Coffee is ME Podcast
How to start a legendary coffee roaster in California with Hiver van Geenhoven - Chromatic, California

How to start a legendary coffee roaster in California with Hiver van Geenhoven - Chromatic, California

November 4, 2022

How and why did Hiver start Chromatic coffee? His origin story is really inspiring. So many people say “this is what I want to do,” but what are you ready to give up? Would you give up your comforts, free time, and risk your financial security?

Difference in doing business in the central EU and USA. What kind of personality you have to be in order to become an entrepreneur? In this episode we will discuss two very different worlds of entrepreneurship.

When it comes to roasting and packaging, custom modifications are in the DNA of the company. Chromatic is well known for its variety of packaging designs. What is their secret? How can they have limited edition designs on their packaging? Hiver opens up about the benefits and efficiency of hot stamping and tells us about their modification on the hot stamping machine which helps them stay relevant.

Our wide-ranging conversation answers such questions as where Chromatic get its coffee and why they offer robusta; tips on how to buy coffee Direct Trade, and whether coffee importers are your best friends or your foes. Hiver also has suggestions on where to get money for starting your coffee roasting business and what it means for your future ownership.

Coffee Review scores were very helpful for Chromatic at the beginning. This customer-oriented service attracts plenty of controversy in the industry, but the truth is, these scores help customers to understand your product and will influence your sales.

Finally, we discuss Chromatic’s very interesting and engaging website reward program. Find out from Hiver whether this program has been worth the investment.

Starting a farm-to-cup coffee shop at a college campus with Sebastian Ramirez - Cafetal Coffee, Arizona

Starting a farm-to-cup coffee shop at a college campus with Sebastian Ramirez - Cafetal Coffee, Arizona

September 15, 2022

Talking with former student of mine Sebastian Ramirez about his tips for new coffee shop entrepreneurs. 

Cafetal Coffee is a Specialty Coffee shop located near ASU in Tempe, Arizona. offering coffee from their family farm in Colombia and serving Latin infused breakfast and lunch! 

Sebastian was very generous and shared a lot of useful tips for everybody who is thinking to open a cafe or a coffee shop. 

00:00 Introducing Sebastian Ramirez Cafetal Coffee
00:48 Sebastian's First Coffee Experience
02:14 Is taking a Q Grader course a good way to start a coffee shop? Why does Sebastian work with coffee
07:08 Why start a coffee shop? The foundation story of Cafetal Coffee.
12:30 About Cafetal Coffee's coffee shop menu. Do sweet drinks, QR codes, and pastries belong to a specialty coffee shop? 
25:50 Tips for how to buy a coffee shop? 
31:30 The largest expenses when running a coffee shop
37:13 How do you find baristas and employees for your coffee shop?
39:25 Profit sharing, employee-owned coffee shop, and other "crazy" ideas for keeping your coffee shop staff happy and motivated. 
51:12 Does it make sense for a coffee shop to roast its coffee? What is the ideal size of a coffee roaster for a coffee shop?
1:06:05 what other products except coffee make a coffee shop profitable?
1:13:11 ❤️ for Ukraine
1:15:58 What margins should one use to make a coffee shop profitable?
1:20:30 The Best coffee in the world is ...
1:25:26 What is the most profitable food product in a restaurant?

Starting a super cool coffee brand in India with Rahul Reddy - Subko Coffee Roasters, Mumbai

Starting a super cool coffee brand in India with Rahul Reddy - Subko Coffee Roasters, Mumbai

July 21, 2022

Come explore the specialty coffee scene in India with us and Rahul Reddy. Rahul is the founder of Subko Coffee Roasters, a revolutionary coffee concept that sources the best lots from local farmers for the local consumers. 

This is the first episode recorded with video, so if you want to see our faces, join us on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa5A34qegnupOj_gt04Jzhw

In this episode we cover the topics of cupping and calibration, the specialty coffee scene in Mumbai and the Subko Coffee Roasters origin story.

Rahul tells us more about his vision and the benefits of connecting a bakery with his coffee roasting brand.

We touch on the subject of production and why Subko uses Giesen coffee roasters. 

Subko's branding and social media presence is very impressive, and so we definitely had to talk about that.

Finally, Rahul shares a few tips for future coffee entrepreneurs and asks me a question about how Asia as a coffee origin has a future in the specialty coffee industry. 

Can You Make Money with a Cold Brew Cart? - with Eddie Alaniz from Coffee Conspiracy

Can You Make Money with a Cold Brew Cart? - with Eddie Alaniz from Coffee Conspiracy

March 31, 2022

In this episode we talk with Eddie Alaniz about his brand Coffee Conspiracy. 

Eddie's brand is a lockdown businesses. While most cafes had to be closed, Eddie offered single origin cold brew to the beach crowd in Santa Cruz.

Despite his humble beginnings, Eddie did not stop with his cold brew cart. His next move was to start to roast his own coffee and sell it via an online store. 

How did he do it? What is the most important aspect of a successful coffee business? The interview was recorded during a session of the Coffee Roasting Lab PRO - Business.  Join us for the next one!

Starting a cafe empire and why should you start to roast your own coffee  - with Sandra and Joey from Pink Owl, California

Starting a cafe empire and why should you start to roast your own coffee - with Sandra and Joey from Pink Owl, California

January 21, 2022

In December, we held the Roasting Lab PRO Course, where future coffee entrepreneurs study efficient ways of roasting, developing products, packaging and branding, understanding sales channels, not to mention having an awesome time exchanging ideas and meeting like-minded people from all over the world. I run this course every 3 months; it is limited to 6 students, and the next one is coming up in March.

One of my favorite parts of the course is our guests, who come to share their coffee business experience and are willing to reveal their trade secrets. In the last course, we were joined by Joey and Sandra from Pink Owl Coffee. As I have mentioned before, I am one lucky guy! The students asked really useful questions, Sandra and Joey's energy was intoxicating, and all I had to do was record it. I hope that some of that energy will rub off on you too. 

In this episode we discuss:

- How to start a café serving specialty coffee;

- What marketing tools you should use;

- How to go about branding your cup, merch, etc.;

- Why Joey and Sandra ultimately decided to roast their own coffee;

- Mistakes they made and you can avoid;

- The types and number of products a café should offer, and how Sandra finds the best deals and quality for their offering;

- How Joey chooses the equipment for the café and whether used coffee gear is a good idea;

- A few ideas on how to finance a coffee shop, drawing on Joey's experience as a finance guy.

There is much more wisdom in this podcast and yes, it is almost 2 hours long. I believe that the shared know-how and value is incredible, so I decided to keep it as is.

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ENJOY!

Daniel claims that $2500 is enough to start a coffee roasting business… with Daniel Streetman from Bird and Bear Coffee

Daniel claims that $2500 is enough to start a coffee roasting business… with Daniel Streetman from Bird and Bear Coffee

December 21, 2021

In this episode, Daniel Streetman explains how you can start a coffee roasting business with minimal investment.

After Daniel was laid off during the pandemic, he and his wife Ella looked deep into their wallet and figured out that the most they could spend on their new company was $2500.  

I love to brag about how I started Green Plantation with only $8000, but I would never even attempt to start a coffee roasting business with $2500, especially not in San Francisco.

In this episode Daniel reveals how they did it, where they found their first customers, and how they have grown since then. Spoiler alert, your neighborhood can be much more powerful than you think. 

In this episode we will also address branding, SEO tips, and we will talk about the power of customer reviews and engagement. 

Daniel is also a trainer at the Boot Coffee Campus, so I took the opportunity to talk about the SCA courses and the SCA Foundations Week we are planning in January 2022.  

Starting a coffee brand with a 2kg roaster and a school bus: Gleason Jones from Minimalist Coffee, Opelika, Alabama

Starting a coffee brand with a 2kg roaster and a school bus: Gleason Jones from Minimalist Coffee, Opelika, Alabama

October 25, 2021

In this show, I interview Gleason Jones from Opelika, Alabama and founder of Minimalist Coffee. Minimalist Coffee is the brand new venture of this 25-year-old entrepreneurial gentleman, addressing the need for a good, freshly roasted coffee with associated charity contributions in the local community. 

Gleason dared to violate my rule for the size of the coffee roaster. How's that working for him? Can he make a sustainable business with a 2 kg roaster?

Gleason owns a former school bus that he retrofitted for mobile coffee sales. The coffee bus drew not only my attention, but also that of the local young coffee lovers hovering around it. Gleason reveals his first triumphs and mistakes selling coffee this way.  

Can social media influencers help sell your coffee? Gleason shares his experience. 

Finally, Gleason reviews what it was like studying at Boot Coffee Campus and Valerian describes a new course for coffee entrepreneurs. 

Enjoy the show.

Your questions about coffee roasting, blends, best coffee on the planet and Q Grading answered

Your questions about coffee roasting, blends, best coffee on the planet and Q Grading answered

July 13, 2021

For this episode we asked you, our listeners, to send us questions - and to plug your business.

You sent thought provoking questions which challenged us -- Valerian and Marcus to think outside the box, share their experiences, and call upon their combined experience to come up with possible answers. 

We have tasted and drank a lot of coffee, and listener Katie asks us to name the single best cup of coffee each of us has ever had, in our entire lives. Did we choose one of the award winning geshas we often roast and cup, or some experimental process, or something else entirely? 

Tune in and hear our opinions of the optimal location to open a roaster / retail store. Valerian shares an interesting challenge he faced at Green Plantation opening in a beautiful rural setting. 

Other listeners asked about ideal roast profiles which leads Marcus to encourage all roasters to become confident cuppers and to be rigorous about tracking their data. Our listen John Bergman from Hacienda Coffee had a very specific question about sample roasting on a fluid bed roasters versus a drum roaster, and our hosts discuss the challenges and possible solutions to roasting on machines that utilize different thermodynamic principles.

Marcus and Valerian also discuss how they approach blends and Marcus challenges Valerian to try a new technique. Does it matter if coffees are blended with vastly different physical characteristics? Will a blend taste good if you give up some control in the name of consistency? Is the cupping table the best place for product development and QC, or should you use other brew methods too?

We hopee you enjoy hearing from listeners and our feedback. Maybe in the future we’ll answer your question.

 

We were born in the fire - the story of Café de Leche a café and coffee roaster from L.A. - with Matt & Anya Schodorf

We were born in the fire - the story of Café de Leche a café and coffee roaster from L.A. - with Matt & Anya Schodorf

June 14, 2021

Anya and Matt are prime examples of the American dream: they had a dream and they invested all their time, money, and energy to make it a reality. The result has enriched  the L.A. coffee culture and brought a unidog to the bottom of the cup. As a European living in the USA, I have always admired the entrepreneurial spirit of my American friends, and I love the unidog. If you do not know what a unidolg is, don't worry, we talk about it in the podcast.

In this episode, we talked about the process of starting a cafe, and Anya and Matt explain why was it important for them to roast their own coffee. Spoiler alert--it was not the cost.

I feel very proud that Anya and Matt implemented the roasting model that works so well for my European business, Green Plantation, where we roast two days a week and spend the rest of the time on sales, marketing, or resting. Guess where they learned about it? Yes, it was in this podcast.

Anya and Matt love to travel and during these travels, they have developed special relations with farmers in coffee lands, bringing them even closer to their coffee and enabling them to relay the story of each coffee in real depth for their customers.

Meeting Anya and Matt was truly amazing and we clicked right away. I'm only sorry that it took me such a long time to bring their wisdom and energy to this podcast. But here it is and I hope you will enjoy listening as much as we did recording it.

This is how you build a coffee drive through, with Darren Spicer, Clutch Coffee Bar

This is how you build a coffee drive through, with Darren Spicer, Clutch Coffee Bar

May 5, 2021

In this podcast I interviewed Darren Spicer of Clutch Coffee Bar, a fast-growing coffee drive-through chain.

Drive-throughs are a bit foreign to me. I've never used one and personally I consume coffee differently, but most Americans welcome a good coffee on the long commute to work.

I am always intrigued about the unknown, so I was very happy when Darren's path crossed with mine in this podcast episode.

coffee business podcast

Like a good drive-through, Darren is a very composed, efficient and to-the-point fellow. If you are playing with the idea of starting a coffee drive-through, there is plenty of gold for you in this episode.

We will discuss the best locations for a successful coffee drive-through, the way to make your coffee service efficient, and the most popular and profitable beverages in your café or coffee drive-through. We also touch on the advantages and disadvantages of a franchise model, and whether a coffee drive-through would work in Europe.

Enjoy this episode!

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