When Gretchen scored her first job as a barista back in 2008, she immediately fell in love with the constant hum of customers buzzing in and out of the shop, and feeling like she was at center of this incredible place where so many connections between people were constantly being made, rekindled and even lost. There was something so surreal about it... and she found herself starting to dream about opening up a coffeeshop of her own someday.
Ever since then, Gretchen found herself chasing that dream to open up a shop. She came across several opportunities and storefronts, but each and every time (for some reason or another) things fell through. And each and every single time she felt like her dreams were collapsing right in front of her eyes. By the summer of 2013, she felt like she had officially hit rock bottom within the coffee industry.
In the midst of this crushing reality, Gretchen went online and purchased a small 1/2lb coffee roaster - she wasn't planning on doing much with it, other than just immersing herself in the hobby to keep her head and heart going. To her, it was a testament to all of the bittersweet opportunities that had already come and gone.
Shortly thereafter, Michelle drew up a quick logo for Gretchen and suggested she invite some friends over to taste her roasts.
And it was at that very moment, that Heartbreak Coffee began.
Who we are
Heartbreak Coffee is currently an in-home operation run by the both of us (Gretchen and Michelle). Ever since starting, we've put all our heart and spirit into watching Heartbreak grow, and we've been working really, really hard to keep up with the ever-increasing number of orders coming in from all over the nation, and the world!
As a team, we really pride ourselves in finding our own place within the current budding culture of young entrepreneurs who are brimming with spirit, craft and artisanal legacy. Having the chance to build a small business during this time is not just a "career opportunity" for us - it's a testament to our generation, our community, and ourselves as individuals.
We strongly believe in developing our business under social and ecologically-responsible standards by engaging ourselves fully with our community and environment. We believe that having an incredible artisanal product should come hand-in-hand with incredible customer service and a responsive business model.
Why We Need Funding
In the past 7 months since beginning, we've shipped a TREMENDOUS amount of jars from our home. We hand wash every single jar, hand cut every label, hand write every tag, print all of our logos from our house printer, as well as roast, pack and ship out every single order. Between the two of us, we've done everything we can do, to grow as much as we can, without the help of any investors, loans or funding.
Because of the steadily increasing number of orders, we've had to upgrade from our original 1/2lb roaster to a larger, 6.6lb Diedrich IR-3 roaster. The only issue though, is that we can not continue roasting out of our garage for much longer.
In order to continue growing as a business and roasting our coffee, we have to move our roaster into a City approved space that will allow us to operate as a Coffee Roasting and Production Facility.
The City of Long Beach has already approved our project and location, but we need help attaining the appropriate amount of funding to fulfill all of the legal regulations required by the City.
$55,000 - Allows us to secure city-required permits, zoning, licenses, roaster installation, engineer tests and inspections of our roaster, architect design and planning, as well as high-heat commercial ventilation and two-story ventilation installation. Without these things, we will NOT be able to continue roasting and selling our coffee.
$75,000 - Helps cover upfront costs for equipment that goes into our coffee bar: quality brewers, grinders, mugs, cups, sleeves, bags, jars, bottles and other supplies. Also aids in covering expenses for building materials for our coffee bar and entryway.
$100,000 - Furnishes our shop with a top-of-the-line Espresso Machine and Grinder so that we are able to serve Espresso. Cappuccinos, Lattes, Mochas, Americanos, and Macchiatos will be added to our menu!
$110,000(+) - Contributes to fulfilling an aesthetic environment for our coffee shop; seating and tables, storefront sign, vintage lighting, and upfront funds to begin sourcing pastries, jams, bread, citrus, and flowers from local small businesses and organic farms.
We have signed a lease and will be moving into a 100+ year-old exposed brick building in Downtown Long Beach. We are moving in alongside Yellow108, as well as a few other local small businesses. We will all be part of a new and incredible restoration of DTLB.
237 Long Beach Blvd is a 2 story, 5,859 sq/ft building, built in 1908. Heartbreak Coffee will be occupying 1,200 sqft of the storefront, ground level. We will have indoor cafe and sidewalk seating, as well a brick-lined corridor on the side of our building for additional outdoor seating day and night.
To us, there is nothing more beautiful about coffee than experiencing all of the ways in which it brings people together. We are constantly reminded of this every single day when we are able to wake up in the morning and connect with new people from all over the world.
Every single jar of coffee is a piece of us, and we love sharing that with you.
And with this spirit, it is our philosophy to grow organically and sustainably with your support. If it were not for all of the supporters who helped us pursue this dream, we would not be where we are today! We are both truly humbled and excited to take this next step with your encouragement and love. So thank you, sincerely. From the bottom of our hearts.
- Gretchen and Michelle / The Heartbreak Team
HUGE thanks to everyone who has supported us thusfar. We wouldn't be where we are without both our local and online communities -- we hope you allow us to continue roasting, serving, and shipping coffee for many, many years to come <3
Risks and challenges
We are so close to finally seeing our dreams become a reality! We have already secured and signed a lease on our location - our biggest challenge now is finding the right amount of funding to help us move and install our roaster to fulfill City requirements.
We will be facing challenges with securing the right permits and licensing we need for the shop and roaster. We will need to reach our 55k goal to be able to get our space up to code.
Time will also be a challenge. Architects have already signed off on the physical location and have approved the building. According to their estimates, the shop should be set to open on September 1, 2014 - but realistically it could take an extra month or two to have everything approved and coded (as the building is extremely old). We do not anticipate any delays at the moment though.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (32 days)