Looking back at an exciting first year

New heat gun!
It's hard to believe that I've only been roasting coffee for a year now. What started out as an idea for giving Christmas gifts last year quickly turned into a (very) small business venture.

I started out in the basement of our house and ended up...in our second garage. I've gone from a hot air popcorn popper to my current method: a bread machine and heat gun (three of them, actually; just got my third on last week). By February I'd set up this website, Twitter & Facebook properties, and PayPal & bank accounts. I went from my first four pound order to our last order of 37 lbs!

But more than the nuts and bolts of roasting coffee, what I've enjoyed is that this hobby/business has connected me with people here in the community that I might not have otherwise known. It's those relationships that have been one of the more enjoyable parts of this labor of love. (Okay, so the coffee is great, too!) I'm grateful to have a handful of local customers and even supply the coffee for two local business offices. So you folks all get a big "Thank You!" for that.

As the business grows - as I hope it does (modestly, at least for now) - I aim to keep this emphasis on quality in both coffee and relationships. That goes not only for my local customer relationships, but also my more abstract relationships with folks at the other end of the supply chain: coffee farmers and co-ops in other parts of the world.

We're not even close to being a big enough operation to have much of a say or an impact on that part of our business, but I started with my supply partner, Phil's Just Java, who is committed to the same principles of fair and equitable trade with growers and good environmental stewardship. And there are "social justice roasters" like Lucas Roasting Co. in Broadway, Virginia, that help keep me in tune with the economic equity issues and environmental challenges associated with this industry. (Thanks, Troy!)

So thanks again to everyone who's helped make this first year of being a coffee roaster such a great, rewarding experience. Here's to more great coffee in 2015 and beyond.

And who knows, maybe even someday we'll be able to get a real coffee roaster!

From humble beginnings; Dec. 2013

Posted on December 19, 2014 .