HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Another home roaster takes the plunge (10 msgs / 255 lines)
1) From: michael brown
I know this a home roasters list.  This is where i started.  I just want
 to share my excitement with fellow enthusiasts.
I took my first big 
plunge when i got a 3kilo USRC roaster and leased a small warehouse 
space to start going after wholesale accounts.  That was in January.  
And things have been good.  Every month has trumped the previous month, 
got one really good account (she owns 2 cafes and catering business), a 
few smaller accounts, and more in the works.
NOW, i've been 
approached to buy a coffee house here in town.  The potential here is 
huge.  I'd move my roaster into the cafe, clear out all nick-knacks they
 have cluttering the space, simplify the menu, retrain the staff, and 
bring the focus back to coffee.
I thought i took my biggest risk 
earlier this year when i signed the lease to the warehouse.  But i still
 work weekends at my "regular" job.  If this deal comes through, NOW 
i'll be taking my biggest risk.  I'd have to quit my job to devote 
myself full time to the cafe and wholesale business.
My bank is 
looking in to what they could offer me as far as financing, so this 
might not even work out at all if the financing doesn't come through.
And
 my roasting began with sweet marias.  It started with the i-Roast 2, 
then the Behmor.  I actually had my first wholesale account with the 
Behmor (my church).  I still read and follow the list and contribute 
when i can.  So if nothing else, this is a letter of thanks.  To Tom 
especially, and to all you who make this list what it is.
I have no 
idea what God has in store for me next.  It might be to buy and revamp 
this cafe, it might be to be turned down on the financing and focus on 
wholesale, heck it might be to fail entirely in the coffee biz (i sure 
hope not).
One thing is certain; it's been one heck of a ride and i 
am very blessed to have found a hobby that i might could make a living 
off of.
Okay now i'm rambling.  it's nearing midnight and i've got 
deliveries in the morning and about 15 pounds to grind.
Thanks again 
friends!
God Bless!
Happy Roasting!
Michael B
b'ham, AL
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2) From: Yakster
Congratulations, that's great!
-Chris
On Tue, May 18, 2010 at 9:56 PM, michael brown  wrote:
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3) From: Ken Schillinger
That's quite the enterprise; Best of luck in your endeavor.
Ken..

4) From: miKe mcKoffee
Have you ever even worked in a café? Are you really and truly an excellent
barista able to maintain quality through out a non-stop couple hour slam?
Not without breaking a sweat, hell yeah you'll be breaking a sweat big time!
And loving it if it's in your blood. And whether slammed or slow every
appropriate espresso beverage gets latte art. Even hot chocolate gets latte
art:) Must also be a good trainer or hire someone who is. Do you have
experience managing employees? It's an entirely different can of worms than
wholesale roasting. TRUST ME on this!!!
Don't get me wrong, I love roasting AND I (sort of) love running two
coffeehouses, and quite probably a third by the end of the month. (Just
waiting on finalizing the lease, scheduled to close the "corporate
take-over" on the 28th, buying 100% of the stocks and assets of existing
shop, business organized as a corporation.) BUT, you must be truly INSANE. I
mean totally nuts. Bonkers. Off your rocker. Seriously not normal. Sometimes
it's a fine line between genius and one flew over the cuckoos nest but hey,
sanity is highly over rated in my book!
Are you willing to risk everything? You better be. No guts no glory is quite
apropos. Coffeehouses can be a boon or a bane. When it's slow (or dead as a
door nail) you still have to keep the doors open according to your posted
hours, be it you or PAID employee. But I love the customer interaction as
they learn and explore quality coffees and coffee beverages as much as I
love the song of the bean roasting...
Not trying to discourage you. Not at all. But don't count on the bank, money
is extremely tight regardless what the politicians may say. I don't know a
single business owner or prospective business owner who's succeeded in
getting a SBA backed loan the last couple years. You may need to mortgage
your house to the hilt if you have to and can (I did). Do the foot work and
then some more and some more until you drop and if it's meant to be HE will
provide a way. And once you start down the path don't give up in a year or
two when you're dead bone tired, fried, frustrated and possibly depressed
and at despairs door. Most do. (which is why there are often many great
equipment deals out there:) Keep pushing through the myriad challenges that
will continually pop up. The light at the end of the tunnel won't be a
freight train forever!
Good luck. (Luck = when preparedness and opportunity meet)
Slave to the Bean miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must">http://www.NorwestCoffee.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/=
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5) From: Joseph Robertson
What's the roasting world coming too? Another home roaster gone wild.
 AHRGW? I like the looks of that one. Best roasting to you Michael. You got
one sweeeeet machine.
JoeR
On Tue, May 18, 2010 at 9:56 PM, michael brown  wrote:
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-- 
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
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6) From: Allon Stern
On May 19, 2010, at 12:56 AM, michael brown wrote:
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WARNING - you're starting to sound like miKe :D
-
allon
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7) From: Bonnie Polkinghorn
Michael,
Thank you for sharing your story.  I find it very inspirational. Good luck
to you,
-Bonnie P.
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8) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
Thanks for sharing this Michael. You know, before home roasting was 
widespread people would just open roasting shops never having 
produced a single pound of coffee before. Now they have a pretty deep 
experience to draw upon, and I think it makes for much better 
success. Good luck to you!
Tom
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-- 
-Tom
"Great coffee comes from little roasters" - Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting
               Thompson & Maria -http://www.sweetmarias.com     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - info_at_sweetmarias.com
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9) From: Doug Hoople
Hi Michael,
You're at a crossroads that many of us can only dream of, which isn't the
same as actually being there. Being there is where it's at.
The safe and sane choice would probably be to stick to the warehouse
operation. It sounds like it's off to the right start and has got legs. It
could be very easy, if you got into the cafe, to lose focus and not excel at
either.
I don't know your situation, and I don't know how much drive/energy/manic
madness you have. Doing both would be very tempting, indeed, though, so what
a crossroads!
Nice, though, to see someone turning something he loves into a living!
Whichever way you go, best of luck to you!
Doug
On Tue, May 18, 2010 at 9:56 PM, michael brown  wrote:
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10) From: raymanowen
"... I love roasting AND I (sort of) love running two
coffeehouses, and quite probably a third"
" I love roasting AND I (sort of) love running two coffeehouses, and quite
probably a third"
Best wishes, Michael and miKe! -ro
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