Retiring Operations VP for a Private Label Coffee Roasting & Packaging Company.

Karl O

New member
Sep 28, 2021
Folsom CA
Visit site
Came out of Graduate School* during the recession of 1981. Could not find a job fast enough to pay student loans. Took a job with Max Factor as a Quality Assurance Bench Technician. Quickly worked up to a Western Regional Subcontractor / Private Label Field Manager. Switched jobs to a Quality Assurance Manager at one of the better subcontractor companies. Became the VP of Operations and after 5 years Partner / Owner. After a number of years, sold my shares in the company and became a consultant. Used some of the money to buy a coffee café. (Has to be the hardest jobs I've every undertaken.) After 4 ½ years I could not renew my lease, so I closed down. (Could not find a decent location to relocate to.) My store's footprint became a Block Buster Video rental store which stayed in business for only a short period of time before the whole national chain closed down. The space to this day is still empty, 16 years later!
In 2002 joined the front office of a Private Label Coffee Roasting Company which was roasting approximately 14 varietals and servicing a supermarket chain, many area cafes and coffee shops and also roasting two varietal coffees for all nationwide Trader Joe’s (TJ’s) stores. (Over 1000 stores in 2008 and nearing 1500 stores in 2018) Our annual TJ's roasting quantities were approximately 2.6 million pounds equally divided between the two varietals. During the years of operation, I became the Packaging Manager, Shipping Manager, Purchasing Manager, Roasting Manager, Quality Assurance Manager and eventually VP of operations. I handled the purchasing of all Overseas Green Coffee Containers and all less than container size Green Bean acquisitions. I handled all tasting and approvals of all coffees for purchase.
In 2017 the TJ's contracts came to an end. Trader Joe’s was a great company to work for. Shipping to (TJ’s) on a Thursday of any week to allow the shipment(s) to arrive by Tuesday of the following week would set up the invoice(s) to be fully paid on Thursday of the same week! That is net 7 days! We were spoiled! So, when the contracts stopped, we closed the factory. We thought we would roast again outside California but all of us old guys just want to retire. Me, I consult and now I am in charge of selling off the roasting and packaging equipment that is sitting in a warehouse. My first attempt will be here at Coffee Forums.

How did I hear about Coffee Forums?
From Christopher Conover.
In 2016 he was an integral part of a Roaster and Packaging equipment purchase. Our original roasting and packaging equipment and the equipment purchased in 2016 are now apart of what I want to sell.

*Education: Organic/Biochemist UCLA Undergrad & Experimental Pathology UCLA Grad
Last edited:
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
How small is very small?
I have used a tabletop green bean roaster for approximately 5 ounce batch sizes, yielding approximately 4.2 oz.. This amount plus 5 lbs. of water is used to make 2.5 liters of brewed coffee. (Airpot container)
I always use this unit to evaluate almost all green bean purchases. It is fairly easy to use and gives a very good representative sample of what any large roaster would yield.
If interested, I can tell you all you would need to know to roast using this unit. The unit has changed names so I would need to find its new name.
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #9
A google search for a 1 kilo roaster will yield many brand names for you to become familiar with then you can search ebay for used small roasters.

Below is an example of a very low cost stove top roaster

110 V Elec. 600 gram Stainless Steel Roaster with tray. Walmart online. $79.52

I may have the unit below in a box somewhere in a storage warehouse full of coffee roasting and packaging equipment. I haven't checked for it in years!

Hottop KN-8828B-2K+ Digital Drum Roaster. (With Artisan Software??