As the popularity of gourmet coffee has grown in the United States, attaining a status more akin to craft beer than a diner staple, local professional coffee roasters have also become more numerous. The reason for the rise of the artisanal coffee roaster is relatively simple: The closer in time to brewing coffee is roasted, the better it will taste. So having beans roasted and sold nearby — as opposed to by commercial coffee roasters hundreds or even thousands of miles away — gives coffee connoisseurs a vastly superior product.
If you’re hoping to get a slice of the profitable coffee industry (coffee is the second most sold commodity in the world, after oil), then becoming one of these professional coffee roasters is one of your options. Here are three reasons you might consider this route:
- A Low Upfront Investment
It doesn’t take much to get a coffee roasting business up and running. To actually roast the coffee, you’ll need a professional-grade small batch coffee roaster and a supply of high-quality green coffee beans. And while some roasters choose to open a physical shop immediately, all you really need is a good website (along with a marketing plan, of course) to sell your products. That means you can start a successful business without having tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in startup capital.
- A Scalable Business Model
Unlike a coffee shop, for example, for which most expenses remain fixed no matter how many customers walk through the door, a roasting business can be easily adjusted to sale volume. If you start the business from your home, you can wait until you’re making a healthy profit to buy a larger coffee roaster or more beans. You can also choose to expand into a storefront only once you’re sure that you’re committed to remaining in the industry long-term.
- The Opportunity to Engage
If you want to be a part of bringing better food and beverages to your neighborhood, then opening a roasting business is a great way to get involved in the local scene. As a roaster, you can participate in local farmers’ markets, and/or partner with locally owned coffee shops. You’ll also be able to educate your customers, since you’ll often interact with them face-to-face, helping them to get that perfect cup of coffee they’ve been searching for.
Why are you considering becoming a professional coffee roaster? Have you been buying your beans from an artisan coffee roaster already? Discuss in the comments.