Kuehler Coffee’s Launch to Full Time Coffee Roaster/Blender/Brewer

Dreamer: Joe Kuehler

Business: Kuehler Coffee

Location: Spencer, IA

Industry Contest: Retail/Wholesale

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Kuehler Coffee, formed by founder Joe Kuehler, intends to be a Spencer, Iowa based coffee roaster that develops a line of specialty coffees. Joe has already established unique blends that bring a balance of flavors to the coffee cup much like a winery blends grapes and fruits to create a fine wine.
Business Description:
The idea for Kuehler Coffee was conceived by me, Joe Kuehler. It is currently in the developmental stage as a home business and is ready to enter the growth stage of full scale coffee roasting. Kuehler Coffee became a Sole Proprietorship in March of 2012 to fill a need in the following market conditions.
•Fresh roasted coffee offered by competitors in the Spencer area is overpriced.
•Beta testing was done at the Spirit Lake Farmer Market. At these markets 15-25 pounds of coffee were sold weekly during the five hour markets.
•During the winter, beta testing continued with colleagues and friends. Word of mouth has spread and I now normally do 5-20 pounds a week in phone, Facebook or email orders roasting usually on Fridays and Saturdays.
•Over the past few years, I have carefully blended 15 different well-balanced coffee blends. At first, I plan to introduce four main blends and gradually add the others as demand increases.
•I have taken the initiative to write and design a coffee tutorial website containing written and video tutorials on brewing coffee. These videos have been written, directed and edited solely by me at www.theartofcoffeedojo.com.
When full scale production commences, Kuehler Coffee's operations will consist of three major sales outlets. First is prepackaged coffee that can satisfy the demands of the average grocery store shopper desiring specialty coffee but not wanting to make a special stop to get coffee directly from the roaster. Second will be coffee roasted for the bulk buyer such as coffee shops and restaurants needing freshly roasted high quality coffee as soon as they can get it. The third part is Kuehler Coffee’s in store coffee shop with coffee served and prepared differently than the way most coffee shops do it. Kuehler Coffee will use great care and unique brewing methods to introduce Northwest Iowa to higher standards in coffee preparation. It will be the Cadillac of the coffee shop world. It will also serve as a place to buy whole bean and ground coffee directly.
It will take a great deal of determination to be successful in the coffee world. A brutally competitive market awaits, but Kuehler Coffee will strive to beat the expectations of the customer. I am convinced that Kuehler Coffee will not only succeed, but thrive. Kuehler Coffee’s visionary business overview are as follows.
•Kuehler Coffee will continue the development of fine coffee blends.
•Attractive packaging will be used in grocery stores with the understanding that this is very effective and cheap advertisement.
•Kuehler Coffee currently has one main competitor in the target market of the general walk in customers.
•I have taken great care in my blends to effectively balance taste with tactile mouth feel; these are the two main characteristics for which coffee connoisseurs aspire. This is what separates Kuehler Coffee from its competitors.
•Coffee shops in the immediate area will have the benefit of a local coffee roaster.
•Top notch customer service that exceeds expectations will be a high priority.
•There are other key elements to winning and keeping customers that I have purposely withheld. This is information I wish to keep from my competitors.
The total National U.S. market size of specialty coffee is nearly $16 billion. Over the past year, I believe the nationwide obtainable market size to be $4.8 billion and that Kuehler Coffee should be able to successfully obtain .00007% of that obtainable market in four years. This would equate to $336,000 in annual revenue by the end of year four. Kuehler Coffee, as described in my business plan, can produce a maximum of $1.4 million in revenue annually. That being said, by the end of year five, it is likely that further expansion will be required to keep up with demand, creating multiple jobs.
I intend to achieve this end with my unique and carefully blended coffees. Coffee shops and customers alike will be able to choose between coffees from a single country or any of my own original coffee blends. This would mean that to date the total number of choices would be 15 blends and 11 single origin coffees. Kuehler Coffee also offers a lower price than the local competitions single origin coffees, and Kuehler Coffee's blended coffees are far superior to most single origin coffee as singles are often incomplete in taste and lack balance of body which is mouth feel.
If you are interested in trying Kuehler Coffee, ordering information can be found at www.theartofcoffeedojo.com by clicking the "Kuehler Coffee" tab at the top.
Reason for Entering:
I am not so proud that I won’t admit that I am entering because I need the money. I have chosen to take the slow route in business, starting very small and letting the business build itself while being unpaid as the operator. Kuehler Coffee has been a profitable home business and is operating by reinvesting approximately 85% of those profits. This route has minimized the financial burden on my family and will ultimately de-risk the business when it launches to full scale production with a coffee roasting facility.
As a $5000 grant winner, I would be able to purchase an espresso machine. That is this year’s planned investment, but with the extra money I will be able to purchase a grinder dedicated to the espresso machine which was not originally in the plan. A dedicated grinder is a must with an espresso machine as espresso brewing is a very sensitive method of brewing coffee. Fine tune adjustments on a dedicated grind is essential to a perfectly brewed espresso.
As the $10,000 grand prize winner, the plan changes entirely as this will catapult Kuehler Coffee financially making the full scale production dream a reality. According to the business opportunities in front of us, as described in this business overview, and based on what I believe are sound business assumptions, my capital requirements are $70,095.

$52,570 Product/ Service development
$8,030 Marketing
$9,495 General & Administrative
$70,095 Total Use of Proceeds required

I am honored that you have taken the time to read my business overview. I also thank you for your consideration.
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