11 min 2 sec

Coffee Lover Bets His Beans On Workplace Coffee Subscriptions

A corporate HR professional turns his love for coffee into a fully brewed hustle.
Coffee Product Service Subscription

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What It's About

A Salt Lake City man takes his passion for good workplace coffee and shares it with other offices all around the US.

Business Model
Skills Required
Coffee Knowledge & Research
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

In an attempt to streamline the process, Ben began using an automated Instagram engagement tool which brought in some customers, but most of the comments posted by the bot were placed on completely irrelevant posts. It felt inauthentic and just wasn’t really working with the brand. Ben learned that, for the most part, social media marketing needs to be personal, it needs to be consistent, and you just have to be willing to grind it out sometimes.

Fun Fact

Americans consume approximately 400 million cups of coffee per day, which is the equivalent of 146 billion cups of coffee per year. That makes the United States the leading consumer of coffee in the world, and coffee represents 75% of all the caffeine consumed in the United States. Also, Seattle (home of Starbucks) has 10 times more coffee stores per 100,000 residents than the United States has overall—whoa! [SOURCE]

Notes from Chris

Episode 306
Ben Martinez was the Vice President of HR for a high-performing tech company in Salt Lake City, Utah. His strategies lead to a large amount of growth in the company, his team was succeeding, and overall, he was becoming well-respected in his field. But something wasn’t quite right.

After 20 years in corporate America, Ben was struggling to feel that same exhilaration he was once familiar with. He slowly found himself less engaged in his day job and more fascinated by one of his passions.

Coffee. Rich, delicious, fresh coffee.

Ben was itching to try something new, so he started brainstorming ways to combine his love for great coffee and his business savviness. And he found one.

To his utter dismay, coffee in the workplace was often ordered as an add-on alongside printer paper and staples by office managers who either didn’t drink coffee at all or couldn’t differentiate between high quality and low quality coffee even if they did. Ben was floored—how could anyone be expected to do their best work when the coffee was flavorless and stale? But even when the underwhelming quality of the coffee was addressed, they were stumped as to where to find better coffee.

That’s when he thought—what if he could create a quality-centric coffee subscription for workplaces that was not only affordable but easy to get as well?

With this model, not only could he satisfy the business with simple, affordable delivered coffee—it would also keep their employees positively swimming in freshly roasted, high quality beans. And, thanks to the subscription model, he would have a predictable cash flow each month.

In less than a year in business, Sumato Coffee generates over $1,500 in monthly revenue, with about $600 in monthly profit. Business continues to pick up, however, and with the onboarding of a partner with experience in e-commerce business, Ben's confident that Sumato Coffee will continue to grow and thrive.


  • Sumato Coffee: Be your office's hero—check out Ben's workplace subscription service on his website!
  • Recharge, Buffer, & MailChimp: Three of the platforms that Ben used to manage customers, social media, and email marketing (respectively)
  • Artemis Health: The Salt Lake City tech company that became one of Ben's first customers
  • Secret Tech Sauce Talent: Ben's up and coming recruiting and consulting firm that specializes in talent acquisition, employer branding, technology, core HR services, etc.

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


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Quote of the Day
"Find someone who aligns with your values (in our case, quality and fresh coffee). Treat them like you work at the same company and make sure you get along well with each other because you will have to work together a lot."
—Ben Martinez #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau