My fellow roasters,
I've recently started taking my first steps into going business-side with my coffee obsessions. I catered a wedding for my cousin, which turned into selling a few pounds of home-roasted coffee, which led to me making some connections with local churches to become their "coffee guy" for events. It's a nice gig, a bit unsustainable long term, but definitely a nice niche market with decent connections.
I've been roasting for four years and have had my Kaldi Fortis (similar to the Huky, reviewed it here in 2018) for a little over two years, mainly roasting for friends and family, and I love the process. I know I still have more to learn, but I've got to the point where I feel I achieve consistent/repeatable roasts and achieve fairly flat and smooth ROR's (as recommended by Rao). I am currently in Grad school and am looking to move my home roasting hobby into a side business. I'm not aiming for a full-time income, but I'm more so just looking to supplement my current income to keep the school loans away.
So, for any of you who might have experience in the professional roasting world or even those of you who make a little side income from selling beans to friends and family, what advice do you have for someone who is new to selling beans? What do I need to watch out for? Building a customer base? What roaster brand/size would you recommend?
(It should also be known that it's my plan to open a brick and mortar here in the DFW area eventually. I would roast my own beans, so if I bought a used, 3-5kg roaster and this falls through I still will plan to use it in the future. Also, I already know a bit about the legal/health side of this due to my little catering gig.)
Thank you for your time and input!
Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.