How We Started a Coffee Business

It wasn’t like we had a dream or even a plan to get into the coffee business; but like many times in life, the opportunity presented itself and without too much hesitation, we took it!

Eastern Market

Over the last two years, We’ve been lucky enough to do a good bit of traveling, we went to 4 other countries (Canada, Cuba, England and France) and visited both the US West and Northeast coasts.

The one thing Dakotah always wanted to do in every town we visited, was to try the local coffee. Along the way Dakotah got hooked on one certain coffee brew; this is his absolute favorite!

We had been at the Eastern Market in York Pa for about a year.  We were actually thinking about leaving the market when our lease was up.  We felt our booth space was really too big for our jerky line.  The stand we were renting used to be a donut stand; our jerky never really seemed to attract the kind of attention we wanted.  We were paying someone to be in the stand from 7:00am-6:00pm every Friday.  We were selling a decent amount of jerky but our expenses were eating up everything we made.

When one of the kids mentioned that Eastern Market coffee stand was going out of business; we knew this could be an opportunity for us.  We had a product (Dakotah’s Favorite Coffee), a distribution outlet(our oversized jerky stand) and access to a coffee craving crowd.  We placed a small wholesale order for the coffee, from the place Dakotah likes the best.  We ordered, cups and a coffee maker off Amazon.  We also ordered a nice coffee grinder so we’d be able to sell our coffee fresh by the pound.  One quick trip to Walmart and we had the other things we’d need to get started, yellow and blue sugar, some buckets, bins and towels to make things look nice.  We also grabbed a few chalkboard type signs that we could write on.

Dakotah started a website and Bailey created a logo and packaging. Before I knew it we were ready!

 My announcement on LinkedIn got 1,000 views…..We’re adding Dakotah’s coffee at our stand at the Eastern Market and it’s available to buy online at Come by and enjoy a cup!

We gave away free cups of coffee on our opening day.  Everyone loved the coffee, and everyone loved the story behind the coffee!  The booth looked better then ever now that it was full and looked like there was stuff going on over here.

We ended up giving away over 50 cups of coffee.

In the process, we sold more jerky than we had in a single day at this market in a long time.  Bonus,  we sold 5 pounds of fresh coffee beans at a nice margin!  We also picked up our first coffee wholesale customer!  I’m going to say that our first day in the coffee business went pretty well.  The real test will come in the next few weeks.  Will the customers come back?  Will they pay for the same cup of coffee that was free last week?  Do they like our coffee as much as Dakotah does?  Will they want to buy the coffee by the pound to take home?  Time will tell.

Our goal will be to grow the coffee side of our business to make about $100.00/day.  If we can do that at 5 markets a week….that will make it a $25,000/year business.  Can we get there within 2 years?  We’ll see….that’s our coffee goal!


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