Quiting my job and starting a coffee distribution business

coffeejoy

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Jun 1, 2014
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Hi everyone,

I should have introduced myself at the "Introductions" section, but I thought I'd jump right in. I will try to give as much detail as I can below, so thank you for your patience.

I am a marketer by profession, and I had my fair share of experience at a tea and coffee business 6 years ago (for 6 years too). Due to that business went bust (the owner spent all his revenues I produced for fast cars, luxury boats and women - nothing wrong with that, I just found myself without a job) I went to another industry.

Anyway, I am now considering leaving the employment arena and going to be an entrepreneur. I know how this is like, because I was involved with start-ups ever since I hit the job market, so I know the pains, the long hours and everything.

The one thing I do not know, is, if I am making the right choice.

So, I joined the forum looking for insights, which has proven very eye opening and I remembered a lot of the training I had.

I am developing a business plan and Rule nr. 1 is to test the market first so, apart of doing a small scale survey to check if what I have in mind will sell, I am looking for roasters who can pack private label in small batches, preferably in the U.K (London is even better) and help me make formulations - or if they have some winning ones, I would be more than happy to sell these.

Does anyone have experience in this field? Any suggestions?

The plan is for me to market and sell both wholesale and online directly to specific segments (that I am researching now), a brand that I am developing.
Can anyone recommend any roasters, and minimum quantities that they accept? Any feedback is also highly appreciated.
 

ensoluna

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Apr 29, 2014
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welcome to coffeeforum, coffeejoy.
let me be the first one to welcome you here. I am also kind of new to coffeeforums, but i must say it is a pretty good experience being here, sharing ideas and getting advises from many coffee people around the world.
I am from coffee farm/exporter side, so I can not give you any advises on roasters in UK...etc, but if you really love coffee and are able to find a solid business plan to pursue your dream, my advise is to "go for it". you will meet a lot of wonderful people and be able to share your coffee experiences with other coffee lovers. If you have any questions regards to origin of coffee, please let me know.
thanks and again, good luck to you
 

coffeejoy

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Thank you for your warm welcome ensoluna,

Glad to meet a coffee grower/exporter - you reminded me when our best selling coffee at the time was from Antigua, so you just brought good memories back. Thank you for your willingness to help :)
 

ensoluna

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Apr 29, 2014
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Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
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Thank you for your warm welcome ensoluna,

Glad to meet a coffee grower/exporter - you reminded me when our best selling coffee at the time was from Antigua, so you just brought good memories back. Thank you for your willingness to help :)

no problem. any questions welcome.
by the way, Antigua is a wonderful tourist city and they have plenty of coffee farms around it, but it is not the best place (coffee farms) for coffee in Guatemala.
it is Huehuetenango, Guatemala.

Guatemala Program 2014 - ACE

this link is cup of excellence 2014 Guatemala listing. as you can see, only one coffee lot is from Antigua. most of them are from huehuetenango, Guatemala.
In case you do not know of CoE (Cup of Excellence event), let me explain.

CoE is the most important coffee event in Central American countries (also two countries in Africa, Rwanda & Burundi). Once a year, each country select about 300 best coffees in that country and invite domestic & international cup tasters (total about 30 people) and do cupping for two weeks to select best of best. (about 20 to 25 lots are selected) and then, they do international internet auction on one day. In guatemala case, it is on July 2. the best ones will be sold around $25 to $45 per pound.
 

coffeejoy

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Thanks ensoluna - I learn something new every day. So what type of coffees do you export? I don't suppose you sell in the U.K. by the way? I am intrigued!
 

ensoluna

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Apr 29, 2014
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Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
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Thanks ensoluna - I learn something new every day. So what type of coffees do you export? I don't suppose you sell in the U.K. by the way? I am intrigued!

thanks for the post. i think that this kind of matters should be discussed privately and I do not want some of "modulators" upset, if I mention too much about our business to forum members. so I will send PM to you about this matter. thanks
 

delimacoffee

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Jun 5, 2014
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Cicero, New York
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Hi everyone,

I should have introduced myself at the "Introductions" section, but I thought I'd jump right in. I will try to give as much detail as I can below, so thank you for your patience.

I am a marketer by profession, and I had my fair share of experience at a tea and coffee business 6 years ago (for 6 years too). Due to that business went bust (the owner spent all his revenues I produced for fast cars, luxury boats and women - nothing wrong with that, I just found myself without a job) I went to another industry.

Anyway, I am now considering leaving the employment arena and going to be an entrepreneur. I know how this is like, because I was involved with start-ups ever since I hit the job market, so I know the pains, the long hours and everything.

The one thing I do not know, is, if I am making the right choice.

So, I joined the forum looking for insights, which has proven very eye opening and I remembered a lot of the training I had.

I am developing a business plan and Rule nr. 1 is to test the market first so, apart of doing a small scale survey to check if what I have in mind will sell, I am looking for roasters who can pack private label in small batches, preferably in the U.K (London is even better) and help me make formulations - or if they have some winning ones, I would be more than happy to sell these.

Does anyone have experience in this field? Any suggestions?

The plan is for me to market and sell both wholesale and online directly to specific segments (that I am researching now), a brand that I am developing.
Can anyone recommend any roasters, and minimum quantities that they accept? Any feedback is also highly appreciated.

We're in New York and we'd be willing to work with you.
 

vladguzman

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Jun 6, 2014
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Hello CoffeeJoy

I'm an exporter coffee from costa rica, i can offer you gourmet coffee, whole bean or ground. 100% Arabica, if you are interested, send me a private message
 

CoffeeJunky

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Dec 7, 2012
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It is great to do trading on this forum but he is located in UK London and you all are offering coffee from many 1000's miles away.

I think we have a roaster in Ireland. Expat is his id. Why don't you contact him and ask for his advise. He is one of the great forum member and he has vast knowledge in coffee industry in Europe.
You can always buy coffee from different country but you won't get the real fresh coffee.
 

expat

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May 1, 2012
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They just had a big coffee show in London in April (I think). If you google that you could probably find a lot of roasters who were participants and give them a bell. Also check with the green bean distributors since they know all the roasters and they could probably point you in the right direction. Some of those guys are D.R.Wakefield, InterAmerican, Falcon, Mercanta. Lots of small roasters in the UK so you should probably be able to find a fit for your needs. Hope that helps.
 

coffeejoy

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Jun 1, 2014
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Hi CoffeeJunky and vladguzman, thanks for your comments. I not bound by any geographic restrictions. I have worked with enough companies that their business model was to cover global markets, utilising multiple fulfillment centers around the world - with their own transport and distribution, and local salaried sales people did the rest - so I am building a business plan based on previous experience.

However, as I mentioned at the very top, I need to test first - that's why it is no good to get a price for a 40 foot container :)
 

coffeejoy

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Jun 1, 2014
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Hi expat, many thanks for your advice, great tip to check with green bean distributors (never thought of that, to be honest - but I guess this is how experience is!). I think I have already checked the exhibition, but I will double check. Thank you for the insights, much appreciated.
 
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