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Kind Of Place: Roasting?

I am a roaster, so I have a bias that you not roast, and buy your freshly roasted coffee from a roaster, like me.

David Bell, Director of the Harvard University Marketing Department, spent a day with me in 1996.  At the time, he said: "If you want to retail, retail.  If you want to roast, roast.  But most of all, do what you want to do." 

This means, retailers have the role in business of bringing the product to the consumer, either directly in the retailers location's, or by other means (note that Walmart does not manufacture).

Manufacturers are best at what they do, roast in the coffee business.

Mixing the two business strategies creates the risk that neither will prosper, change and survive in the long run.
The coffee retailers job is to get coffee into the hands of the homeowners in the little red house on the corner of Columbia Street, in Your Town.  If the retailer wants to give the appearance of roasting expertise (which may be suspect to some coffee consumers who read David's and other coffee books that make the point that roasting is an art - did Van Gogh make paint?), then buy a small roaster for each of your stores - 1 or two pound roasters, and buy your freshly roasted coffee from a roaster that actually roasts to order.

There aren't many, so pick the roaster well.  Very few roast to order.  Many say packaged fresh from the roaster.  Many say freshly packaged.  They mean they roast for their inventory and are really Pick and Ship roasters.  This is not the same.

Roasters who roast to order, have no finished goods, and wear sneakers.  Believe me.  It is hard work.

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