HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Coffee Business Planning (13 msgs / 505 lines)
1) From: Mejia, Carlos
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Ok.. I've put off posting this long enough.  I've been a little
reluctant to do so, I guess because it's a small step towards making a
commitment. 
 
I've been in the high tech business for over 30 yrs now.  I'm about to
turn 57 and I think I've finally decided what I want to do when I grow
up!   I started roasting coffee with an iR2 about a year ago and
instantly fell in love with the art/science of it, not to mention the
reward of a great tasting cup!  My wife and I went to Puerto Vallarta in
February and while there we discovered a small roaster/coffee shop.  The
espresso was so incredible, that we went back there about 4 or 5 more
times while we were in PV. I spent a lot of time talking to the owner
all about his beans and his roasting process.  For the last few years
I've been wanting to retire from the stress of high tech and do
something fun and rewarding.  At one point while we were in PV my wife
said, "why don't you start a roasting business/coffee shop?"   So, she
planted the seed which is now starting to germinate.  After all, what
does Portland need but another coffee shop right?
 
I have some unique ideas for a shop that will distinguish it from the
multitudes of other coffee shops in the area.  I don't have a timeline
yet but I'm thinking less than 2 yrs.  As I start down this path, I'd
love to get some guidance from this list.  I know some of you are
already in the business and I believe there are others who have the same
goal and are farther along in the journey.   I'd love to hear from all
of you.  There are so many things that I need to learn and so many
important decisions that I don't know where to start, but I feel lucky
to have so many mentors at my fingertips! 
 
One of the first things to do is generate a business plan.  Can any of
you offer a good resource (website, software, books, etc) that would be
helpful with this?   I'd like to identify the equipment so I can get a
good estimate on capitol expenses.  I know there's no shortage of
opinions on this list, but maybe there are some clear choices of the
best equipment for a small cafe (ie. grinder, espresso machine).  What
size and type of roaster should I go with?  Should I go with new, or is
there a good reputable source for used equipment?   In the meantime, I'm
considering an RK drum to get some experience on larger batch sizes.
Does this sound like a reasonable stepping stone?
 
So, any advice/suggestions/warnings would be greatly appreciated.   I'm
looking forward to this journey and excited to have the knowledge base
to help guide me along!
 
~carlos
 
 

2) From: miKe mcKoffee
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Carlos,
 
If you're serious about journeying towards a roastery cafe wouldn't spend a
dime on anything that wouldn't be useful in the business itself. This does
of course include business training and planning. If you don't plan on
roasting with an RK for business production don't waste your time or money
IMO. Better off using a method that allows you to replicate varying
consistent ramps, durations etc. and learns the bean, all zillion of them:-)
Precise control and accurate monitoring of the roast are king IMO. I would
have suggested you buy Jeffrey's last CCR HotTop but it's too late, it just
sold a couple days ago. We'll have two of them come Monday for
sample/profile development and currently getting well hammered until our
shop roaster is done in another month or so. 
 
Are you proficient in all brewing methods including the art of espresso?
Have you attended any barista competitions to really check your skill level?
FYI the Northwest Regional Barista Competition is coming up next weekend.http://www.nwrbc.com/(Wanted to compete this year but, well, just opened
our Kafe today so timing was impossible!)
 
Portland? As in Oregeon? Come be a fly on the wall a few days at our Kafe
before you decide to join the truely insane and get in the biz! :-) If you
care much about sleep fogetaboutit!
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must">http://www.mcKonaKoffee.comURL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/ 
From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of Mejia, Carlos
Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2007 10:22 PM
Ok.. I've put off posting this long enough.  I've been a little reluctant to
do so, I guess because it's a small step towards making a commitment. 
I've been in the high tech business for over 30 yrs now.  I'm about to turn
57 and I think I've finally decided what I want to do when I grow up!   I
started roasting coffee with an iR2 about a year ago and instantly fell in
love with the art/science of it, not to mention the reward of a great
tasting cup!  My wife and I went to Puerto Vallarta in February and while
there we discovered a small roaster/coffee shop.  The espresso was so
incredible, that we went back there about 4 or 5 more times while we were in
PV. I spent a lot of time talking to the owner all about his beans and his
roasting process.  For the last few years I've been wanting to retire from
the stress of high tech and do something fun and rewarding.  At one point
while we were in PV my wife said, "why don't you start a roasting
business/coffee shop?"   So, she planted the seed which is now starting to
germinate.  After all, what does Portland need but another coffee shop
right?
I have some unique ideas for a shop that will distinguish it from the
multitudes of other coffee shops in the area.  I don't have a timeline yet
but I'm thinking less than 2 yrs.  As I start down this path, I'd love to
get some guidance from this list.  I know some of you are already in the
business and I believe there are others who have the same goal and are
farther along in the journey.   I'd love to hear from all of you.  There are
so many things that I need to learn and so many important decisions that I
don't know where to start, but I feel lucky to have so many mentors at my
fingertips! 
One of the first things to do is generate a business plan.  Can any of you
offer a good resource (website, software, books, etc) that would be helpful
with this?   I'd like to identify the equipment so I can get a good estimate
on capitol expenses.  I know there's no shortage of opinions on this list,
but maybe there are some clear choices of the best equipment for a small
cafe (ie. grinder, espresso machine).  What size and type of roaster should
I go with?  Should I go with new, or is there a good reputable source for
used equipment?   In the meantime, I'm considering an RK drum to get some
experience on larger batch sizes. Does this sound like a reasonable stepping
stone?
So, any advice/suggestions/warnings would be greatly appreciated.   I'm
looking forward to this journey and excited to have the knowledge base to
help guide me along!
~carlos

3) From: Joseph Robertson
Carlos,
My partner and I plan on opening Jolinda's Roastery and wine shop in
Stevenson Washington in a couple of months. We have been researching and
home roasting for a couple of years. I have learned much from Mike and many
others on this list and am lurking and still learning as we speak. A friend
told me to visit Dan who owns a very successful coffee business in Portland
Oregon. I will get the name of his business for you tomorrow. Dan showed me
around his business and told me that what I really needed to do was to get
down to the world convention last spring in Long Beach Ca. I followed his
instruction and I knew I was hooked for life. I'm 59 years young and ready
for my next childhood. I will be glad to share our business plan with you
with the first opportunity. If you are serious you will succeed. I have no
doubt of that. This coffee gig is all about passion. If you have it nothing
can stop you. Many will tell you to proceed with caution. I will tell you to
proceed with unbridled passion and lust for the best you can create. Unlike
what you may hear on this list and others about coffee competition is not
something to be wary of. It is about Copetition. Take out the "M".
This list has help teach me that we all contribute and help each other on
our common path. Coffee is all about people. If you love people as much as I
do you might know what I mean by copetition. You work or service you want to
provide be it great espresso or beans or what ever your selling, some one
needs it and will give you money for it. Especially if your good at what you
do and your love for it bubbles over.
Don't get me wrong. You can screw it up.
First find out if you really have a passion for this. One way to do this is
attend the Northwest Seattle Coffee fest on the weekend of Nov.9. If you
come away as pumped up as I was after attending the SCSA Convention in Long
Beach Ca. You are on your way.
I meant to say the number one step is to visit some one like I did, a
roaster or professional like Mike or in my Case Dan. Talk to as many
Seasoned Professionals as you can. Listen to what they have to say. They are
successful for a good reason. Find out what that is.
Next, develop a business plan, find a location. Get yourself a niche.
Something that is a little different than the roaster down the street.
I'm sure folks in the city have more of a challange than me out here in the
fringe.
Subscribe to as many coffee lists as you have time to read and keep up with.
Read as much as you can. Really know what all the buzz is about. I am brand
new in this just like you. My road and journey has just begun. I would love
to share my long coffee journey with any and all. I love the path I am on.
This alone may be the key to success, at least my take on success.
Best wishes Carlos,
Joe Robertson
On 11/1/07, Mejia, Carlos  wrote:
<Snip>

4) From: True, Dennis W. FC1 (CVN69)
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
YES the RK is the next logical step and a Very Rewarding one as well! 
Good luck on your journey!!!
Dennis

5) From: Brett Mason
Carlos, Mike, Bruce, Joseph, Linda,
You folks are incredible!  You've gone for it, and are doing great
things...  For the plain folk like me, about the best I can bring is support
for you in your endeavors, frequenting your places and some like yours, and
passing along your information to others wanting the great stuff!  Thanks
for leading, and opening the doors to great coffee for many to come!
Commendations and accolades to you from me and mine!
Brett, Debbie, Jonathan, Joshua, and Joel (who all drink the good stuff),
  and Josiah, Joseph Joash and Jonas (who still need to learn)
On 11/2/07, Joseph Robertson  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

6) From: Eddie Dove
Carlos,
I sincerely hope you get what you need to fulfill you dream just like
I am glad to see that miKe is fulfilling his.
I too would be most appreciative of receiving any information people
would be willing to share.
Respectfully,
Eddie
-- 
Vita non est vivere sed valere vita est
Roasting Blog and Profiles for the Gene Cafehttp://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/On Nov 2, 2007 12:21 AM, Mejia, Carlos  wrote:
<Snip>

7) From: Homeroaster
Get in touch with the SCAA.  That's what they do.  They have numerous 
resources for helping coffee professionals.http://www.scaa.org*********************
Ed Needham
"to absurdity and beyond!"http://www.homeroaster.com*********************

8) From: Joseph Robertson
Carlos,
Here is Dan's business website I promised you.http://www.worldcupcoffee.com/Dan is a very personable fellow. He took time to sit and talk with me and
walk me through his business. If your in and around Portland, Oregon give
him a call or drop in and check out his business. Oh by the way they pull a
nice shot as well.
JoeR
On 11/1/07, Mejia, Carlos  wrote:
<Snip>

9) From: F.R. Parth
On Thursday, November 01, 2007, at 10:23PM, "Mejia, Carlos"  wrote:
<Snip>
Carlos,
I can't help you with anything specific for opening a coffee shop, but a few months ago I gave a seminar on running a consulting business. One of the best sources I can offer on starting up a business is the book "The E-Myth Revisited". "E" in this case doesn't stand for electronic, it stands for entrepreneurial.
The book points out very clearly that if you think you're going to spend your days roasting great coffee, you've got the wrong priorities. 
What you are now is a business owner, and you'll spend your days running the business: marketing, hiring employees, making payroll, ordering supplies, setting up shop, dealing with vendors, sending invoices, dealing with the local governments, accountants, bookkeepers, and so on. Customers can't visit you unless they know you're there. Any time you have left to actually do what you love will be just a small part of the business itself and is to be treasured. 
They have a web site,http://www.e-myth.com/.I'm truly not trying to rain on your parade, just pointing out what the realities of running a business are. Even one as small as my consulting business takes a lot of time and overhead. It's a comittment that makes raising children look easy. The book is a paperback and well worth the money. 
Just my thoughts.
Frank Parth

10) From: Mejia, Carlos
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
I want to thank all of you for the great advice!  I knew I could count
on you.  I don't have a lot of time to post on this list but even so,
I've learned a tremendous amount since I joined at the beginning of the
year.  There is a wealth of information being shared every day.
Unfortunately, I get ~ 100 emails per day at my work and just don't have
the time to absorb it all but I try to browse as often as I can.  
 
I didn't know about the coffee festival next weekend, nor the SCAA
convention in Long Beach.  Thanks for the information. I will definitely
check both events out.  Are there many folks going up to Seattle?  Joe,
I'm excited about your endeavor and appreciate all your words of
encouragement.  I'll contact you off list about the biz plan and the
contact who you mentioned.  I actually drive over to Stevenson every
year in late July to board my dogs at a place nearby.  I'll have to
swing by for a cup next time I'm there.
 
I wanted to share a couple of additional pieces of information on my
vision.  I'm designing a brewing machine with plans to apply for a
patent.  This is a more long term project. I don't know if it will be
ready by the time my shop opens but ultimately that's where it will be.
It's not really my goal to market this machine but to use it in the shop
and have it protected by patent just in case.  It was great meeting Joe
Behm at the PNWG and I'm inspired by the success of his roaster.  At
some point, I'll probably be asking this list for suggestions on getting
a proto built and maybe getting some folks together for a taste test.
I've been bringing my roast to work and sharing it with one of my
colleagues daily for the last few months.  During our afternoon coffee
break I've shared my vision with him.  It just so happens that he owns a
building in Portland that's in a GREAT location for a coffee shop and he
is very interested in this possibility.  I know that business
partnerships can be very difficult to manage and this is not one of my
strengths so, I'm not sure if I should take advantage of this
opportunity or go it alone.    

11) From: Mejia, Carlos
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
I haven't been able to find out anything on the coffee festival that was
mentioned here.  Does anyone know anything about it, perhaps a website?
~carlos
 
 
..
 
First find out if you really have a passion for this. One way to do this
is attend the Northwest Seattle Coffee fest on the weekend of Nov.9. If
you come away as pumped up as I was after attending the SCSA Convention
in Long Beach Ca. You are on your way. 
I meant to say the number one step is to visit some one like I did, a
roaster or professional like Mike or in my Case Dan. Talk to as many
Seasoned Professionals as you can. Listen to what they have to say. They
are successful for a good reason. Find out what that is. 
Next, develop a business plan, find a location. Get yourself a niche.
Something that is a little different than the roaster down the street. 
I'm sure folks in the city have more of a challange than me out here in
the fringe. 
Subscribe to as many coffee lists as you have time to read and keep up
with. Read as much as you can. Really know what all the buzz is about. I
am brand new in this just like you. My road and journey has just begun.
I would love to share my long coffee journey with any and all. I love
the path I am on. 
This alone may be the key to success, at least my take on success.
Best wishes Carlos,
 

12) From: Scott Miller
Here you go Carlos.
I've been to a CoffeeFest (Atlanta) and enjoyed it. The Seattle show is
always a bigger one, with many more vendors than other shows.http://www.coffeefest.com/cheers,
Scott
On Nov 5, 2007 5:33 PM, Mejia, Carlos  wrote:
<Snip>

13) From: Mejia, Carlos
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Hey thanks Scott.  This looks amazing!  I don't know if I can make it
this year on such short notice but will definitely plan for next year!
From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of Scott Miller
Sent: Monday, November 05, 2007 2:53 PM
To: homeroast
Subject: Re: +Coffee Business Planning
 
Here you go Carlos.
I've been to a CoffeeFest (Atlanta) and enjoyed it. The Seattle show is
always a bigger one, with many more vendors than other shows.
 http://www.coffeefest.com/cheers,
Scott
 
 
On Nov 5, 2007 5:33 PM, Mejia, Carlos  wrote:
I haven't been able to find out anything on the coffee festival that was
mentioned here.  Does anyone know anything about it, perhaps a website? 
~carlos
 
 
..


HomeRoast Digest