Roastery Story: West Coast Coffee Roasters
This Roastery Story starts with a woman on a mission, combined with the power of a good old-fashioned Internet search. And, it ends as a testament of how two men, separated by distance and a generation, have become good friends — thanks to the connections that our coffee roasting community inspires.
But there’s a good part in the middle, too, and it’s about how CoffeeTec helped facilitate this sale over eight months with tons of perseverance to accomplish a CoffeeTec first: selling a complete coffee roastery.
Meet The Seller: West Coast Coffee Roasters
Bill and Sharon Coleman have been roasting coffee since the early 1990s, providing roasted coffee to a healthy roster of retail and online customers from their arid and picturesque oceanside community of Chula Vista, CA. Like many coffee roasters, Bill has worn many hats, serving as master roaster, mechanic, and machinist—leaving Sharon to run all administrative aspects of the business they aptly named West Coast Coffee Roasters.
To get started, Bill bought a Probat G25 roaster and Intro-Burn Model 500 Afterburner, and installed them himself. Over the years, he went on to customize much of the operation, including custom framework to support the afterburner over the chaff collector. Bill even modified the Probat G25 to operate exactly as he needed to produce the dark, smoky roast that West Coast Coffee Roasters had become known for.
But as they say, all good things must come to an end, so about five years ago, Bill and Sharon started mapping out an exit strategy to retire—and then the arrival of COVID-19 only solidified and sped up their intentions.
So, after enduring one full year of the pandemic and with no end in sight, Sharon sat down at her computer one day in February 2021 to start searching for a solution for selling their roasting equipment—whether that meant piecemeal or, ideally, selling the entire plant to one buyer. Thanks to our robust search engine marketing efforts, it didn’t take long for her to find CoffeeTec.
Sharon spoke directly to Director of Sales and Sourcing Rick Davis, who recalls the conversation:
“This inquiry was unique because the Coleman’s didn’t want to just sell a roaster. They wanted to sell the ENTIRE PLANT: not one, but two, roasters, along with packaging machines, grinders, a forklift, equipment racks, a tasting room, and so much more. Basically, their entire 2500-square-foot facility—even the lease and their accounts!—was up for sale. This represented a first for CoffeeTec but I was definitely up for the challenge.”
CoffeeTec Gets To Work...And The Coleman's Keep Roasting
Rick Davis went to straight work to create a multi-faceted sales approach. He packaged the Probat G25 and afterburner and promoted it through CoffeeTec’s multiple online channels and through targeted campaigns to the CoffeeTec community, offering any potential buyer the first right of refusal on the other roastery equipment. He also listed the complete roastery as a fully turn-key, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Before long, Rick started entertaining offers in the San Diego area, leading to several interested buyers viewing the Coleman’s plant. But if Rick knows anything about sales in such a niche market, it’s that it takes a consistent and persistent sales strategy for a unique opportunity like this to find the right buyer. Rick’s goal was to get global exposure for this roastery sale. Hundreds of people saw the opportunity, drawing interest from people across the US, plus some serious parties in Canada and Puerto Rico.
As this sale played out over a handful of months, Rick continued to adjust the marketing plan for maximum reach. He met with and vetted every single interested party, identified their needs, conducted preliminary negotiations with the serious inquirers, and so on.
Meanwhile, Bill and Sharon Coleman continued roasting and planning their retirement. What they didn’t do is worry about any of the details to get their roastery sold. They knew Rick had it handled.
Meet The Buyer: Copper Canyon Coffee Roasters
Then, in Summer 2021, Rick connected with an interested buyer in Southwest Missouri. Sean Hunziker owns Copper Canyon Coffee Roasters, a roasting facility that caters to wholesale and online buyers and also includes a walk-up counter for retail sales.
Sean has 10+ years’ experience as a master roaster and is a SCAA-certified Q-cup grader. For about 15 years now, he and his team have specialized in small-batch roasting a variety of coffee and tea offerings, including fresh crop, single origin coffee, and blends. They take pride in sourcing responsibly, giving back to the community—and they roast to order.
Sean had been looking to expand the business, both in adding some equipment and swapping out other items. The Coleman’s substantial equipment list, anchored by two amazing roasters (Bill had a Probat sample roaster in addition to the G25), fit the bill for everything Sean was looking for.
It took about three months before Sean was ready to take action and execute the sale, and Rick patiently worked with him throughout the entire process. In the end, Sean decided to purchase all of the equipment and transport it himself the entire 1,600 miles from California to Missouri. Because on top of Sean’s roasting qualifications, he’s also a rigger—meaning he works with coffee roasteries to help them take down, relocate, and set all of their industrial roasting equipment in place.
A Labor Of Love: Buyer and Seller Team Up For A Very Personal Hand-Off
So, on a cool Wednesday morning in October 2021, Sean and his 18-year-old daughter set out from Southwest Missouri for the 24-hour drive to Chula Vista to disassemble and load up every bit of the Coleman’s roasting equipment.
They arrived on a Friday and spent the weekend breaking down the plant with Bill. Both self-professed “good ol’ boys,” they became fast friends, with Bill offering Sean hands-on training on all the equipment. They worked with CoffeeTec’s logistics team to help prepare the equipment for transport on the truck that CoffeeTec arranged to show up on Monday.
The story doesn’t end here, though. While Bill and Sharon start deciding how to spend their retirement, they’ll need to consult their calendar to find the right time to take Sean up on his offer to come to Missouri to see how their roasting equipment looks in its new home.
It’s hard to imagine a happier ending than this: The sellers were very satisfied with the price they got for the sale to fund their retirement, the buyer was ecstatic to add the equipment to bolster his roasting facility, and they became friends in the process.
Sharon Coleman describes her and Bill’s satisfaction over the sale:
“I cannot express to you what an incredible connection this is! Bill and Sean are having a great time together. Sean is an absolutely carbon copy of Bill! I am blown away...He is so excited to have all of this...said one of the main things that kept drawing him in was the tasting room! He is going to recreate it exactly and wants us to visit some day! We are so grateful! You made this happen for us and we can't thank you enough for never giving up! You are an amazing guy Mr. Rick!”
We think this is what it looks like to pass the baton — literally hand to hand — to the next generation of coffee roasters. Wouldn’t you agree?
CoffeeTec Never Gives Up
Our success stories usually highlight our knack for orchestrating quick sales at a great price for both the buyer and seller. Other times, we celebrate other qualities of a sale that are just as important. Sharon thanked us for “never giving up,” and that accurately sums up what we think led to our success—which turned into the success of everyone associated with this transaction.
For the first time ever, CoffeeTec was presented with a unique opportunity (sell a complete roastery) in an unprecedented climate (pandemic). And, CoffeeTec successfully rose to the challenge. Persistence, powered by our proven full-service sales, marketing, and logistics muscle, pays off!
Since this time, CoffeeTec has sold another complete roastery in Ohio, boasting a slightly used Probat G60 mini-plant (roaster, afterburner, loader, destoner), and a Diedrich IR-24 with afterburner, rounded out with all the typical grinding, packing, and other ancillary roastery production equipment. An incredible story for another day.
If you’re looking to sell your coffee roasting equipment or expand your equipment inventory, let this story encourage you: Sometimes it just takes persistence, but also know that CoffeeTec is here to help take all the worries of orchestrating any transaction involving coffee equipment off your plate.
As this Roastery Story clearly illustrates, selling your equipment is so much more than listing your equipment online and ordering a truck. Let CoffeeTec handle your entire equipment sale, from marketing, to finding the right buyer, negotiating a great price, decommissioning, crating and freighting your equipment, and more. We can even consult on plant design and layout and assist you with financing.
Let us help you build the roastery of your dreams!