Shared Roasting goes way beyond a space to lease coffee roasting equipment. Owners Jeff and Howard take a holistic approach to understanding the unique goals of every client in order to provide the support necessary for coffee businesses to succeed.
The duo originally met over a decade ago in Hong Kong as co-workers at an investment company, specializing in financing and helping to improve operations for transportation and leasing businesses around the world.
After moving back to the US, both decided to explore new career opportunities, Howard moved to Los Angeles to dive deep into the specialty coffee business as a barista and roaster, and Jeff moved to New York City to develop real estate in the hospitality business. Shortly afterwards, while catching up on a call, the friends decided to join forces to create a shared retail space concept in Brooklyn, operating as a specialty café and caterer in the morning, and turning into a craft beer hall, restaurant and event space at night called Space Craft at Lantern Hall, which operated 18 hours a day.
After selling the concept to a brewery and realizing the tremendous value of the shared economy businesses, the entrepreneurs decided to address a rising need they felt first-hand in their local market, which was to help talented and ambitious small coffee business owners to set up their own unique in-house roasting operations, providing the facility, high quality equipment, operational guidance and business advice for clients to start operating efficiently with minimal capital investment.
The boom of specialty coffee has greatly increased the number of businesses trying to carve out their own brand but might not have the means of purchasing a roaster or constructing their own roastery. Jeff says, “It’s the construction and real estate aspect of owning a roastery that makes the barriers to entry more difficult, especially in New York City.” Another reason people opt-in to use a shared roasting space is because they have purchased a roaster and need a roasting facility to use before it is delivered. It’s a great learning experience to work on the roaster you have just purchased especially with the benefit of having an experienced team available on-site to help whenever you need as you get your business off the ground. The symbiotic nature of a shared roasting facility is what makes it such an attractive option for a wide variety of coffee companies.
In the age of COVID-19, Jeff has taken time to make sure their customers are up to date with new regulations, helping them adapt to selling their coffee online, and guiding them to make sure they are making cost effective decisions for their business. Howard also advises clients in one-on-one coffee roasting and business classes which are curated to each customer’s unique needs and preferences. Their “learn by doing” approach has helped numerous coffee companies grow tremendously, even during the constant flux of the pandemic.
Howard states: “We’re here to help guide folks through the complexities of setting up and running their own successful in-house roasting program and folks have really resonated with having an actual day-to-day coffee business operator as their behind-the-scenes advisor.”
In 2018, Howard and Jeff came to the Loring factory in Santa Rosa to purchase their first two roasters, a Loring 15kg and Loring 35kg. They knew they wanted to purchase a roaster from a company whose values aligned with their own, which meant that innovation and customer service were a main priority. They also knew that with a shared roasting space, consistency of roasts and efficiency of operations was going to be paramount to their customers’ success. While Shared Roasting has owned and operated traditional drum roasters, the Loring machines tend to be more popular.
With their new Lorings and completed space in North Brooklyn, Jeff and Howard were ready to start helping businesses succeed in the specialty coffee space in 2019. From the small details like making sure the roaster is preheated to a custom idle range prior to a customer’s arrival or saving a parking spot for customers in front of their Brooklyn location, the Shared Roasting team emphasizes the importance of each detail to ensure that every client can have a great experience every roast day.
“We try to constantly brainstorm creative ways to go the extra mile for each client in order to support them in producing the best possible coffee and help them focus on building their unique brands”, says Howard.
Shared Roasting is growing so fast that they have already ordered a Loring 70kg and another Loring 35kg to meet forecasted demand. They plan to house these new roasters in a second, larger location, in the New York City area.