Starting a Business in Coffee

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Adam Moore bought one of our 1K roasters and sent along some introduction thoughts. Adam has agreed to “think aloud” and discuss how he approached setting up his business, how he established a business plan, and how he went about setting up the roastery. Thanks Adam, and we love our logo smacked onto the top of that barrel!

Stay tuned for Adams thoughts on establishing a business plan. Many potential customers ask about business plans on a daily basis. We are thrilled that Adam is going to share his approach so we have a starting point to which we can point those of you who are just beginning the process of setting up a roaster and starting business. BoldJava.

By Adam Moore, Red Light Roastery, Hot Springs, Arkansas

There’s a lot more to selling whole bean coffee in a bag than roasting and bagging. In Arkansas anyway, there’s city, county, state and federal permits to obtain–commercial kitchens to build out in the space that is to be the “roastery”. Luckily with our project we were planning all of this from the beginning, but I imagine many people want to just roast coffee and sell it. There are some major fines involved with selling a food product without the proper permits. Like I said this is all in Arkansas, so I would suggest anyone wanting to start this adventure of a real coffee business to dive into all this in their state to see what is required. I was aware of a couple of the requirements, but now more requirements seem to be “invented” along the way. We did our research and are still running into this.

The permits really just take a little time and money. Seems daunting at first but since we already have the location it’s just a matter of spending the time to fill out the application completely, including plumbing plans, project pricing, etc. The permits are priced according to the cost of the project. Some of the permits are one time fees. Others are actual certifications with the health department that will be annual costs.

Here is the 1881 house we purchased to become our coffee business that has been commercially zoned for 40+ years of its life. It’s 3000sqft on 0.66 acre in uptown Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas.

Like I said, I’ll follow up with more about this in a future blog submission. Thank you for thinking what I have to say is important enough to share with our community. I look forward to sharing my approach to business plans so that others may see how one person has approached it. Take what is helpful and begin putting your dreams onto the paper today!


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