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KJH
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Jul 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Canada
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Posted Wed Jul 24, 2013, 9:03am
Subject: Roasting, marketing and Competition
 

We are new startup micro roaster. In our local area (metro area) there is only one other roaster for a population base of about 230, 000. This roaster is fairly large (over 400,000lbs a year roasted). However they are found everywhere you look, grocery stores, gas stations, corner stores, tourist outlet stores, farmers market, online store, they supply other coffee shops and have just opened two coffee shops themselves. They have a good reputation and I actually enjoy their brew as well. My question is... what market should I go after (or concentrate on) given that this company seems to have everything cornered? I am sure there is enough business in our area (I am only estimating around 15,000 lbs this year), but I am unsure where to focus selling. I am not going to have a storefront yet so Wholesale is going to be a major part of my business. Just wondering thoughts...Thanks in advance
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Buckley
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 423
Location: Internet
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jul 24, 2013, 9:29am
Subject: Re: Roasting, marketing and Competition
 

Move.

B
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KJH
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Jul 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Canada
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Posted Wed Jul 24, 2013, 9:36am
Subject: Re: Roasting, marketing and Competition
 

Buckley Said:

Move.

B

Posted July 24, 2013 link

Thanks, appreciate the helpful response
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germantownrob
Senior Member
germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,147
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Wed Jul 24, 2013, 9:54am
Subject: Re: Roasting, marketing and Competition
 

KJH Said:

Thanks, appreciate the helpful response

Posted July 24, 2013 link

Lol!

If the compition is roasting like that and selling like that I would venture a guess their bags have sell by dates and not the roast date. Look into gaining reckignition in the specialty market, fresh roast, quality beans. If the specialty coffee market is roughly 10% of the market that leaves you with around 40,000lbs you could sell to the same market your compition is selling to.

Of coarse getting your name out there is the hard part. I would be talking it up everywhere and showing up at local events giving free coffee out and converting people from stale beans to what fresh roast tastes like.
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JKalpin
Senior Member
JKalpin
Joined: 28 Dec 2008
Posts: 794
Location: Thornhill, Ontario Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Aerobie Aeropress
Grinder: Baratza Maestro Plus
Vac Pot: Yama 5-Cup
Drip: Krups Moka Brew, BraZen
Roaster: Freshroast+8, Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Jul 24, 2013, 10:08am
Subject: Re: Roasting, marketing and Competition
 

If your competition is roasting 400,000 lbs /yr and his product has found its way into many consumer and retail market segments, it would NOT be to his advantage to post Roast Date and Best Between Dates on his packages.

But you will start small and promote 'specialty coffees' from all over the world ...and ...it might give you an advantage to post those dates and advertise the attributes of freshly-roasted coffee.

But then you gotta be quick and your supply-chain must deliver within 3 days of roasting.

If you have Yuppies in your community, go after them.

 
Jerry
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germantownrob
Senior Member
germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,147
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Wed Jul 24, 2013, 10:21am
Subject: Re: Roasting, marketing and Competition
 

JKalpin Said:

But then you gotta be quick and your supply-chain must deliver within 3 days of roasting.

If you have Yuppies in your community, go after them.

Posted July 24, 2013 link

15,000 pounds for a year or two works out to roughly 300lbs a week, with a 5kg machine this is only 10hrs of roasting a week which leaves many hours left in the week to take care of the business. Honestly with enough equipment or big enough equipment 400,000 pounds a year is not that much work  to produce fresh roasts delivered IMHO.

My business model was to come in producing 100,000 pounds a year and to get it to 500,000 by the end of 3 years, tall order even in Philadelphia while money is so tight for so many people and business.

Edit| oh yeah, I would go after good restaurants and develop a blend or two for them. If people can get that great cup of coffee after a good meal they will want to replicate it, that how I got into coffee so many moons ago.
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CoffeeRoastersClub
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CoffeeRoastersClub
Joined: 6 Jul 2005
Posts: 4,473
Location: Connecticut
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vintage La Pavoni Lever...
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Vac Pot: Vintage Silex, Nicro...
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Roaster: javaPRO-CRC AIR Fluid Bed...
Posted Wed Jul 24, 2013, 10:32am
Subject: Re: Roasting, marketing and Competition
 

KJH Said:

We are new startup micro roaster. In our local area (metro area) there is only one other roaster for a population base of about 230, 000. This roaster is fairly large (over 400,000lbs a year roasted). However they are found everywhere you look, grocery stores, gas stations, corner stores, tourist outlet stores, farmers market, online store, they supply other coffee shops and have just opened two coffee shops themselves. They have a good reputation and I actually enjoy their brew as well. My question is... what market should I go after (or concentrate on) given that this company seems to have everything cornered? I am sure there is enough business in our area (I am only estimating around 15,000 lbs this year), but I am unsure where to focus selling. I am not going to have a storefront yet so Wholesale is going to be a major part of my business. Just wondering thoughts...Thanks in advance

Posted July 24, 2013 link

Thats their achilles heal, they are big and have everything cornered.  They are everywhere ... which translates to me as "Same old same old".   Offer something they don't offer and be exceptional in it (there has to be something they don't offer).  Maybe concentrate on offering peaberries as your signature line.  Offer folksy packaging.  Look real handcrafted.  You will be a breath of fresh air against what likely is a mass produced look.

Also research how small mom and pop cafes are competing successfully against Starbucks.  It may give you some valuable insight that you can apply to your roaster business.

Just some ideas off the cuff.

Len

 
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674

Bitcoin Merchant www.CoffeeRoastersClub.com     www.javaPRO-CRC.com     www.KaffeeFrisch.com
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Buckley
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 423
Location: Internet
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jul 24, 2013, 10:49am
Subject: Re: Roasting, marketing and Competition
 

KJH Said:

Thanks, appreciate the helpful response

Posted July 24, 2013 link

The response may be brief, but heartfelt, and no disrespect intended.  What part of suffering is it that you enjoy?
This is a niche website.   Your market lives south of the 49th parallel*.  There are many good roasters in Canada, and I would like to buy from them, but I couldn't be bothered with customs and the expense.  Look at this website and you will see scores of posts complaining about shipping costs.  Online purchases are very likely to diminish, especially when Yankee states start taxing purchases.  As far as local sales go, I have been to Canada (many times).  I have tasted the coffee your neighbors buy.  It is bad, just like Yankee coffee.  Your customer base seems small to nonexistent.  Do some market research.  For one, stand in the coffee aisle for one hour and count the number of people who turn the bags over to view the sell by date.  
You are facing an uphill battle.  What, only people that agree with you are helpful?

B

*Edit- There are many accomplished and knowledgeable coffee aficionados from Canada who are members of CG.  The point is, their numbers are not sufficient to sustain a roaster without other customers, most of whom would then be Yankees.
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KJH
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Jul 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Canada
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Posted Wed Jul 24, 2013, 11:58am
Subject: Re: Roasting, marketing and Competition
 

Buckley Said:

The response may be brief, but heartfelt, and no disrespect intended.  What part of suffering is it that you enjoy?
This is a niche website.   Your market lives south of the 49th parallel*.  There are many good roasters in Canada, and I would like to buy from them, but I couldn't be bothered with customs and the expense.  Look at this website and you will see scores of posts complaining about shipping costs.  Online purchases are very likely to diminish, especially when Yankee states start taxing purchases.  As far as local sales go, I have been to Canada (many times).  I have tasted the coffee your neighbors buy.  It is bad, just like Yankee coffee.  Your customer base seems small to nonexistent.  Do some market research.  For one, stand in the coffee aisle for one hour and count the number of people who turn the bags over to view the sell by date.  
You are facing an uphill battle.  What, only people that agree with you are helpful?

B

*Edit- There are many accomplished and knowledgeable coffee aficionados from Canada who are members of CG.  The point is, their numbers are not sufficient to sustain a roaster without other customers, most of whom would then be Yankees.

Posted July 24, 2013 link

I don't agree with your above post at all. The local roaster in my area, (I live in a small province in Canada, with a local population of about 230,000) does over 400,000 lbs per year. They are very sustainable. How did they start out? Not by taking the advise I read above.
As for your statement, "Do some market research", I am an MBA and have completed market research in the local area as well as in the wider region. There is definitely a market (as per my original post stated), but I am more interested how professional roasters have tackled this specific obstacle (I stated above) in the past and what may have worked best for them.
While you state your response is heartfelt(as you put it), I appreciate that, but I'm not looking for inspiration, a pat on the back, or talk about "uphill battles" rather I'm looking for ways to tackle a specific issue.

Keep posting, I appreciate anyone taking the time to read and submit their opinion.
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JKalpin
Senior Member
JKalpin
Joined: 28 Dec 2008
Posts: 794
Location: Thornhill, Ontario Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Aerobie Aeropress
Grinder: Baratza Maestro Plus
Vac Pot: Yama 5-Cup
Drip: Krups Moka Brew, BraZen
Roaster: Freshroast+8, Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Jul 24, 2013, 7:35pm
Subject: Re: Roasting, marketing and Competition
 

My local supermarket in Thornhill Ontario Canada is Longo's.  They feature a coffee roastery right in the middle of the store.

The guy who runs it drinks coffee with me a few times a week elsewhere.  He tells me that, not only does he roast to order from a dozen or 15 barrels of greens, he also roasts for the ordinary coffee dispensers (like you find in any supermarket) and claims they are fresh-roasted and refilled every 3 or 4 days.  

You need to know if that goes on in your community.  That can add complication to your business-plan.  It removes the 'uniqueness' of fresh-roasted coffee.

 
Jerry
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