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Coffee Beans

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CoolBreeze2

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Oct 9, 2018
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(My first or second post so if in the wrong forum please let me know).

A year or two ago my wife took me to on a long weekend vacation several hours drive away from our home to celebrate my birthday.

During the weekend we asked around for some good coffee places. We stopped at the recommended cafe and drank lattes made with their own roasted espresso beans. The coffee was pretty good and smooth. Much better than Starbucks. We bought a bag or two to take home with us.

Somehow we got into a conversation with the roaster and who's also the onwer of the business. He suggested we could sell his beans.

The process would work like this:
* We'd market the beans.
* When an order came in we'd send the order to the roaster.
* We'd charge the customer.
* The roaster would fresh roast the beans and drop ship it to the customer.
* We'd pay the roaster.
* We'd make the difference between the retail price and the wholesale price.
* If my memory is correct the margin was about $4/1 lb bag.

I see there are tons of beans for sale on Amazon. Lots of national and independent cafes in the area: Peets, etc. Lots of coffee beans one can buy online, like Stumptown (we like their Holler Mountain).

So, I'm guessing the market is saturated at this point.

But still wondering if we could make a profitable business of selling the beans.

Also, I'm wondering if there's a lot of other smaller roasters in the area who would love to increase their sales. Perhaps I could help them market their coffee beans, too.
 

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Rawseed

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No one, except your customers, can tell you if a business will work.

Coffee is a commodity. So, your real challenge is creating a brand.

I'd suggest you create a "prototype business" and go out and try to get customers to give you money, either online or offline.

This article might help: How to Sell Coffee Online - Start a Home-Based Business
 

CoolBreeze2

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Oct 9, 2018
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Hi Rawseed,

Thank you for the link to the Shopify coffee article. I read the article.

I spoke with the owner & roaster of the coffee beans and got some information:

  • They will sell me the beans at 35% discount from retail.

  • Their 1 lb bag costs $15.

  • 35% discount gives a wholesale price of $9.75.

  • That's $5.25/bag profit.

  • My income is about $10,000/month working as a software consultant.

  • I'd need to sell about 1,900 bags/month to match my current income.

  • The owner felt that goal was very ambitious and seemed to think it would take a long time (years) to get sales to that level and\or require a lot of marketing and sales.

  • They currently get $!k to $2k/month in online sales. I'm guessing the owner doesn't do much online sales and marketing and probably most of their online sales come from customers who've tried the coffee in their store and then buy online when they get home.

  • He suggested I could market to veterans groups. He'd donate $1/bag out of his profit to a veteran support group. His idea was with a focus on the veteran's groups then maybe I could get some good sales.

  • They would do the packaging and shipping. I'd just email them the order and label.

  • They have won awards for their coffee. So the coffee would be for the hard-core coffee drinker, not your Starbucks coffee drinker.
re: Coffee is a commodity. So, your real challenge is creating a brand.

Just wanted to make sure I was clear on what you are suggesting. The owner said he can private label his beans. So, I'd make up a brand name like "Ed's Fantastic Beans", and market the beans under that name.

I enjoy drinking their coffee so I'm tempted to sell it.

Any thoughts?

Thanks, Ed
 
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Kid

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Maybe you don't need to match $10K at a start. You can do it as a side hustle and see if it can grow bigger.
 

CoolBreeze2

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Oct 9, 2018
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Yes, I was thinking the same thing. Even if I made say $500 to $1,000/month then I'd still be getting some extra income. Plus, I'd learn about marketing and sales, how to set up shopping carts, how to work with the roaster, etc. Or, even potentially find other ways to increase my income via the side hustle. Thanks for your suggestion!
 

BBarakti

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What did you do with this opportunity Ed?

I'd love to know how it is to step into the coffee branding and sales pool.
 

JordanAvery

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Jul 24, 2020
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Miami
Indeed, the market is overwhelmed with everything coffee related, but there's always a place for something new, especially if it's good. I would try it, especially because there's nothing to lose, and a $4/1 lb bag is good revenue. It depends only on you, how will you sell, promote, and serve this to the client. If you sell this as the best Nespresso pods your client has ever bought in his life, and you create the right approach to clients, this might work even though the competition is really high. As I said, you have nothing to lose, to try your luck.
 
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