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Starting a Coffee Company. Suggestions?

rchristopherwhite

New member
Dec 27, 2013
8
0
Austin, Texas
Hello everyone,

I am a Jr. marketing major looking to start a coffee business after college. It's coming up quick and I am trying to prepare for the business.

First off, there is a local mom and pop coffee shop in my town. I was chatting with the owner and he told me that he had a contract with a middle man company in Houston and that's how he got his beans. What are the benefits in going through a middle man company versus gaining contracts with the actual coffee farms and getting my beans from them?

Second, I am trying to price a solid roaster, what would be a good size for a small business owner to start off with? I was looking at 10, 12, and 10 kilo roasters but then again, I am no expert nor do I exactly know that I am doing.

and Third, what are some key necessities that I would need to roast my own stuff?

If you wouldn't mind, please post in order and make it obvious which question you are answering.

Thanks a lot! I look forward to your responses!

-Ryan White
 

John P

New member
Jan 5, 2007
1,045
0
Salt Lake City
Ryan,

Reality check.

It sounds like you have no idea how to start or run a business nor have you put any time in as a roaster. The first thing I would say is, if you are not already roasting at home, then you have no real interest in roasting. If you did, you'd have been doing it. I'd rather have someone save their money than get caught up in the romance of coffee and fail miserably.



However, I will answer your questions anyways.

1. Unless you are buying a pallet at a time or more, you will be sourcing from a middle-man of some sort. Baby steps.

2. You have no skill or experience. Buying a roaster does not change this. It takes hundreds of hours minimum to have a clue what you are doing. Anyone can turn beans brown, but to actually understand how to roast is a serious craft. Buying a Viking range does not make one a chef. The same goes for roasting. Go to a few roasting camps, seminars, etc. Spend time and money learning the basics.

3. Time. Patience. Skill. A good palate. Copious note taking. Perseverance. And $20-$50K.
 
OP
rchristopherwhite

rchristopherwhite

New member
Dec 27, 2013
8
0
Austin, Texas
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
Ryan,

Reality check.

It sounds like you have no idea how to start or run a business nor have you put any time in as a roaster. The first thing I would say is, if you are not already roasting at home, then you have no real interest in roasting. If you did, you'd have been doing it. I'd rather have someone save their money than get caught up in the romance of coffee and fail miserably.



However, I will answer your questions anyways.

1. Unless you are buying a pallet at a time or more, you will be sourcing from a middle-man of some sort. Baby steps.

2. You have no skill or experience. Buying a roaster does not change this. It takes hundreds of hours minimum to have a clue what you are doing. Anyone can turn beans brown, but to actually understand how to roast is a serious craft. Buying a Viking range does not make one a chef. The same goes for roasting. Go to a few roasting camps, seminars, etc. Spend time and money learning the basics.

3. Time. Patience. Skill. A good palate. Copious note taking. Perseverance. And $20-$50K.



Yeah man, like I said, I don't know what Im really doing right now and that's why I am asking questions 2 years in advanced and not starting it just because I am caught up in the romance of it all. I have become friends with the local coffee shop owner and he has been teaching me about roasting and the business in general. I haven't actually roasted yet, but I hope to soon. Thank you for your feedback! I'll be sure to consider your advice!

-Ryan White
 

John P

New member
Jan 5, 2007
1,045
0
Salt Lake City
Ryan,

Good to know you are planning ahead by asking your questions now. There will always be the opportunity, just make certain you are prepared.
 
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