HomeRoast Digest


Topic: selling home roasted coffee (7 msgs / 180 lines)
1) From: Sean Smith
Has anyone done this.  I am curious what permits I would need to package =
and sell coffee I have roasted at home?
 
Thanks,
Sean
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2) From: Joseph Robertson
All Depends. How big do you want to be? Friends and relatives no
worries unless one gets sick and the family sues. I have a coffee
business so we have all the business licenses and liability insurance.
State license, City business license etc.
The very least I would get a state business and register a business
name. Doesn't cost that much and you can come up your own label to put
on your bags. A lot of us home roasters started out like this. Not too
many go this far but if your semi serious it would not hurt to do it
right. I'm sure some sell on ebay with out any state license etc.
JoeR
On Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 11:12 AM, Sean Smith  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
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3) From: Stephen Carey
Joe is so on with his answer.  I have started a few businesses and 
some from home and I can tell you, that you want to do the most basic 
of what the law requires for it will save you headaches from things 
you will never know about.
I ran this by my company's lawyer, a large DC firm.  He couldn't give 
me "advice" as a lawyer since you are not his client, but he had some 
good things to think about.
1) How big do you want to be, as Joe mentioned?
2) Does your county let you run a food business from a residence - if 
you register you may be told no, but if you don't, the harm that the 
government can do is big.
3) You want the State to know about you so you can file taxes and 
stay within tax laws, including sales tax.  Again, how big are you thinking?
4) Once you are a legal entity of some sort, you need to carry some 
sort of liability insurance, for you don't want to lose your house to 
someone who claims they got sick on your beans.
5) You HAVE to check with your home owners' insurance to see if you 
can operate a small business which runs some sort of heating devices 
in the manufacturing of the product in your home.  Will the insurance 
you have cover you should some machine catch fire and do damage.
It goes on from there.  If you really want to do this, you need to 
really think it out.  Maybe just sell to friends and family, easy, no 
big deal.  But, selling to a larger group, you do run into tax 
issues, liability issues, crossing state lines by mail, and so 
on.  It is NOT overly difficult to figure it all out, but you want to 
be professional about it should you want this to be part of your profession.
I started my business from my home, but was incorporated and did 
everything I needed to and found out what I could and could not 
do.  My lawyer, though not cheap, saved me from many fines and other 
issues.  I now have a full office where my employees work and I also 
have a home office with room for 4 to work there if they prefer.  On 
nice days they can work outside since the house is fully Internet 
accessible.  It can be a blast.
Good luck in whatever you do.  Last thing:  I really am sorry if I 
sound like a "know it all."  I am not, for sure.  I just want to 
share my concerns so you don't get into trouble and you can make this 
what you want it to be and as big as you want it to be.  That's all.
All the best,
Stephen
At 09:09 PM 2/6/2009, you wrote:
<Snip>
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4) From: Joseph Robertson
Nice words Stephen.  I have had several mentors along the way. Folks
with your background who are willing to share are priceless to the new
guys or gals. Great to be a part of this list with such a vast
resource at our finger tips. I forgot to mention that one of our first
expenses was our Attorney. I found him on a web search. Turned out he
is a big time Corporate attorney. He liked our small town business
plan and took us on. He steered us onto an accountant next. Money
money money, finally it's coming in and things are looking bright.
Best Regards,
Joe
On Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 6:42 PM, Stephen Carey  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
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5) From: Paul
Sean, I started selling my homeroasted coffee last summer at the local farmer's market. The county health department said I didn't need any special permits or approval to do so. Ironic though, they wouldn't allow me to brew coffee for sample givewawy or to sell a cup. That would be food preparation and I'd have to go through all the red tape, and of course pay for the fees to obtain a food handler's license. Even more hoops to jump through if I ever wanted to operate a coffee roasting business of any commercial sort. I work full time in an auto plant and have no intention of roasting coffee full time. Fresh roasted coffee is the best ever, and I just wanted to sell a little bit on the side. I was surprised at how many customers at the farmer's market agreed. I now have a small group of customers year round. I sell a little to friends, family, and coworkers. All with my iRoast and BEHMOR! I basically roast, brew, and drink my own stash for free. My Real Deal MOKA JAVA is a 50/
 50 blend of Tom's Yemen and Java of course! Folks love it! The only thing is,  there are folks who like the flavored coffees, and I'd never waste Tom's outstanding greens by flavoring them. For flavored beans, I get a cheaper bean and the flavoring oils elsewhere. Whatever level of selling you desire, I say go for it with gusto!
Regards,
PAUL CARDER
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6) From: Kevin Creason
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7) From: Phil Palmintere
Re: selling home roasted coffee,
Don't forget to declare the income & pay income & sales taxes.  The taxman
(taxwomen?) want their pound of flesh extracted from a pound of beans.  J
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