What makes your coffee business special? I’m a one-man operation and I’m a radically new coffee experience: Different beans and a different service.
The beans are different in two ways: The beans are “single origin”. That means they are one kind of bean from one small farm, so you get the pure, highly distinctive taste of that special crop. Like wine grapes, the region and the weather greatly affect the flavor, so each crop is totally unique.
I offer different single origin boutique coffees EVERY SINGLE MONTH. I don’t have a standard French Roast, I don’t have beans you can re-order. The reason I do this is so you can sample the freshest, most amazingly interesting in-season beans from around the world. It’s a coffee flavor adventure.
And I’m providing a different kind of service: Coffee beans via monthly subscriptions. You can sign up for a monthly subscription, customize it with your preferences, and these different exotic beans are automatically delivered to your door at the beginning of each month. The most exciting option is the “Coffee Sampler”, where you get three kinds of beans every month.
I also sell single bags of coffee, but the monthly subscriptions make the business stable and allow me to offer the exciting new varieties every month, roast to-order, and purchase only as much coffee as I need. So, my roasts are super fresh, as I never have leftover stock to get rid of.
What’s your background? How did you get into it? My background is that I was a video game developer (Pandemic, EA and others). After years of watching game companies cannibalize each other and lay off thousands of people, and shipping multiple games I just got completely burned out with the industry. So I did a "Office Space" became a construction worker and did other odd jobs. During this I realized that I ultimately can’t rely on someone else’s business (especially a big corporation,) for my livelihood and I need to be independent.
I had been home-roasting coffee for years and over time my friends and co-workers started buying bags from me. The running joke became, “Hey man, how many ounces have you got on you today?” Eventually, they convinced me to start my own coffee business and Black Market Beans was born. I built my own roasting machine (which roasts about 4 pounds a batch), built my own roasting kitchen/building and got fully licensed and permitted. For the last 8 months I have been roasting and shipping coffee all over the United States, and I have discovered that this is really what I want to do as my full-time job.
Why do you do it? It’s about creating special, positive, new experiences, especially in the morning. I’m absolutely not a morning person, but with my coffees, now I actually look forward to mornings. Even if I have a tough day ahead of me, I still have this little spark of excitement that I’m about to get a treat, like I’m a little kid about to get my dessert. I want to share that experience and help other people start their day with this little luxury, this little joy. That’s why one of my motto's is “You deserve something better in your cup.”
GOAL: Right now, I'm doing this while working day jobs. I love coffee roasting and really, REALLY want to dedicate myself to it full-time. To make it possible, I need to sell 350 lbs. of coffee a month via monthly subscriptions… and with the help of everyone's help that it is totally possible.
TL:DR I Roast and delivers exotic different coffees every month, via monthly subscription service.