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snwcmpr
10/18/2019 2:37 PM
Eth Nat Yirg Idido roasted yesterday. I dropped some off at a friends coffee shop. In a few days he will brew it and tell me what he thinks. We believe my roasts are better than what we buy.

snwcmpr
10/16/2019 2:52 PM
Thank you for all you guys do.

JackH
10/15/2019 2:02 AM
They seem to be after the shoutbox. They have been removed. I don't see anything in the forums.

snwcmpr
10/14/2019 3:27 PM
We have been hacked. A whole lot of posts that have filled up the whole forum.

snwcmpr
10/10/2019 4:49 AM
Honduras Royal Reserve today.

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Selling coffee?
qajariaq
I hope this is the right place for this thread!

As a way to generate some income, I've been considering the sale of roasted coffee now that I'm getting the hang of roasting larger batches. Seems pretty straight forward, like any small home-based start-up, but I have a few questions to throw out for anyone else who has or is currently selling roasted coffee:

Do you have to deal with any government regulations or regulatory agencies? Like health inspections, OSHA, etc? I'm not intending on having a retail location, but I don't know if roasting coffee is viewed in a similar manner to other food production.

Did you set up an actual business, like an LLC or similar, prior to getting started? Did you obtain a business license from your local government? I'd like to avoid expensive (?) officialities like this until I know its going to be worthwhile...

In the past, I've done a lot of research on starting a business, but for the most part it pertains to things a lot bigger and more involved.
 
Dan
I don't see a problem with testing the market with small quantities until you know it is profitable and something you really want to do.

You won't have to deal with OSHA until you have the prescribed number of employees (5, I think).

You will eventually have to have an inspected kitchen. Check with your county health official first. Don't call the state health department unless the county requires you to. The rules vary a LOT state by state, and county by county. The requirements vary and the type of kitchen varies with the food are service you are providing. My guess is that you'll only need the minimal kitchen type, commonly called a Catering Kitchen.

For this you will have to roast in a space separate from where you prepare food. It will have to have smooth walls and floor. You'll need wash sinks for your equipment, and a nearby bathroom and hand wash sink. You will have to label the food product with the required information. You will need your weigh scale certified.
 
http://www.intactamerica.org
ginny
As a way to generate some income, I've been considering the sale of roasted coffee now that I'm getting the hang of roasting larger batches. Seems pretty straight forward, like any small home-based start-up, but I have a few questions to throw out for anyone else who has or is currently selling roasted coffee:


I would forget about a commercial enterprise right now! stick to simply roasting and selling to your co-workers/family/other friends/church groups/local mom and pop grocery etc.

in many areas you can go to the local farmer's market. some have tons-o-rules and some have none.

get a feel for your coffee first; you go guy!! how much do you roast now and how do you roast?

ginnyGrin
Edited by ginny on 01/15/2009 9:56 AM
 
qajariaq
Thanks for the info so far! :BowDown:

I'm certainly not thinking commercial enterprise, more like local contacts, farmers market (in the spring/summer/fall when its operational), local shops... just something to make supplemental income to compliment the other things I've got going. If it grows into a large company one day that's fine, but that's not the initial goal. There's no "real" coffee for a minimum of 30 miles - not even a St*rbucks! - so it at least seems like an untapped market (if only I can convince people that there's something better than Folgers...!).

Right now I'm using a heavy stock pot over propane flame, stirring by hand. I've got a motorized stirring mechanism in the works to make roasting less physically demanding. Sort of like a mix between the cast iron skillet and Kosmo's turbo roaster. One pound batches are easy, I'm thinking two pounds shouldn't stretch the set-up much at all. I've got the hang of getting decently even roasts stirring by hand (at least on par with my old popcorn popper) so a motorized outfit should be no sweat.

What concerns me is the "inspected kitchen" since I roast outdoors or at the edge of the garage when precipitation is falling, and things would really have to take off to make adding on to the house even a remote possibility. I suppose there is always renting space...

I guess the next step is getting my packaging squared away and see if I can 'persuade' someone to try the stuff! Shock
 
ginny
inspected kitchen


let this go for now. most places do not know what to do with
"coffee roasters" because you do not require sinks for washing hands, pots,
yadda, yadda... you are the same as roasting peanuts...

get your coffee sold to local folks asap...

test the beans with all your friends first; you may need to give it away!

move onto your farmer's market.

you want to give the government way too much credit and information up front
that they do not need and could care less about. do not get yourself stuck in the
red tape for no reason.

roast, enjoy, give away and sell. your coffee roasted outside is far, far better then any around.

go have some fun and forget all else.

ginny


:Clap:

just roast your beans and sell or give away and see what happens.
 
Dan
Just so you know, local health department folks cruise farmer's markets looking for food preparers without licences. You'll want to be squared away before you go public like this. But to friends, families and the occasional buyer, just do it under the radar.
 
http://www.intactamerica.org
John Despres
Ginny's advise of testing on your friends is excellent. I managed to "hook" a few friends on this crack we have come to adore just by dropping a bit with them just often enough. Now they can't do without fresh roasted quality coffee.

I have three clients who take roughly 1.5 to 2 pounds a week of roaster's choice. I began offereing roaster's choice when one of them became overwhelmed by the variety of beans in my stash. They all love it. Then there are quite a few who call every so often to order a batch or two at a time.

I mark the roasted beans up barely enough to make minimum wage and deposit every penny in a seperate account with a cash card. I then use that very money to increase my stash or purchase other coffee related paraphernalia.

Frankly, I'm not in it for the money but the roasting. The delicious coffee I get to drink is a fringe benefit of getting to roast the beans.

Right now, I'm roasting in half pound batches, so it's fairly expensive for me, time-wise. I'm in the process of designing a new roaster that will roast 2 kilos of greens. Once that happens, my roaster's choice clients will be getting the same coffee I choose for them and the money will proportionally increase against time invested roasting.

I say roast on, get some folk hooked, then have more fun roasting!
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
 
www.sceneitallproductions.com
seedlings
I LOVE this thread. Keep it going, all!

CHAD
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
 
BoldJava
I have never sold coffee. Given away a bunch, but never sold. Too inefficient use of my time relative to the batch size.

RE: Advice. I have read many threads on homeroasters' forums and the recurring consensus advice is to consult with local health department. Each municipality/county varies widely in their requirements.

B|Java
Edited by BoldJava on 01/16/2009 11:28 PM
http://sidewalkmy...
Dave Borton
Milwaukee, WI
 
http://sidewalkmystic.com
jspain
I don't know if I've shared my story with this group or not? If I have, please by-pass. I've been roasting for about 12 years. 10 of those years I roasted small, drank most of it, but gave some away to friends. The last two years I've been roasting for our Presbytery. The Presbytery is 93 Presbyterian churches in east central Ohio. I sell coffee to churches and individuals and "all" money goes to mission. I buy the greens, roast, deliver and the dollars go to mission at Presbytery. My home church keeps 1/2 the proceeds for local mission and the rest goes to Presbytery mission. I have a blast roasting, trying many kinds of grens, always have great coffee for me and my wife, and it's one way I tithe. So, I have gained a lot, but no dollars...... I'm blessed! Jim ;)
"How we treat our children determines who we are!"
 
BoldJava
Life is one big pay-ahead. Nice effort Jim.

B|Java
http://sidewalkmy...
Dave Borton
Milwaukee, WI
 
http://sidewalkmystic.com
Hoomin Bean
Hi everyone. Long time, no post, but I noticed this thread and thought it would be an opportunity to update my story.

After getting my wholesale inspection last summer from my state Department of Agriculture (and by the way about all they were looking for was cleanliness and a three basin sink) I managed to get my coffee into a local organic grocery. Until then, I had only been selling at my farm market. I was using Fair Trade and organic beans exclusively, so that gave me credibility at the grocery. I did join TransfairUSA so I could use the FT logo - they have an Artisan Roaster Program that only costs about $260 a year. I did not seek the USDA certification because it is costly and the paperwork is boggling. I photoshopped my own little green logo that says "Organically Grown." I mention the labelling issues because they open a door to smaller, alternative markets. There is a huge Sustainability awareness now around local production. These smaller organic/alt venues are generally very open to small companies/real people like themselves.

Anyway, I now have 4 small groceries selling my bagged blends/origins and 2 cafes brewing them. However, 90% of my sales are in 2 of the groceries, and 1 of the cafes. I was also able to get gift boxes in a few locations for holiday shopping.

Restocking these locations is moving about 40 pounds of coffee a week. In addition, I have one charity I roast for: a Bluegrass festival that is dedicated to Lupus Awareness. One person from the fest picks up about 3-4 dozen bags a month and a few people sell it hand to hand to friends and coworkers. I give them an under-wholesale price that I still make a small margin on, and they keep the retail markup. I Photoshop and print my own labels, so I am able to customize the bag, use their logo and picture, etc.

What makes this especially interesting to a homeroast forum? The fact that I am pounding out all this product on my BBQ roaster. All this wholesale work has grown since I started roasting to supply my own festival coffee concession. As noted on another thread, I am trying to open a cafe which has been delayed repeatedly, most recently by the tanking economy. I'm wholesaling simply because I can, with no special wish to expand that much farther. Micro-regional branding is the name of this game. Where I'm really putting my hopes is that when everything comes together, I'll have the retail of my own product, which is where the margin starts to pay at modest quantities.

Posted mainly as a encouragement to homeroasters considering semi-pro! Touching back on Sustainability, there are enough coffee drinkers in the country to support a micro-roaster in every other township, who could then deliver coffee on their bicycle, and take a whole lot of trucking and warehousing out of the loop. :)

So, do you think you might actually make a little money roasting, but your spouse/SO thinks you're nuts? Well, you probably are nuts, just ask my wife, but that doesn't prove you can't create a small business.

Ed
 
www.hoboed.net
Dan
Ed, Thanks for the update, I have wondered what you were accomplishing. Your experience with the health department was about the same as mine. In the end I decided to not start a second business, but instead get involved in founding a children's rights organization (another story).

In my state, when a food processor's wholesale sales exceed 35% (if memory serves) they are required to obtain a State kitchen certification, which is more difficult and expensive.

My plan to avoid that issue was to sell in specialty shops on commission. That way, my sales would be retail, not wholesale. I targeted the usual clients like you are doing, natural foods. I was also going to put a display in a wine shop noted for its high end wine/spirits/cigars. The type with a walk-in cooler and wine for $100. I figured their clientele wouldn't flinch at the price if the coffee was good.

The other reason was that I planned on dating my product, was so I could pull the dated beans off the shelf insuring only fresh coffee. I was going to build my own disiplays and make a big deal of the freshness.

Over-dated beans would be given to Food Finders or local charities.
 
http://www.intactamerica.org
BoldJava
Hoomin Bean wrote:
Hi everyone. Long time, no post, but I noticed this thread and thought it would be an opportunity to update my story.

... I photoshopped my own little green logo that says "Organically Grown." I mention the labelling issues because they open a door to smaller, alternative markets. There is a huge Sustainability awareness now around local production. These smaller organic/alt venues are generally very open to small companies/real people like themselves.
...
Ed


Two quick thoughts:
1) Your art work/presentation is superb. I immediately "get" who you are and what you are trying to do -- the labels, the website, the theme all tie together. Very, very inviting. Well done.
2) The sustainability approach - In the upper Midwest, "FTO" and "local" are two key issues that I see our local roasters successfully working. They are critical matters to a segment of the market.

You are working a very narrow, difficult rail. Well done. Appreciate it from a distance.

B|Java
http://sidewalkmy...
Dave Borton
Milwaukee, WI
 
http://sidewalkmystic.com
cfsheridan
I roast for my church, friends and family free. I "sell" roasted coffee to friends of friends and on occasion to a friend that owns a coffee shop (as their "featured" drip for a few days). My view is that if I know you (well) directly and the coffee is for your use, no cost. Otherwise, my price is to cover bean cost and to provide a bit more for my time. Truth be told, I love the excuse to roast more.
 
qajariaq
THANK YOU for all the information, advice, and personal accounts! :BowDown:

After reading through the laws for NC it appears that the major sticking point for me is having an indoor pet (any animal inside the home/kitchen is considered a "pest" ) which makes processing of any food product in the home illegal. No permit is required, but the county must do an inspection to check for cleanliness (i.e. no pests or insects) and to make sure you have a proper sink and running hot water.

I'll have to see what might can be done about the garage where I roast, though. It seems that "cooking" food outdoors is a no-go, but what I have read so far doesn't include anything close to roasting coffee. Unless I can find very low cost location outside the home where I can roast I might be out of luck... :@
Edited by qajariaq on 01/19/2009 3:38 AM
 
seedlings
This is still America. You're never out of luck, just out of ideas. Fortunately, here, you'll never be out of ideas.

Does the dog have a "kennel" outside? That's a good place for it to be when Inspector Gadget stops buy. Inspector Gadgets love a good cup of coffee too.

Oh, and name a blend after your dog. That may promote him from pest to Advertising Executive.

CHAD
Edited by seedlings on 01/19/2009 3:45 AM
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
 
qajariaq
Roflmao

Right on all accounts, Chad!

Too bad our dog's name comes from a rather well-known brand name, otherwise I'd have already promoted him to VP of Advertising. He's the household VP of Accidental Taste Testing already.... Oh, and there's no way I can hide all evidence of the dog being in the house, unfortunately. They don't call 'em German "Shedders" for nuthin'....

I'm going to do more digging to find out if outdoor processing is really frowned upon or if there is some kind of loop hole or provision to work around it.

I will report back no matter what I find out! Shock
 
Dan
qajariaq, Like I've said, the laws change from place to place and your report confirms it!

Preparing food outdoors became a public health hazard when bargeque stands in the South were found to spread disease. This was at the same time when the slaughterhouses came under inspection, too.
 
http://www.intactamerica.org
ginny
qajariaq:

there is always a loop hole...

remember that most entities do not know what to do with "roasted/roasting coffee."

I cannot sell pre-packed, fresh roasted coffee at the Farmers Market but I can roast and sell all I want while there as a guest chef.

I think you need to go back and get to the grounds with all of their regs!!

ginny
GrinShock
 
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