Muddy Dog Roasting Company is moving into a larger production and retail space, and we want you to be a part of it!
Who We Are
Since we opened our family-run artisan coffee business in Morrisville, NC in 2006, we've made a lot of progress providing top-quality, locally roasted coffee to our community. We sell our coffee at local farmers markets, to a variety of local restaurants, and out of our roastery; we also ship coffee to customers all over the nation.
Our coffee roastery is unique in that it utilizes the world's largest all-electric roaster. It has a novel afterburner system that is nearly zero-emission, and uses 94% less energy than conventional roasters. It's this efficiency that enables us to heat it with electricity, resulting in a cleaner tasting roasted coffee.
In addition to roasting coffee at our shop and chatting it up with (uh, "selling coffee to") our lovely customers at the farmers market, we also get to travel to various coffee-growing regions around the world to source our beans. Although we can't travel to every plantation that we buy coffee from, we try to build relationships with as many as we can. Jim has traveled to coffee farms in places such as Guatemala, Mexico, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Nicaragua, India, and Ethiopia. He meets the owners of the plantations, takes a tour of their facilities, participates in cuppings ("cupping" is basically a fancy way to say "coffee tasting"), and then decides which coffees we want to import and sell. We work hard to source the best green coffee available, direct from growers and certified whenever possible.
Now that you know who we are, let's talk about what we're trying to do. Right now, we roast our coffee out of a small shop in Morrisville, NC; however, we're starting to grow too big for our current space.
The good news is, we've already bought a larger space right next door to our current location! The only problem is that it's still just an empty building with a dirt floor and unfinished walls.
Your support will help us pay for the cost of upfitting the new space in order to get it up and running and receive our Certificate of Occupancy. Upfitting the space would mean creating a larger production area, including a second "green" electric roaster, as well as a larger retail area to help us run our business with greater ease and efficiency.
After we move into the new space, we then want to convert our existing space into a coffee bar and cupping area. This would be a place for our customers to enjoy fresh coffee and learn more about what each coffee is and where it comes from.
The Game Plan
So, we already own the larger space! That's a big check mark, but there are still a lot of things to do before we get up and running in the new space. Here's an outline of what we think this project will look like, from start to finish.
As is the case with any local family business, we rely on YOUR support to help us grow! Your contributions will help us cover the cost of up fitting our new facility so we're able to obtain our Certificate of Occupancy; these costs include plumbing, flooring, electricity/HVAC, insulation, production fixtures, and the relocation of our roaster.
Even if you can't donate anything at the moment, we would really appreciate if you would help spread the word of our campaign amongst your friends and family. We can't do it without you!
Here are more details about some of the exclusive rewards we're offering:
Once we've renovated our existing space into a coffee bar/cupping area (estimated to be complete in May 2015), you and your invited guests will experience a traditional coffee cupping with Jim, learning how to observe and distinguish between the flavor profiles and aromas of variety of specialty brewed coffees. If you are receiving this award, we'll contact you to plan a date/time that works best for you.
Chickenwire (http://www.chickenwirenc.com) is a Triangle (NC) region pop-up dinner organized by the chef /owner of Little Hen Restaurant, a farm-to-table restaurant in Holly Springs NC. This approximately bi-monthly event brings together several top chefs who prepare an eclectic menu of their choosing, which is then presented to diners in unusual venues which remain secret until the day before the event. Muddy Dog Roasting Company provides the coffee service for the events, and we often contribute unusual, off-menu offerings, too, such as coffee sodas, or coffee rubs the chefs use on braised meats, etc. At the $350 contribution level, you will receive two tickets to a Chickenwire event at a future date that you are able to attend. At the $2500 level you will receive 8 tickets – an entire table – for you and 7 other guests of your choosing, also at a future date that you are able to attend.
Details of this reward are very much “To Be Determined”, but the basic idea is that you (the reward winner) and a guest of your choosing will meet us at a Central American coffee origin, e.g., Costa Rica (getting yourself to origin is NOT included in the reward). We will pick you up from the designated airport, and embark on a four-day coffee tour of regional coffee farms. In-country transportation, meals, and lodging are included for those four days and three nights. We will drop you off at the airport, or you are free to arrange your own transport and continue to explore the origin at your expense. The details of this trip will be discussed in detail with the reward winner(s). This trip may take several months to arrange.
Risks and challenges
Challenges associated with our project are more associated with timeline than with any technical aspect of the project. The buildout of the new space, and the renovation of the existing roastery follow well-defined norms for facilities of this type, and we have excellent estimates of all the planning, engineering, construction and costs associated with such a project.
The primary risk is managing a construction project and a busy business simultaneously. We are a working roastery, with existing customers and retail channels. We will need to fulfill orders from our existing infrastructure while managing a construction project. Because the new space is separate from the existing space, most of the buildout can occur without disrupting the existing business, but if conflicting requirements require a choice between meeting the needs of the existing business, and building out the new space, the existing business must be a higher priority. We have scheduled the project so that operational impact is minimized by making sure that roaster relocation occurs after the busy Christmas season.
Starting up a new cafe in the renovated existing space also involves some risks of a financial nature. We will manage those risks by focusing on coffee only (as opposed to a comprehensive food menu), which minimizes star up costs. We will also leverage labor between the roastery and the cafe, adjusting cafe hours as necessary to meet demand.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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