Coffee has been a huge part of our lives. Whether we are enjoying it together in celebration, while having meaningful and profound conversations, or as a morning ritual, coffee is always there with us as we do life together in community. We believe the best cup of coffee is the one that is shared with someone we care about. We also think that sharing coffee is one way people are brought together in a shared experience which helps us stay connected to one another.
A little less than two years ago, we started Gooseneck after enjoying and brewing coffee with some friends at a Christmas party. Our wives saw a passion in us for amazing and interesting coffee and thought the rest of the world could benefit from us sharing that passion. Through a series of conversations, we decided to start roasting our own coffee and selling to friends, family, and at the local farmers market in Plymouth, MI.
Since we've started Gooseneck, we've learned so much about the coffee industry and coffee production. One of the most glaring issues we see in the coffee world is the lack of acknowledgement of those who produce coffee. Although it has improved drastically in the last ten or so years, very often coffee is seen and consumed as a commodity in the United States. We are committed to taking the time to find producers of coffee who are sourcing the product ethically. This means we work with importers we trust based on a relationship with them and information they can communicate with us about the coffee we purchase. Our coffees are organic and fair trade when possible and we do everything we can to highlight the farmers of our coffees on our packaging. Because of this transparency, our coffees are traceable, often down to knowing the farmer's name who produced the crop! This means you can be certain that when you drink our coffee you can have a clear conscience.
Why We Need Funding
It’s now been about a year and a half since we started our venture. So many people ask us questions about purchasing coffee from us online, in stores, and where they can find us after the farmers market season has ended. Currently we are operating under The Cottage Food Law and are very restricted in what we can and can’t do. For example, in Michigan we cannot sell our beans online or to other stores or cafes. We also cannot brew and sell our own coffee because we don’t have the proper licensing. So why not just get the license? Because that involves finding a certified kitchen or space to rent and we can’t afford that currently. In addition to those restrictions, our roaster is so small (one pound at a time!) that we can’t even make enough coffee to fulfill wholesale accounts or sell online. That’s why we’re turning to you for help.
We are asking for $10,000 in order to buy a bigger roaster from Mill City Roasters (1 kilogram/2.2 lbs in capacity per roast). This will also allow us to work in a commercial certified environment to roast and produce our coffee under the Michigan Department of Agriculture and start providing coffee to more places and people! Not only is this roaster twice the size of ours, it also is over four times as efficient. Currently with our roaster we can only roast about three pounds an hour. This roaster will allow us to roast over 13 pounds in that time! This is because the time in between roasts with our new roaster will be reduced in addition to it being larger in size.
If we receive $13,000, we can buy a 2 kilogram roaster from Mill City. This will allow us to roast even more coffee in less time. It also almost guarantees that we will be in a certified space at the beginning of 2018, pending our roaster is ready for us.
Once we are successful in raising the funds for a larger roaster, we can apply for a wholesale food license and begin selling in many different and new places. We can also start brewing and selling cups of coffee at farmers markets, festivals, pop-ups, and other events as well. THIS is what we want to be doing. Providing coffee to so many more people to enjoy and hopefully share in community together is our number one goal. We truly desire to work in Plymouth to support our community in which we are already a part of, as well as our surrounding areas.
6 & 12 oz Bags, 3/6/12 Month Subscriptions
Hand-drawn “Painted” Goose T-shirt
Enamel Camper Mug
Insulated Travel Bottle
Gooseneck on Social Media
Risks and challenges
Currently we plan to purchase our new roaster the moment we are successful and receive funds from this campaign. One problem we may run into is the length in time it takes for us to receive it. We've heard stories from other roasters who purchased from Mill City that the wait time can be longer than expected. Wait time is based on the number of orders Mill City has when we place our order. We hope that within three months time we will have received our new roaster (February 2018 if we order beginning of November). This would allow us to start roasting in a certified facility in February and have coffee orders ready to ship by April 2018.
Along with the new roaster, we have a certified kitchen lined up to roast and package our coffee from. In order for us to work from there, the Michigan Department of Agriculture has to inspect our standard operating procedures and approve our work. We will apply for the appropriate Wholesale Food License as soon as we know our campaign is successful in hopes that we can be inspected quickly once our roaster is installed. However, there are two potential obstacles with this.
One is that the certified kitchen we plan to work from may no longer be available or have the space for us. We don't anticipate that happening as we've been speaking with the business owner of the facility since our company has existed. But it's possible that we have to find another place. Secondly, the Department of Agriculture might take longer than we hope to perform our inspection. Until that happens, we will not be able to sell online or to other wholesale accounts.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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