HomeRoast Digest


Topic: buy coffee or connect with local roaster? (3 msgs / 109 lines)
1) From: dfluke
Hi everyone. I posted this message to barista exchange, and the one 
reply I've received so far isn't quite on par with what I'm going for, 
and so I thought that re-posting here, being more focused on home 
roasting etc. would generate more ideas or potentially useful 
information for others to read in the future.
I'm working on designing and building a fluid bed roaster for my 
personal use that I wish to expand into a part time and hopefully  full 
time business. The problem I'm facing right now is that I'm cheap. (I 
may not have any other options, and I haven't put a lot of leg work into 
the search process yet either, so I'm thankful for any advice.)
I'm wanting to purchase a large volume of coffee at a price that isn't 
going to break me (which may be my problem). I don't feel it is time to 
start working with coffee brokers etc. but also feel that while I love 
supporting the sources I've purchased beans from before, that I can not 
justify a part time business selling coffee for 4 to 5 dollars over what 
I've paid for it, especially when I take into account my own time 
invested in roasting the coffee. Not to mention, I plan on giving away a 
lot of coffee at the beginning for advertising, and for sample roasting.
I'm wanting to start with one jute bag, or 69kg bag of coffee, and am 
trying to get a sense if I approach a coffee roaster about this if they 
would take me seriously. Sure, I may not be back for three months, but 
I'm hoping that as I grow my business, I can establish a relationship 
with a larger roaster and take advantage of their knowledge, origin 
relationships, etc.
Has anyone done this before? How have you started going from the 
personal home roaster to something more main stream.
Perhaps I should stop worrying and just go for it??
Thanks!
Dustin
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2) From: miKe mcKoffee
If you don't want to go through the time and effort of cupping samples etc.
from brokers before buying a bag, Tom offers an unadvertised additional 15%
off 20# price when buying 3 or more 20 pounders at one time.
Looking to buy one bag? Starting a roasting business with all of one coffee?
Whatever works for you! But being cheap, not doing your research/leg work
doesn't sound like a recipe for business success. Short cuts seldom cut it.
Sure, approach another roaster to attempt to take advantage of the time and
work they do sourcing their greens and have them buy yours for you, without
benefiting them. Yeah, that'll wotk. Why would a roaster sell bags of greens
to you so you can roast and compete against them? Think about it. Unless
they are in the business of selling greens it just doesn't make business
sense. Now if you happen to know a local roaster personally, you may be able
to talk to them about going in on a pallet to save shipping costs which
could be mutually beneficial. Cost to ship a pallet same whether 1 bag or 10
bags. But if a proposition isn't mutually beneficial dream on and pay your
dues.
Yes, I've recently transitioned from strictly home roasting for a number of
years to running a Roastery Kafe. No I don't have the time or desire to do
your business planning for you. If you happen to be within driving distance
of Vancouver WA to pick-up a bag I might be open to including a bag on my
next greens shipment.
Kona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
www.mcKonaKoffee.com
URL 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/
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3) From: Chad Sheridan
Good points miKe.  What I do when talking to a local roaster, is to ask 
when and from whom they order their greens.  Then, when it's time for 
their next order, they are willing, and I've got a bag or two ready to 
go from the same warehouse, look at shipping with them and then picking 
up locally.  Two bags as part of a truckload is minimal freight costs 
vs. even shipping a whole pallet.
The other thing I try to offer is good coffees I've found, and cupping 
results.  It's impossible to order samples, roast and cup everything 
that can be bought from major suppliers even on one coast, so roasters 
and coffee people are always interested in information on good coffees.  
That goes doubly if they begin to see the value in what you have to 
offer them.
Like miKe said, relationships based on MUTUAL benefit are the ones that 
work.
Chad
miKe mcKoffee wrote:
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