3 kg roasting at home without a commercial kitchen

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.
comithrow

Postby comithrow » Jun 19, 2018, 5:40 pm

I know a lot of people have already asked about whether if it is allowed to roast at home and sell coffee.

But I just wanted to know how everyone else is doing.

I don't have anything saved up and can barely afford a 3 kg machine and the necessary coffee equipment.
I know this will frustrate some of you but it will be my side job. I gotta support my family without taking the risk.

In my state, you can't sell coffee retail or wholesale unless you have a minimum commerical kitchen(and cannot be done at home).
I really can't afford a monthly rent and food manufacturing license and the proper set up to start the business.
How did you guys start it?

Should I just start out in the shed or garage and move into an actual commercial facility as soon as it starts enough money for a facility?

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MikFlores300

Postby MikFlores300 » Jun 19, 2018, 5:46 pm

I'm unaware of the laws in CT, but my friend in CO roasts in his outfitted basement (no commercial kitchen). WIth Cottage Food laws, he's allowed to retail within CO. I think the only restrictions are no out of state or wholesale sales. I'd look into those laws and see if it allows you to operate with a few restrictions.

comithrow

Postby comithrow » Jun 19, 2018, 5:50 pm

Cottage law recently passed and it is not still set in stone yet.
But I feel like you can't really grow without the wholesale base. Is that not true?

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EvergreenBuzzBuzz

Postby EvergreenBuzzBuzz » Jun 19, 2018, 6:19 pm

Two issues -

some states would not consider a 3kg machine a kitchen machine for cottage food.

home insurance - consider how roasting could impact that.

Hope that helps. DM me if you want to chat live.

Michael
_______________
Artisan Quick Start Guide
http://bit.ly/ArtisanQuickStart

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Almico

Postby Almico » Jun 19, 2018, 6:55 pm

Roasting at home and selling roasted coffee are two different issues. Board of health determines what can be sold under the new cottage laws; local zoning guidelines will tell you if you can roast and run a business on your property, cottage or not.

My advice, from someone that runs a coffee business roasting at home in a non-cottage industry state, do all your homework before investing in a roaster. You still might need business liability insurance depending on the venue where you will be selling.

FWIW, setting up a commercial kitchen for roasting was not hard in NJ. All the BoH required was a hand-washing sink. I bought a portable sink for $1000 used and was in business. Of course that was after the $300 food license, $500 insurance, and the list goes on. It still amazes me how many people have their hands in my pockets after starting a business.

As far as wholesale, I don't do it. But I also operate a coffee bar where I sell coffee drinks along with beans. Beans are about 10% of the biz.

Selling wholesale is a tough business. You would be competing against large and mid-sized roasting companies that provide equipment sales, leasing and 24 hour repair service. New restaurants and cafes get roped into coffee contracts to help offset the high cost of equipment startup and maintenance. You might find, as I did when I started, that businesses might agree your coffee is the best they've tasted, but they just can't buy without violating their contracts.
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texmachina

Postby texmachina » Jun 19, 2018, 7:59 pm

Almico wrote:Selling wholesale is a tough business. You would be competing against large and mid-sized roasting companies that provide equipment sales, leasing and 24 hour repair service. New restaurants and cafes get roped into coffee contracts to help offset the high cost of equipment startup and maintenance. You might find, as I did when I started, that businesses might agree your coffee is the best they've tasted, but they just can't buy without violating their contracts.


Spot on about wholesale, I've experienced the same. In addition, a lot of cafes seem to be franchised and unable to offer beans outside of their parent company's offerings.

I've been quite successful so far at farmers markets, to local friends and family, as well as roasting a few special offerings for local shops looking for an 8 dollar pour over bean.

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TomC
Team HB

Postby TomC » Jun 20, 2018, 12:22 am

Kudos Alan. More people need to be aware of what you just spoke on.

DEG

Postby DEG » Jun 20, 2018, 9:30 am

In central FL, nothing special beyond standard business licensing and county sales permits are required to sell as a cottage operation. The restrictions of cottage law are tight though - package labeling requirements, no wholesale, no shipping of product, etc. While flea market sales are viable under cottage law, they are limited by variable attendance and sometimes weather. Still, operating under cottage law is not a bad place to launch your roasting business, but real growth will be very limited without the ability to sell wholesale and to ship products. Flea market selling is useful for developing your new roasting business - operations, marketing and brand development, merchandising, sales training, just don't plan on making a lot of money there.

popeye

Postby popeye » Jun 22, 2018, 5:26 pm

I took the plunge, invested our savings, got licensed and have regular business costs. There's folks locally doing it out of their garage. How do you think that makes me feel? Remember that those other businesses are real people trying to make it work too.
Spencer Weber