There must be something in the water. The craft brewery business in Maine is buzzing, and artisan coffee shops and roasteries are springing up all over the Pine Tree State. The continued growth of this high-energy endeavor is interesting to us as entrepreneurs for numerous reasons. Are you on board with the caffeine-bean biz?
Rwanda Bean Company LLC
Do you remember Season 2 contestant Rwanda Bean Company (pictured)? It began importing raw coffee and developed into a company that sold and roasted its own private-label coffee products both wholesale and retail. We loved seeing its evolution that answered the demand in the market for delicious coffee sourced ethically from a “value-based company.” The company’s integrity and commitment to its vision, and a superior product set them apart on the show, and in the industry. The company sold its story, because it told the story, in every deed, of how it conducted itself and brought to the competition, and to the Maine consumer space, a distinct and singular vision. We applaud the work ethic of the company and take pleasure and a certain amount of pride in observing the continued success of this Maine coffee roastery. We hope to see other, similar small businesses on the show in future seasons. Could you be the best coffee roaster in Maine?
Evidence of Success
If you haven’t been to the Midcoast lately, and love a good cup of joe, it is well worth the road trip for the scenery and the delicious coffee. Small coffee shops are a great place to get to know the tenor of a town and its people. There may not be a better place for market research. Sit, sip, and watch the demographic parade; see what folks order, notice if they are young, old, single, mothers, working class, affluent, tourists, or locals. You will get a good sample set of a population if you sit long enough at the prominent cafe. Rock City Coffee is the Main Street hub of life in salty Rockland. And it leveraged its success as a social gathering place by building out a roastery where its own raw beans are made coffee-ready for the shop with retail sales as well as roasts sold wholesale to local restaurants and businesses. With all the economic boom of summer tourism, you can hope to expand your local popularity by a far margin when folks from away bring pounds of your grounds home to brew. Coffee loves to travel!
A Taste for Craftsmanship
These days, there is almost nothing people love more than a small, local business being run by good people. It feels good to support the mom-and-pop shop, prop up the little guy, and buy from your neighbors, farmers, and friends. From the craft breweries and the rocky terroir wineries to the coffee roasters whose shiny steampunk machines are cranking out dark roasts, blonde blends, and every strain in between, people like drinking locally made products that have a particular flavor and story. This multiplicity and diversity is good for the state’s economy, and it means that you can still carve out a space for yourself in a saturated market. There is room to grow in the coffee world, whether you have a recipe for a better caffeinated concoction, or an idea for goods or services that will deliver the sweet strong buzz of coffee to the people of Maine. Maine coffee roasters are hot right now!
Greenlight Maine recognizes and supports outstanding small business ideas through our televised competition series. Do you have a killer concept that will disrupt the market? Apply to participate in the upcoming season!