Ok coffee people, I want to hear who you think the best supplier is of roasted coffee beans out there. I want to open a coffee shop in the next year, but i dont want to mess around with roasting my own beans just yet. Ive looked online a little bit. But I want to hear from people who have tasted there stuff and know its good. So whatcha think...?

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Dont know about near you but I would imagine that you would want to find someone who roasts locally or at least local enough to get you your beans shortly after they are roasted. Also someone who can respond fast if you have a coffee emergency would be a good thing. It would suck to run out of coffee at any point.
I think Dillanos Coffee Roasters is the best choice for a coffee retailer. For several (many) reasons. They are the most marketing minded coffee supplier out there, so they do more than any other coffee roaster/supplier to help you market, sell and make the most money with your coffee business. Also you would be hard pressed to find more friendly, helpful and supportive coffee professionals at any other coffee roaster. And their customer service is the best! Almost ridiculous sometimes, like when a retail customer ran out of coffee & needed an emergency delivery so the company CEO jumped in a delivery truck and drove across two states to deliver coffee to their customer.(and that's not an isolated incident at Dillanos.
If I open a retail coffee business I'll most likely go with Dillanos. I love the idea of roasting my own coffee but that's alot of additional time and investment above and beyond a retail shop and a whole art form and business unto itself.
Even with the money I'd save roasting my own I couldn't afford the Barista training, marketing and sales support that Dillanos provides their customers. Also they can set you up with your own private label coffee- your blend with your name & logo on it to sell to your customers.
I love the idea of going with a local roaster from my own home town but I just wouldn't get the same level of customer service and marketing support.
I don't know if Dillanos' claim to roast the worlds smoothest coffee is true or not but it is so good that I can't tell if it's not. If that makes sense.
My professional advice Dustin is to shop around, talk to different coffee roasters/suppliers and ask a lot of questions - even the tough ones like: why should I use your coffee instead of anyone else's? What will you do for me if......"I unexpectedly run out of coffee?", " a competing shop moves into my neighborhood after I'm established?","Why should I go with your coffee instead of roasting my own?", "Will you help me with barista training?", Will you help me with marketing and advertising?", etc.
You can check out their website or give them a call at 1-800-234-5282. And feel free to tell them I referred you Dustin(never hurts to have a personal connection)
I hope this was helpful Dustin & I'd love to hear who you end up going with!
Best of success to you Dustin! - Cash c[_]
There really are so many options that it's hard to say who's "the best." Truly, the best thing for you to do is educate yourself about coffee, the business and start tasting the coffees offered by the wholesalers and meeting them.

Much of business is not only about the quality of the coffee (for some of us anyway) but also the quality of the relationship. Find a roaster who meets your needs and can grow with you and that you have a relationship that you can build upon. I think that's key.
me...
Seriously, there is no such thing. Of course I'm going to tell mine are the best. Don't mess around with the other guys because I can out do them in price and quality and customer service. Customer service being right on top with good quality product.
That's my line. What is yours? By that I mean you need to get out and try the product before you take any one's word for it. After all you will have to sell your customers on it and I'm still in business after my first year to tell you, you ain't seen no criticism till they come thru your door and ask for a straight shot or double and in the same breath they say"when was the last time you calibrated your machine?"
This has always been my target market so I was ready for this question. In fact I will not let them leave my shop till I find out how I did. Grant it, this is hard to do in a high volume shop. When It comes time to hire I will make sure my barista's can respond to this question no matter what the volume is.
Sorry for the long diatribe, what I mean to say here for you is try as many roasters in your area as you can before you make a decision. Stretch your taste buds and take your partner to taste with you. Choose your roaster/bean supplier carefully. You want to have a connection with them that you can keep and nurture for as long as possible.
Sincerely,
Joseph Robertson
Sasquatch Coffee Roasters
--
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
It's not really a question of who is best, but of who is best FOR YOU! You have to find a roaster that fits your shop, your vision, your taste, and that can help you in more ways than just shipping you beans. Here are some that I believe in and have interacted with: Kaldi's Coffee Roasting Company (of course,... I roast for them!) Intelligentsia, Stumptown, Zoka, Counter Culture, I would add Dillanos here too due to their unbelievable customer service and ability to help your company grow, Cuvee, PT's, and Alterra are all great. There are a ton more too. Good luck!!
It seems like every 10 roasters i contact for samples, 4 of them respond and 2 will send samples. I guess I need to start hunting down the locations of there warehouses and demanding samples. I love tasteing new coffees. I was just hopeing to narrow down the search a little. Thanks everyone.
Alright... I dug through my posts on CoffeeGeek for almost *checks clock* 1 hour and 15 minutes to find this thread. I pretty much asked the same question like 5 years ago over on that site and I remembered that I had asked it, but unfortunately it was sandwiched between like 800 other responses. The search feature on that site could really use a helping hand... or twelve.

Regardless... here is the link to what are some of the greatest blends and roasters around:
Clicky.

Oh... and Nor'West Coffee Company is pretty good too... :0)
HTH
-bry
Why do you need to do that? If they can't return your call or put some samples in the mail, what makes you think they'll be able to do those things when you give them your business? To me, it looks like you just narrowed your search down by 80%.
Dustin- My name is John Elford and I would like to be a candidate. I roast in Jackson, TN -so I should be as close as anyone. I would invite you to call me at 731-697-8080 to discuss your needs. I look forward to hearing from you.
Very good point Steve.
Dustin, if you do get samples from roasters, brew and cup the coffees and get back to them. The bean brokers I deal with get tired of sending samples and not hearing back from potential customers. It's important to put yourself on all sides of the business to get your best foot forward here.
JoeR

Steve Willingham said:
Why do you need to do that? If they can't return your call or put some samples in the mail, what makes you think they'll be able to do those things when you give them your business? To me, it looks like you just narrowed your search down by 80%.
If you call Zoka they will treat you really well. They are a great local roaster who is actively looking to expand its customer base. If you call ask for Patrick Mazzuka. I have his private email and if you would like it please email me jarred@chefstack.com

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