Nunas wrote:Perhaps an obvious question, but have you done the math? Some years ago I looked into the same thing. I did the math and concluded that I would need to spend an inordinate amount of time not just roasting, but also promoting. That, together with the opportunity cost had me working for about $5 an hour unless I got really big and successful. IOW, as a part-time gig it just did not make sense for me. Also, I like roasting for myself, but wonder if the bloom would fade from the rose rather quickly if I suddenly had to do it to meet deadlines for orders. I definitely would not like dealing with any unsatisfied customers (I've had some retail experience here as an electronics repair person).
I've done some rough math. Given that I'd be roasting out of my house (no overhead), the profits should be higher than $5/hour. I have been thinking the best way to start is with a simple listserve: send a weekly email to family/friends telling them what I'm roasting and asking whether anyone wants some. If I don't get bites, I don't devote any time beyond roasting for myself. Initially, sales would be low, but if they liked it and the price point was attractive, the hope is they would buy again, tell friends and so forth. I would not begin with an all-out sales push; I don't have the time or expertise, but I could see doing that if the endeavor began to pick up steam. I also wouldn't try to get wholesale accounts unless things really took off. I have no interest in the deadlines that accompany cafe orders (I have enough time crunches in my main job). I guess it's a bit of an experiment. It may fail, but if I make enough to cover the cost of a quality roaster, I would be happy. If I make more, great... I'll take the family on vacation. That's my thinking, at least.