Do you want to bypass wholesale coffee suppliers or private label coffee suppliers? Do you have a passion for roasting coffee and possibly already do so for yourself, family, and friends?
All of the questions above possibly lead to the next question, “can you roast coffee at home and sell it?” The short answer is it depends. It depends on your local city and state laws when it comes to roasting coffee and selling it to the public.
It is possible for some and extremely difficult to do for others. However, there are some ways around it if you have a bit of money to invest.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Starting a Coffee Roasting Business from Home
- 2 Wholesale & Private Label Coffee – A Low Cost Alternative
- 3 Open Your Coffee Store Online
- 4 Closing Thoughts On Roasting Coffee at Home and Selling It
Starting a Coffee Roasting Business from Home
Roasting coffee at home for yourself isn’t difficult to do. You need a coffee roasting machine (there are plenty of home models) and someplace to source your green coffee beans.
Home coffee roasters range from $100 to $500 or more. You can find a variety of them on Amazon.com.
There are also many places to buy unroasted coffee beans. Do a quick search online for “buy green coffee beans” and you’ll have several options to choose from.
You may become really good at roasting coffee and get rave reviews from family and friends. Soon, you may want to start selling your coffee to the public and make some extra money or create a full-time business.
The problem is, in most cases, you cannot roast coffee from your home and put it up for sale to the public.
Do You Need a License to Roast and Sell Coffee?
In most cases, you will possibly need a license and/or permits to roast coffee for reselling. This is true even if you can roast from home.
In order to find out, you would need to contact your local health department or other departments related to selling food out of the home.
Some states allow coffee roasting at home for reselling as long as the part of the home where the coffee roasting will take place passes specific inspections.
For example, I’ve read instances where someone could roast coffee from their garage once they met certain criteria.
If roasting from your home is nearly impossible or forbidden in your city/state, then you may want to look into renting a commercial space that is certified and meets all local health department requirements.
Renting a space is costly but doable if you are able to budget it and eventually pay for the space from your future coffee sales.
You may likely still need a license and permits to do so, even in a commercial setting.
Coffee Bags and Labels
Another step in the process of selling roasted coffee is having your logo, labels and/or bags designed. Branding is essential so you will want to hire professionals.
There are many coffee bag designing services that you can choose from.
99designs is a great service for branding a business. They can create your logo, design your coffee bags or coffee labels.
Marketing Your Coffee Beans
This is often a challenging part of business for all new coffee start-ups. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to get your brand out there.
Social media is one such way. It is difficult to keep up with all of the social media platforms. I always recommend focusing on 1 or 2 platforms only when starting out.
I think the two best platforms for building a coffee brand and generating a following include YouTube and Instagram.
YouTube may be a bit daunting if you are not comfortable with being on camera. However, it can work wonders in terms of branding and generating sales.
There are many small business owners that have grown their companies by posting regular YouTube videos.
Nick Bare is a prime example of this. Although he is in the nutritional supplement business, he managed to build his brand all on YouTube.
He began posting videos while he was still an Army officer. His consistent effort has led to an 8-figure supplement company. Nick still posts regularly and his following continues to grow.
As for Instagram, the same thing applies. Instagram is primarily photo-based but you can still post videos in your feed and your stories.
The key is consistency. Post often and your followers will grow. Give away free samples or discounts. Run contests. Share testimonials. Most of all, have fun. Social media is a fun way to build your business.
Running paid ads is a whole other beast. It is risky as you can spend a lot of money without making one sale.
However, when you learn how to use paid ads, build sales funnels, and so on, it can be one of the best ways to make regular sales.
Don’t underestimate free traffic. Once you’ve got it going, free traffic can last for years to come.
Wholesale & Private Label Coffee – A Low Cost Alternative
In the event that roasting and selling your own coffee is out of reach, you still have two other options to consider.
You can consider buying beans wholesale from a local coffee roaster or you can private label coffee. The downside of buying beans wholesale is that you will be selling another roaster’s brand.
Private labeling lets you maintain your own brand. However, you will still be selling another coffee roaster’s beans. In some cases, a private label coffee roaster may let you create your own roast.
You can ask around your local area to find wholesale and possible private-label coffee roasters.
Open Your Coffee Store Online
Opening an online coffee store is far easier and affordable than a brick-and-mortar coffee business. You can have an online store up in a matter of minutes.
Shopify is a good example of this. Their platform is really easy to use. You don’t need to have a technical background to create your store.
They already have a payment gateway in place so that you can begin selling your coffee right away. You can also connect your store to Stripe.
Here are some coffee stores that run their online business on the Shopify platform:
Closing Thoughts On Roasting Coffee at Home and Selling It
I think if you can roast coffee from home for selling, it is a low-cost way to get started in the coffee business.
You’ll have to do a bit of research in your local area to ensure that you can roast coffee from home for resale.
Be sure to file for any licenses and permits that are needed to run your business.
Then it is a matter of branding your business and marketing it as well. Selling your coffee online is easy when using an eCommerce platform like Shopify.
I wish you much success in your coffee business journey!
You can test out Shopify using their 14-day free trial.