Benjamin Myers – 1000 Faces Coffee – Starting, Managing and Growing a Coffee Roasting Company

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In this episode, I talk with Benjamin Myers about how he started his coffee roasting company, 1000 Faces Coffee.

He started the company with one roaster, one container of coffee and an idea to prove to coffee growers that it is possible to make a living while producing coffee with sustainable growing practices in mind.

Ben tells us about the initial investment they put into this project, and how a slow-growing company can be an advantage when your goal is also to learn through the process of building the company.

We will talk about our experiences of getting our initial wholesale customers, and Ben will give you a roadmap for how to approach your first wholesale customer.

The key word here is compassion — understanding the place your potential wholesale customers are coming from, what are their needs, and what is their view on life.

Ben will also reveal why he enjoys making mistakes and why should you make mistakes too, and sometimes even need to fail.

1000 Faces is using Diedrich as a production roaster and Behmor 1600 for sample roasting. Before they got their Behmor 1600 they used a barrel sample roaster. Why did they decided to “downgrade” ?

I love to discuss how people select their coffee portfolio, and Ben was kind enough to share. We will talk about the advantages of having a small vs. big portfolio, and why you should select one over the other.

In 2013, 1000 faces won the Good Food Award. For me it was a great opportunity to ask if a coffee award like this makes a difference in our business? Is it the same as winning the Aeropress World Championship?

Resources:
1000 Faces Website
Chain Collaborative website
Vortex Doughnuts

Ben Recommends:
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food
Growing a Business
Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered

3 COMMENTS

  1. Great podcast. I am a new small roaster trying to sell coffee. Listening to everyday ideas and situations from other roasters helps with me moving forward. Seems like I’m moving one bean at a time but I will get there.
    Thanks

    • Thanks Lewis! It is always about moving one bean ahead. Sometimes uphill but sometimes rolling downhill, but we will get there! 🙂

  2. Thanks Ben for the insight. It sounds like I’m in the same position you were 10 years ago. I started 3 years ago now, and it’s out of my garage. My whole thing was that I wanted to build the business slowly, and I was beginning to wonder if that was the way to go. I guess it’s ok…. 🙂 I have 2 wholesale accounts now and also have repeat individual customers, plus, I had the chance to developed an espresso blend for the coffee shop I roast for. It’s been fun and look forward to the business growing in the years to come..

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