..., on with my journey of stepping out of the box. A bit. Over time.
When I started home roasting some years ago, it didn't even feel like it was such an infectious thing. Obviously, I began for a reason, namely for the sake of decent espresso.
Intrigued by all the different taste notes there were to discover, I dug deeper and deeper into the topic - reading, roasting, talking to roasters, buying greens from around the world, reading cupping notes where available, helping out in cupping sessions of Quality Management and Product Development at a coffee company (they would employ a contract roaster, so no hands-on experience there).
Every time we had guests over, we received appreciation of some kind for what nice coffee we would serve them. It got me thinking. And investing
Home roasting becomes a somewhat expensive hobby, once you reach a certain level (of equipment that is). And if you want to take something with you along the way, education-wise, then roasting one batch every two weeks doesn't get you that far. So I started sharing roasts with interested friends and family, accumulating a >3kg weekly average. Some asked me why I wasn't selling the stuff... one of them being a dear friend who runs a nice little restaurant around the corner. He offered to list my coffee, exclusively. Well, that got me thinking again. And calculating.
A couple months back, I decided to give it a shot. And that's where it all got a bit complicated. Not in a totally bad way, but dealing with officials can be as frustrating as a power outage approaching second crack. So everything took a while, first and foremost I needed to obtain a permit to build a plant. Planning to roast in a dedicated space in our house, there was discussion around applicable designation of areas. Per se, local legislation will not distinguish between a small craft business and a fully automated industrial roasting plant with an hourly output of several tons. Nobody wants such a monstrous facility next door in a residential area, however, we were lucky to have exception handling processes in place. Gotta love my country for that! So the verdict is in: I may roast up to 1,000kg per year, up to 10hrs a week. It might sound a lot to folk like me, but I know we wouldn't be able to make a living from it alone: growing beyond these limits means moving out to an industrial quarter nearby.
But hey, it could be worse! Working a side-job from home, earning local reputation, learning how to actually run such a business at minimal risk...
The goal is to provide freshly roasted coffee to the region we're living in. Local roasteries are scarce, as is decent coffee. Our little business will not pivot around beardy hipsters in the first place, but rather focus on a coffee-to-the-people approach. Finding the balance between quality and pricing is key.
As we don't need to stress it, marketing/sales/distribution shall stay super low-key. I'd like to rely on word of mouth and see where it gets us.
Now, on paper the company is up and running. Until construction is finished, no selly selly. But I've got plenty of other things to clarify, anyways:
- Business plan - roughly done.
- Floor plans: done. (needed to obtain permit)
- Collect building and equipment offers: done.
- Apply for (subsidised) financing: WIP.
- Obtain bean samples: WIP (one supplier missing)
- Sample roasting, cupping, selecting: WIP (one supplier missing)
- Company name: done.
- Logo/CI: done.
- Website: WIP.
- Email address: done.
- Business phone line: WIP (split business from private, what a crucial bit!)
- Choose packaging: WIP (almost there)
- Order branded cups* - WIP (two samples each ordered last week)
- Book keeping: currently outsourced (due to lack of profound knowledge, Mrs. Hasi will learn along)
* espresso, flat white/americano, cappuccino - can't enter gastronomy without around here.
Please feel free to point me towards anything I could be missing or wishing to have thought of before Also, I might simply have forgotten to put it down.
I'm going to post further progress as it happens, looking forward to any responses along the way!