Roast vs Roasted

mcbone

New member
Apr 13, 2004
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Nashville
Qustion for those of you on this forum who own your own retail espresso business and roast your own beans. What was your avg. initial investment in roasting equipment and how much additional space was needed? Also, how long did it take before paying for itself.

I'm battling with whether or not to invest the capital, time and space now or wait and tackle that a couple years after our business is well established and debt service is lower.

Roasting is a science that I'd really enjoy learning however I'm not sure the timing is right. There are reputable local roasters in the area so supply is not an issue nor a problem.
 

Coffee Guy

New member
Oct 19, 2003
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Seattle,Washington USA
McBone...Interesting screen name...Bone used to be my call name back in my military service days... :twisted:

First off, do you mean an espresso operation like a cart or drive thru? Or maybe a small cafe or coffee shop? Although roasting sounds cool and all, sometimes its not especially when you will have to spend all of the additional time to do your normal operations of the day to day, plus find the time to roast, package, buy greens, etc. Sure you can always lease or purchase one of those 1-lb hot air poppers (I mean roasters) :twisted: sorry for the slip... :twisted: In any case, depending on the size of the roaster, in addition to if you are only going to roast for yourself, (single or multiple locations) or if you plan on distributing outside of your local business will be major factors in your decision making process. I would suggest building your business first before heading off into the roasting business and use a good roaster to supply you. And sometimes your local roaster may not be your best choice, whereas sometimes they might. Could I be more vauge :shock: Well I'm sure you get my message. When we first started 10 years ago, we also saw the pie in the sky. But thank goodness we were smart about our growth and today we are happier we did. As you mentioned in your comment: "I'm battling with whether or not to invest the capital, time and space now or wait and tackle that a couple years after our business is well established and debt service is lower."


I think that is a smart move on your part.
 
Hmmmm.... being a roaster I can say this.... it is hot, tiring, challenging, frustrating.... andt thats just waking up at 4.45am in the morning to prepare for the day ahead! I think that Coffeeguy is right...concentrate on one, rather than both initially. I often have people peeping in on me while I roast and sometimes I can hear then whisper, "hey...that doesn't look too hard...maybe I could....". Truth is developing roast profiles, performing preventative maintainence on the roaster, keeping your gas supplier in line, sourcing your greens, maintaining the quality of your green supplies, looking after warehousing the green beans, trouble shooting when things go wrong, organising special roasts when a client has underordered...etc all can not have a monetary value put on them. I would suggest buying initally from a current roaster and then spending some time at his roast facility to see how it all works. If you have a good relationship with the local roaster I'am sure they would not mind showing you the ropes.... I know I have no problem with this and visitors quickly get an understanding of how busy our day can be :grin: . Good luck with the project.
 

Coffee Guy

New member
Oct 19, 2003
874
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Seattle,Washington USA
Hey Alun_evans:

Truer words have never been spoken. As a matter of fact, here it is Sunday morning about 0715 and I'm on my way in to tear down the roaster for its monthly cleaning. That means getting into all of the ducts, pulling the fan, chipping away at the build up, preppping all of the surfaces, and cleaning all of the screens. Sounds like I'm prepping for a paint job :D Well off I go. :twisted:
 
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mcbone

New member
Apr 13, 2004
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Nashville
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Thank you guys for your insite and I too believe that roasting better wait. My wife and I have been working on locations since Oct03 and have narrowed our search to 4 and are pursuing them aggressively at this point.
The roasting would have been only for our own use as it would definately be to overwhelming to try and market both in the beginning. Being new to the business I'm not even sure staking the quality of our drink on my rookie roasting ability would have been sage business planning :roll: .
 
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