I have been really looking into roasting. I just have such a hard time selling someone else's product. I know it works, and it works well. The thought that goes through my head is, "Why would they buy it from me, when they can buy it from the source?"
Knowing that I have little to no budget, no established business on which I can build a Kickstarter, I have to really consider how to go about starting.
Currently, I roast using popcorn poppers. I could afford a little drum roaster, but I actually love the popper. For a home roaster, you can't get a better roast for the price.
Roasters are stupid expensive and there is not a lot of middle ground. The small drum roasters are $10k. That's crazy. I can't just pull $10k out of my pocket in hopes to get a coffee business going.
The only option I have found that is even reasonable is the Sonofresco. It is between $2500 and $3500 depending on the size. It is a small roaster, only doing between 1 and 2 pounds per batch. My friend at Pearl Coffee said I would out grow it too quickly. That is very possible.
I feel like I could still put it to use, even after I've out grown it. I could take it out to events like First Friday. I could take it to farmers markets (in the winter). I could keep it in my garage and use it for my experimenting.
The reality is that I can't even afford this small of a risk. So, I have asked my wife to budget some money and I will see what I can do. Maybe I start to roast more with the popper until I can save enough, maybe I just source roasted coffee.
We shall see.