Start Up Inside A Restaurant In Taiwan And Understand Harleys Forever" there is a post on Jalopnik that's pretty cool.

Good luck! I'd love to come and visit your establishment someday! And to answer your question... sounds like an amazing idea to me!
For what it's worth . . . I sell coffee to a mobile barista and he recently set up at a biker show in Dublin and couldn't make coffee fast enough.

As to your 'test the water' approach, why not. Give it a go and if you make too much money I'm sure you can handle that :coffee:. And the biker niche could go great guns. And if you were the leader in the niche -- and it's a big enough niche -- you could surprise yourself at how well you might do.
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@EXPAT I would LLOOOVVVVEEEEE to open a mobile barista!!! But the laws in Michigan are way to archaic. I know a couple people that have tried and spent half of their startup on permits alone. They eventually had to stop because the laws where just to over the top. They weren't even selling any kind of food, just coffee. If the laws change I would do that in a heart beat.
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I just want to thank everybody for all the positive feedback. It does mean a lot and it solidified my decision to go ahead with my project. Now I just have to find a good and reliable manufacturer. I would do it myself but I'm hoping the volume would be to large for that. I'd be going the whirl pops like crazy. Thanks again everybody. If anyone has anymore advice or comments they are all appreciated.
Just listen to the positive vibes of yours and the things will get done. IT takes time to build a sustainable business so don't count for profit at start almost for a year. If comes, it's your good luck and booster. All The Best