Brewing a good cup of Joe starts with the beans, specialty coffee retailer says – Chicago Tribune

Brewing a good cup of Joe starts with the beans, specialty coffee retailer says – Chicago Tribune

Businesses: Bloom Time Coffee Roasters

Location: Naperville

Phone/website: 331-330-6113,

Owner: Tyler Walters, 35, of Naperville

Years in business? Started October 2021

What does your business do? “We’re providing specialty coffee online and through retail. We’re coming out with a blend in the next couple weeks. We provide 12-ounce coffee bags and we just rolled out the 5-pound bag. You can get it ground or whole bean,” Walters said. “Our whole goal is to make accessible specialty coffee. It’s a niche.”

What is specialty coffee? “Small batch, locally roasted, very fresh coffee. If you were to go to a Starbucks or a Caribou or the grocery store, that coffee could be three months old before it’s getting to the consumer. It’s our goal to get coffee in their hands within two weeks.”

Can you tell a difference in the flavor? “100 percent.”

Do you live on coffee? “We do. Especially with two little ones.” He and wife Elle have son Lincoln, 2½, and daughter Esme, 5 months.

Is this your main job? “This is a side gig. I have a horticulture degree. I’m a market manager for a landscape company, a marketplace that connects landscape contractors with wholesale plant suppliers.”

Why did you start this business? “It all started several years ago, getting introduced to specialty coffee on vacation. … A buddy was teaching me the different brewing methods. … The whole reason we started this was I was very interested in the coffee roasting process. … I always wanted to start a small business. … I started putting the pieces together. It took six to seven months to get it ready to launch.”

Do you roast beans at home? “No. A huge coffee roaster is $50,000. A big investment. I found a fellow roaster up in Geneva. I rent time on his roaster. I use a commercial kitchen (in Geneva) where I package it. I’m able to keep our overheads super low. … We tend to roast it on the lighter side. … Our new blend is a mix of everything.”

What’s the difference in beans? “Each region has its own flavor profile. It’s the soil, the altitude, the conditions of that area will bring a different flavor to that bean. … We have (beans from) Costa Rica, Uganda and Guatemala.”

How is your coffee fresher? “I get green beans (delivered).”

What’s good about being based in Naperville? “We have a really strong community behind us. Elle grew up in Naperville so we have a big organic following. … We saw the need. It’s a great community. The opportunity and reach are limitless for us.”

Where can we buy your coffee? “Standard Goods, Casey Foods, Angelo Caputo’s Fresh Markets. The Morton Arboretum.”

Is there a busy time? “The pre-holidays are very busy. People are shopping, gifting it.”

Any tips? “Eighteen grams of water to one gram of coffee.”

What do you like about the business? “The ownership and the connections we get to build with folks. It’s a fun niche because everyone loves coffee and they experience it in different ways. … We’re trying to bring stories out of you as a coffee drinker. How do you experience your coffee? For us, it’s a chance to sit down, connect with each other, take a pause.”

How old when you tried your first cup? “I was probably 12. Probably at our cabin. Remember the old percolators? I don’t even know if I liked (the taste).”

Any negatives? “Time constraints.”

Any philosophy? “What is one action item a day we can do to keep this moving forward?”

What misconceptions do people have? “That specialty coffee industry is very high priced, which it isn’t. Our 12-ounce bags sell for $14 to $16. It’s higher end than a Folger’s. A lot of people are intimidated by specialty coffee with the pour over versus the coffee pot.”

What challenges do you face? “How we manage those peaks and valleys of orders? That can get challenging. I don’t want to sit on coffee. A week goes by, I see my inventory get high, I get pretty creative on where I’m going to push coffee.”

Any competition? “There is and there isn’t. We’re kind of competing against ourselves. Are we better than yesterday?”

Any future plans? “We’re coming out with decaf to cater to the folks who don’t like caffeine for some reason. There’s a market for it. That was our No. 1 question when we started.”

What’s your advice for someone starting a business? “People just have to take the plunge. Do that one action a day to get you there. Keep moving toward the goal.”

Steve Metsch is a freelance reporter for the Naperville Sun.

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