Bloom Coffee Roasters in Lansing strives to source and roast the highest quality coffees to provide a fresh, focused and exceptional coffee experience. As of now, you can find them across Lansing, providing their coffee at events and markets throughout the community. Soon though, they hope to also provide their quality blends in a cafe experience.
From the first bloom of the coffee bean to the pour over, Bloom Coffee Roasters is working to be at the center of the next coffee wave in Lansing.
The Problem Being Solved
Many of us drink coffee every day. But, as Jared points out, few of us know what it takes or the amount of energy that goes into, making a brilliant (not just great, he says, but brilliant) cup of coffee.
Bloom Coffee Roasters want to not only provide coffee drinkers with a freshly roasted, quality coffee experience, but also educate them on what it takes to produce the coffee they drink. “There is an understated and vast amount of energy that goes into the coffee industry and we’re here to bring that to the forefront of the customer’s coffee conscience.”
Where the Idea Came From
After roasting coffee for about five years on his own, a desire to be his own boss and a little pre-planning and serendipity, Jared and Cameron were able to find a spot in Old Town that became the center of their roasting business. He planned Bloom for two years while working as a production roaster in Kalamazoo before venturing off to do his own thing.
Jared sees the other roasters popping up in the area as exciting opportunities rather than competition. “It’s exciting,” he says, “because it means that people are starting to become aware of better coffee. It helps us to have that conversation with people who would have typically gone to Starbucks or Bigby in the past.” Coffee culture is emerging in the Lansing region and Bloom Coffee Roasters hopes to be the epicenter of that culture.”
Bloom Coffee Roasters is targeting anyone and everyone who loves coffee, is interested in drinking brilliant coffee, or who is just interested in becoming a coffee drinker. We also have a growing Wholesale side to our business. The growing wholesale side of their business allows them to reach a large number of those people. “We wholesale to Foods For Living, Monticello’s Market, Old Town General Store, Whole Foods, and various restaurants, breakfast joints and cafés throughout Michigan.”
Jared states his biggest problem as simply starting up. “Finding the right money to purchase our equipment was very difficult while carrying the burden of student loans and having a lack of sales (or product for that matter).”
While they had the passion, with a major in journalism it was quite difficult to convince banks that Jared and Cameron were the right people to run the company.
His many challenges “starting up” showed Jared just how incredibly difficult it is to break into the coffee industry. “The equipment is SO expensive and that makes it very hard to establish a wholesale end.”
They needed to raise over $20,000 for equipment alone. Plus, funds for rent and operating expenses. “It was quite daunting,” says Jared, “to try to start once we had the funding because at that point, we didn’t have any money left over to hire any employees. It was a two-man operation, still with very few sales (or sales experience) and it forced us to really figure things out immediately.”
But, through multiple funding options they’ve managed. “We’ve raised some through friends and family, and some through lending services.”
They’ve made some pretty big mistakes, says Jared, “But, crowdfunding and last years Christmas retail season saved our company very early on. Without those two occurrences, we may not have still been kickin’ today. It’s definitely a learning experience.”
Bloom’s ultimate goal is to become the epicenter for coffee culture in the greater Lansing area. “We’d like to improve our roasting capacity and purchase equipment that will make us more efficient. But most of all, we want to create a team and a company culture through which we want to do great things to benefit the community as a whole.”
“The coffee industry,” says Jared “can have such a major impact on the lives of those who are involved and their communities.” And, while they haven’t had the funds or ability to contribute the way they want, it’s always been a part of their plan to make an impact and “Bloom” the greater Lansing community.
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Jared’s biggest advice is simply “Keep truckin.” Keep moving even when things don’t go as planned.
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He also adds, “Dream big but never treat your business as a dream. If you treat your business as a dream, it will always be a dream and never become a reality.”
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