STARTUP STORY: PRECISION VALLEY COFFEE ROASTERS

PRECISION VALLEY COFFEE ROASTERS | UNDISCOVERED KITCHEN BLOG

PRECISION VALLEY COFFEE ROASTERS | UNDISCOVERED KITCHEN BLOG

Precision Valley Coffee Roasters, located in Springfield Vermont, offers small batch, artisanal roasting of high quality and cooperatively sourced beans. Founder and roaster, Aram Polster, got his start back in 2006 and now sources his beans from small farms all throughout the coffee-producing world!

Aram started roasting beans on Smith Island, in the Chesapeake Bay after realizing it was the only way he could get a decent cup of coffee and sustain his addiction. Since then, he’s scaled his operation with a new, larger roaster and in the process relocated to Springfield, VT. In Vermont, Aram roastes his beans on land he shares with Vine Sanctuary, a haven for animals who have escaped or been rescued from the meat, dairy and egg industries or other abusive circumstances. A perfect place for Precision Valley Coffee Roasters to post as they’re also a vegan owned and operated business.

PRECISION VALLEY COFFEE ROASTERS FACEBOOK | UNDISCOVERED KITCHEN BLOG

Precision Valley Coffee Roasters is currently roasting 7 bean varieties:

  • BRAZIL – Aromatic wood scent with smells of cooked strawberry and stone fruit with a sweet caramel, malted sugar flavor with a hint of chocolate.
  • ETHIOPIA – Deeply sweet with a floral jasmine scent, after adding hot water, then a bit of guava and cocoa, viscous and sweet, with layers of dark chocolate.
  • GUATEMALA – Candied sugar sweetness with an underlying nuttiness like candied almond.
  • SUMATRA – Slight rustic overlay of cedar, loaded with red berries and chocolate syrup.
  • MOKA KADIR – Our favorite blend! Intense fruit-dried apricot and peach, red berries, spiced apple, then melted chocolate.
  • YEMEN – Lots of dark cacao and aromatic wood, some fruit, plum, dark berries and stone fruits with brooding chocolate flavors..
  • DECAF – New offering, a decaf from ETHIOPIA. Decaffeinated using a Swiss water process.

For the curious coffee connoisseur, Precision Coffee Valley Roasters also offers a monthly coffee subscription – The roaster’s pick of fresh beans, twice a month.

  • Two 16oz bags of coffee shipped twice per month ($68)
  • Two 8oz bags of coffee shipped twice per month ($34)

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Who are the business founders and when did you launch the business?

Aram Polster founded Precision Valley Coffee Roasters in 2012. Prior to that, I had a coffee roasting company called Smith Island Kawfee, on Smith Island, an island in the Chesapeake Bay where I used to live.  I also had a NY coffee cart, made in NYC, and set up a coffee stand outside my house.  At that time, I was roasting on a very tiny home roaster where I could only roast a couple ounces at a time! Now, I have a large roaster that can handle up to six pounds per roast cycle (approx. total roast time between 15-18 minutes).  At this point, I do all the roasting, bagging, outreach and delivery of beans, as well as run a very tiny pop-up coffee bar in downtown Springfield, Vermont.

What inspired you to start your business?

Back in 2006 and living on Smith Island, I could not find a good cup of coffee anywhere! On Smith Island, there are no real grocery stores, nor are there any cafe’s that serve decent coffee. Furthermore, there aren’t any bridges to mainland, and the boats only run twice a day (30-35 minute boat ride). Since I’m a coffee addict, this wasn’t a very good situation for me.  I decided to learn to roast my own coffee, and ordered a small electric roaster and some green beans through the mail.

What was your AHA moment?

My AHA moment? Hmmmm, well, after moving to Vermont, I graduated to a larger home roaster that could handle about six ounces at a time.  I would roast coffee for friends, and they all really liked it so, upon further introspection, I realized that if I had a larger roaster, I would be able to get a business off the ground. The town I live in (Springfield) is also known as the Precision Valley, so I thought that a coffee roasting business that required careful and precise monitoring, would be the perfect business to tie into the area, and the artisanal market.

Where do you currently make your products?

After deciding to make a go at the roasting business, I had to construct a coffee roasting hut.  I looked at some empty storefronts downtown, and thought it would be neat to have my roaster in the window for folks to see as they walked by. However, the rent prices were too high, and I got scared away by the amount of work required to get things set up downtown.   I decided to have a roasting hut built on my property in Springfield, and that’s where all the work for the business takes place.  Its a twenty by sixteen foot space – it’s nice and cozy!

Did you have a background in the food/drink industry when you started?

No background in the food/beverage industry.  My background includes working with thoroughbred race horses, working for an equine veterinarian, working as a mounted NYC park ranger, owning, operating, and manufacturing a rubber stamp store in Park Slope, Brooklyn, going to Law School, becoming involved with, and working for VINE Sanctuary…. All before finally adding coffee roasting to the list!

A business idea that was left on the editing room floor?

Can’t say I have had any business ideas “left on the cutting room floor”.

How do you stay motivated in the face of competition?

Competition is a very real de-motivator! There are so many great coffee companies out there, I have to constantly remind myself that I, too, have a great product. What I need to do is get the marketing down – it’s not one of my strengths.  I know and hear from my customers that they really do love my coffee and that’s the best motivator! I believe in my product and am confident that I’ll be able to get it out there and recognized!

Whats your main business goal for 2014?

Main business goal for 2014 — To get the marketing piece down, and to get more traffic to the website and Facebook.

Where do you see the business in 10 years?

Business in 10 years? I am hoping to branch out into other areas with the business by then. Perhaps a coffee house or bar. I would also LOVE to have a mobile vegan food truck featuring my coffee!  Can you spell K-I-C-K-S-T-A-R-T-E-R!!!

What’s your team or company motto?

“Here in the Valley, we roast with Precision”

Advice for someone with a great artisan food or drink idea?

Don’t give up!  You’ll probably need to tweak your ideas many times before you get them the right place. Don’t get discouraged by the process, unless, of course, you make a horrible mistake!  Seriously, it will take a lot of time, energy and money to get started—and it doesn’t stop there. You have to make sure you’re keeping up with trends, social media, and new happenings in your industry. The business and logistics will undoubtedly cut into the time you have to enjoy what you are doing, but as long as you believe in what you’re doing and listen to feedback, both good and bad, you should make out ok!

TRY PRECISION VALLEY COFFEE NOW!

Shop for Precision Valley products on Undiscovered Kitchen (Shipping is always included!)

Precision Valley Coffee Roasters Products Undiscovered Kitchen

PRECISION VALLEY COFFEE ROASTERS FACEBOOK | UNDISCOVERED KITCHEN BLOG

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