I'm opening a cafe in about 2 months and I'm getting lost the closer I get...
I suppose this is a clear sign about my inexperience but I really thought choosing a coffee roaster was going to be easier than this...
I thought about...
illy and lavazza because I used to love drinking it (in china believe it or not)
and then I thought about just choosing a major chain (I figured the brand name would draw in customers since it's a new shop) but either couldn't get it or didn't like it
and so now I'm just constantly ordering and tasting different coffees...
So far...I'm still thinking about lavazza, batdorf & bronson, northstar fine coffees, and I have a bunch still on order...
I love intelligentsia but they don't want to service me for some reason...
can I please get some advice!!!
Careful with "local roasters" - even those that have won "best coffee" awards in their cities - mainly because they could be the only game in town and there's no real comparison or competition, meaning that these "best" coffee roasters could very well be simply mediocre.
However, what you should consider is service and support. You're new to the business and need help and guidance. Hopefully, you can find a roaster with some expertise that can help assist you in your choices.
DO NOT go the multi-roaster route. As a newbie operator, you're simply not ready nor equipped for that challenge. Start off simple, learn the business, learn about coffee and then branch out into more esoteric models of business.
Simply taste the coffees and buy from the roaster whose coffee you like, who offers the support you need AND MOST IMPORTANTLY: buy from the roaster with whom you feel you have the best relationship with. Regardless of supposed quality, business is done through relationships and if you feel that a celebrated roaster isn't addressing your needs, then you're off to a bad start. Build relationships and go from there.
I run and operate a micro roastery in SC, and I reccomend using a local micro roaster if your able to find one that knows what they are doing.
our roastery, Joe Van Gogh, is located 2 hours south of you in Hillsborough, NC. I'd love the opportunity to talk to you more about who we are and what we offer. Roanoke could use some good coffee so shoot me a message when you get a chance, I'll be more than happy to come up and say hi.