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Coffee Branding/Distribution

Hey guys
I am currently in the process/looking into starting my own coffee distribution service. I am an accomplished barista but have no roasting experience. I have contacted several roasters, seeking whether or not they would be interested in roasting for me, i will then package and distribute the coffee under my own brand. I am targeting the top end of the market, with a vision to improve the quality of coffee in top end restauraunts (how many times have u been to top restaurants who serve stale,badely prepared, second rate coffee)...

Obviously I have done my research, but i have had very different quotes from potential roasters. I am seeking premium 100% Aribica coffee. On the basis i was moving 3-400 kilos of coffee per week (with the view to expand in the long term) what would a reasonable price per kilo be(just the roasted coffee, no packaging etc required). I know it will vary greatly depending on the volume i am moving, and the exact quality etc, but what is a good general range?
Also does anyone have any suggestioins of potential roasters. As mentioned i have already contacted some,but am eager to seek the highest quality product possible.

Many Thanks


  • Run a search for contract roasters/roasting (both google and at various forums).  As for costs, depending on the beans you can comfortably assume that your roaster is getting their (raw) product for around $6p/kilo.  Presumably you want to sell it to your restuarants etc for somewhere between $25-45 (it may be less or more, i'm just speculating).  Do your costing as to how much each kilo will cost you to provide (incl the rental of machinery if you're providing it), and with the sum of profit remaining try to work out with your roaster a mutually beneficial profit for both of you. If you are starting with little to no experience (beside the upfront baristing ofcourse) maybe arranging some sort of partnership (in terms of ownership of the brand) might be a good idea until you're ready to start you own or buy them out.
  • Seriously need to look at t margins... I know vittoria sell to restaurants wholesale for $18 a kilo A roaster will need to Cover costs of buying beans Cover cost of roasting And cost of profit
  • Bonya, I contract roast for a number of people. Starting your own brand for distribution is very different from starting your own roasting company. As an unpacked product expect to be able to make $5-$10 per kilo mark up depending on your price. Remember, you will never be able to compete with roasters who are selling their product below $20/Kg. You need to position yourself above that with quality, servive, and as a barista, training. It is workable as I have several customres like that. A few tips to making your selection: - Get somebody to roast it locally, freight is a factor you can minimise easily. - Try every roaster who is willing to do this for you, got to have quality - Find a roaster who is smaller so that you are a customer they want to grow, you don't want a corporate giant who doesn't care if you fail beacuase they are doning x tonnes. Send me an email if you would like to know further info, Jason
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