There have been endless stories of famous coffee roasting businesses that started out as hobbies. Trying to break out into the roasting business might seem simple, but it requires more than passion and love for the product. You need to learn basic business concepts that make a roastery successful.
When it comes to food and beverage, equipment is almost as important as skill. Though you can roast your beans in a popcorn popper, it’s best to just use it as a training vessel for the real thing. When you’re going to start a business, you need the power of a process heating system through a proper roasting machine. Established brands like Diedrich Roasters offer a wide variety of roasters can fit any reasonably sized workstation. You’ll also need a table, sinks for sanitation and drainage, sticker paper for labeling, and packaging materials (paper, cardboard, or small sacks).
Completing the triangle of good coffee making, together with skill and equipment, the beans make or break your roast. Be sure to find a stable supply of good quality green beans. Fortunately, it’s easy to order supplies online. Websites like Coffee Bean Coral, Sonofresco, and Copan Trade offer a wide variety of beans from different countries, if you don’t have any contacts yet.
Finding a permanent place to run your roasting business can consume most of your time and money. Make sure you have ample space for your roaster, sinks, racks, supplies, and table on which to assemble your product.
Don’t forget to find a place with proper ventilation as well. It will get hot once you start roasting your products. Filing the necessary permits is also necessary in order to run your roastery. Consult your local government to find out how to register your business.
A Business Plan
Once you have the costs of your equipment, supplies, and real estate, it’s time to create a business plan. The basics include identifying the specific kind of coffee you’re going to specialize in, the kind of people or cafes you want to sell your product to, the amount of money you plan on spending, and how much you expect to make from your products. If you’re unsure how to write your business plan, the U.S. Small Business Administration has a template that’s easy to follow.
Finding the money to start a business can be a headache. However, it doesn’t have to be as complicated as it seems. You can seek advice and funding from the Small Business Administration. The SBA helps you get your roastery going by connecting you to lenders that can suit your needs. You can also get a loan from online services such as PayPal or Fundera.
Like any other business, coffee roasting demands hard work and creativity. If you’re going to run your roastery alone, be prepared to work extra hours. You need to take the time to experiment with different kinds of beans and techniques to create a roast that is truly unique to you. Your passion and love for coffee can only get you so far. The willingness to learn beyond the coffee roasting process is what elevates your business into both a profitable and fulfilling venture.