How to get your foot in the door to become a commercial roaster?

I know what everyone is thinking..... great, another barista kid who "wants to be a roaster" but seriously, what advice can you guys give me on how to start down this path and try to make a career in specialty coffee. I'm a barista by trade and an absolute geek, , but I unfortunately work for a specialty coffee retailer, (we use Toby's estate) not directly for the roaster. I imagine that if I worked directly for a roaster I could volunteer and do a lot of free work and training in the warehouse and eventually work my way to roasting, but has anyone gotten into it by any other means? Is being a production roaster in the coffee world a nearly impossible dream in this day and age of coffee? any help, advice, stories, lessons and knowledge will be greatly appreciated! thanks everyone!

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I would never recommend the HotTop as a commercial production roaster! Though I still use one of the two as a sample roaster. Sold the other one when USRC FINALLY arrived.

That said I know how and would have roasted the needed coffee with wooden spoons and a carbon steel wok over a camp stove if I had to. I actually have a carbon steel wok dedicated for coffee roasting and have done roasting demonstrations outside the coffeehouse with it to show there is no excuse not to roast IF you really want to roast coffee at home. For kicks and giggles once used a 12" SS fry pan to roast 1/2lb no stirring chef toss only and only lost 7 beans lol.

In hind sight would I have done things differently? YES, ordered my USRC 4 months sooner!

Hi Joshua. You can at least try roasting at home, practice makes perfect! You can also attend to coffee roasting training to enhance skills on this industry. Good luck!

Check out the Quest on Sweet Maria's. It has a tryer and an air temp gauge. I think you can get a bean probe too if you wanted to install one. 

Start a guide on youtube about different roasts and tips, and then you can add this to your cv when you send off to companies.

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