What It's About
A family coffee business grinds their way to $4,000/month.
Words of Wisdom
Tea, chai, kombucha, and other beverages have been experiencing a bit of a renaissance lately, but I really don’t think coffee is going anywhere. If anything, I’ve noticed as I’ve traveled that specialty coffee and premium roasting has expanded rather than contracted.
While it's good to look at niche markets, there is something to be said about creating something with mass appeal, and doing it well!
A neighbor desperately knocked on Doug's door at 8AM one Sunday morning because his wife had used the last of the coffee he had given him a few days before. "You don't understand," he said, "I cannot live without your coffee." He paid Doug $20 dollars for a pound of coffee with the understanding that he would not frantically knock on Doug's door at 8AM on a Sunday unless it was an actual emergency.
Notes from Chris
Doug Valente loves coffee! The joy of a freshly brewed cup first thing in the morning is something he’d never want to go without. While most people are happy just drinking coffee, Doug’s interest goes much deeper. He loves exploring its history, learning about new blends, and studying the whole process of bean-to-cup. Five years ago, his passion for coffee led to roasting his own beans. At first, it was just a fun hobby, something to help him understand the process a little more and keep busy in his spare time. Far from being a grind, roasting coffee was something Doug loved to do. He began sharing his knowledge through Facebook, where he’d post pictures of roasts he was particularly proud of. With his skills rapidly brewing and gaining steam word began to spread... “Doug makes some of the best coffee around!” read a typical comment. It wasn’t long before friends and family in other parts of the country began asking if they could buy some of his highly regarded beans. Before this, Doug had been selling some of his excess beans to people in the neighborhood. Once he saw there was more demand for his product, an idea began to brew. Far from procrastinating, Doug got straight to pro-caffeinating and decided to turn his little passion project into an additional income source. He sold his first interstate batches from those initial queries on Facebook and put the money towards the purchase of a propane powered commercial coffee roaster. This allowed him to increase his output tenfold. This was the boiling point in his side hustle adventure. He saw what roasting beans might look like at scale. As the kettle heated up, Doug and his wife decided to get their five young kids involved. They saw it as a way to teach his kids about business in a practical way and figured, at the very least, it would be a nice bonding experience. They called it Valente Family Coffee. The family packed and shipped orders the very next day and made $500 in sales their first week! They also decided to create a custom built trailer specific for markets. It allowed them to easily move the entire operation and set up a live roasting station and stall. The cost was $10K—thats a latte money. The good news is that it was largely paid for out of funds already generated by coffee sales. These days, Valente Family Coffee is showing no signs of slowing down. Across their farmers market stall and website, they currently earn $4000/month. While the setup costs were significant, they are already into the black. Which coincidentally how they like their coffee! Doug still has his day job but has big plans for the family business. With the profits generated so far, the Valentes are looking for a brick and mortar location to start their own cafe. A place where they can connect with the local community and make more connections selling the coffee they love. Words cannot espresso how good they feel.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Valente Family Coffee: If you're a coffee bean afficianado yourself and want to learn more about their operations, check out their website!
- 99designs: The platform that Doug used to help create their logo and brand
- Man Sells $1,400 in Coffee to Neighbors with NextDoor App: After teaching himself to roast coffee—nearly burning down his apartment in the process—a California man gets creative and uses a social network to grow his hustle
- Fire Roasted Coffee Dreams Lead to Big Beans: When searching high and low for fresh roasted coffee leaves a father in the Yukon with an empty mug, he starts making it himself and creates a side hustle caffeinating the masses
- “Mommee Coffee” Becomes a $20,000/Month Side Hustle: Tired of the guilt associated with consuming coffee while pregnant and breastfeeding, a biomechanical engineer creates a line of coffee bean options that keep Mom happy and baby healthy
Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work! Yours in the revolution,
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