Kaffee Culture's Stephen offers hand-roasted artisan coffee beans sourced from Fairtrade or Rain Forest Alliance suppliers. Each batch of green beans is roasted at various levels to best bring out the flavours of the bean. Kaffee Culture also offers a bespoke roasting service, so if you like your Monsooned Malabar dark with some oil showing, then that's how they will roast it for you.
Tell us about yourself and your business
I’ve roasted my own coffee for more than five years. When I was made redundant from working as a Business Improvement Manager in the chilled food industry, I decided to follow my passion -- coffee.
Since January I now roast coffee as my business. I offer an online bespoke roasting service where you select the bean, the roast level and whether you want the whole bean and I roast it to your preference the next day and send it first class post. As it is bespoke, your name is printed on the bag, or if it's for a friend, I print their name.
I supply both Fairtrade and Rain Forest Alliance beans and single farm estates. I also have a decaf option as well. For markets, I roast to a medium roast, and I also offer flavoured coffee beans, a selection bag and most recently, Cold Brew coffee in bottles to take home, or by the cup with ice, syrup and cream - when its warm enough! At the market, I have an Information Corner where I try to help with any coffee related questions, plus I display various brew methods and grinders.
The difference between freshly roasted coffee and what you can get at the supermarkets is night and day, so I really encourage everyone to try freshly roasted.
What did you do before starting this business
For 20 years I was a Business Planning Manager and then a Business Improvement Manager for the UK's largest chilled food manufacturer, making ready meals for M&S, Waitrose, JS and Tesco. Before that, I was also in the food industry, from fresh chilled soups to a brief foray into frozen.
When I was made redundant I decided to follow what I loved and started roasting coffee beans.
What were the main motivations for starting your business
The love of coffee and being able to control exactly how it tastes by bringing out the best in the bean.
All the flavour in coffee is brought out through the roasting process and I decided to turn my passion into a business by offering a bespoke service which is difficult to get from the current offerings in the market.
What is your inspiration for what you do
Seeing others turn what they love into a business and controlling their own destiny. If you follow what you love to do, making a success of the business is more likely. With my business improvement background I can ensure that my operation is efficient and the numbers are realistic which helps in the early stages of a start up.
What do you love most about what you do
Seeing a green bean turn into something delicious. Being in control of my future and backing my own ideas and decisions. Seeing something that was an idea turn into reality.
What advice would you give to a new trader starting out
Go for it. Get as much advice as you can and don't be afraid to ask for help. There are many organisations out there that are designed to help start ups. Identify your weakness and get help in those areas first. Get the basics right with a good business plan - even if numbers may not be a strong point, an accurate cash flow is a must. This will be obvious if you run out of money.
If possible, depends on your idea, start lean as the risk is less, although some plans do need major investment.
Do you have any links to Ealing
I live in Ealing and go to the Ealing Business Forum monthly.
Wheres your favourite place to eat in London
Too many and they change all the time
Sweet or savoury
What's your essential dinner party ingredient
Good company (and good coffee to end!)
Are you a trader? We have a number of events and markets throughout the year and are always on the look-out for exciting new traders to join our family. If you would like to be an Eat Me Drink Me trader please take a look at our Trader page.