Chris Rustici drinking one of uBuyCoffee.com’s Kona coffee roasts while currently deployed in Afghanistan.

http://www.ubuycoffee.com/

Chris Rustici was in a state of transition, a recent graduate of the University of New Hampshire and a Marine Reservist who could be called for another deployment at any time. Combined with the struggling economy, he realized that finding a job wasn’t going to be easy.
          
Why not start his own business, he thought. Chris discussed the idea with his father, Bob, a successful entrepreneur himself, with an extensive background in Internet marketing, and following some research, they decided to form a partnership to sell gourmet coffee and gifts online.

“We knew it was a highly competitive business, especially with the vast number of online retailers, so our top priority was how to plan for success,” says Chris. Bob, who serves as volunteer counselor for SCORE, suggested they take advantage of SCORE’s many resources.
          
“Those helped set us in the right direction,” Chris notes.
          
Attending SCORE workshops such as “Steps to a Better Website” and “Business Taxes” provided a better understanding about a wide range of business issues. Using the SCORE website, they downloaded templates that help forecast cash flow, from which they were able to create a first year plan of projected costs and revenues.
          
“You’re always anxious to jump in with both feet, but we knew how important it was to be conscious of the time and money invested at startup. This initial ‘homework’ period allowed us to stay focused on the critical steps that needed to be done first,” says Chris.
          
With their basic business plan in hand, the actual launch of the business, uBuyCoffee.com, was the next challenge. Sampling coffees from different countries is a growing trend among coffee drinkers, with aficionados even going as far as tracking the coffees to the specific farms. All across the United States, there are hundreds of micro coffee roasters who are creating a market for specialty coffees and roasting coffee almost on demand.
          
“I never realized the taste difference with the fresh roasted coffee, but now that’s all we drink. It’s hard to look at packaged coffee on the supermarket shelf and not wonder just how fresh it really is,” says Bob.
          
Tapping into the trend they’d noted, the Rusticis called hundreds of coffee roasters, offering a free listing on uBuyCoffee.com and the opportunity to sell the roasters’ products. Their goal was to be able to list coffee roasters from every state, as well as promote fair trade coffees.
          
“Talking with the coffee roasters is interesting. They’re primarily small businesses like us, and since most of the coffee is grown by people without a lot of money, many of these roasters have adopted an attitude of great social awareness,” says Chris.

“Some of the roasters we have listed work very closely with coffee farms in faraway countries, visiting them periodically to offer tips on everything from marketing their crops to understanding the complex global market for coffee. As the world’s number two traded commodity (oil is first), I never realized just how large or complex the coffee industry is.”
   
 

How SCORE Helped: 

The many resources SCORE offers were extremely helpful in our planning and getting the business up and running on the right path.

-Chris Rustici

Attending SCORE workshops such as “Steps to a Better Website” and “Business Taxes” provided a better understanding about a wide range of business issues. Using the SCORE website, they downloaded templates that help forecast cash flow, from which they were able to create a first year plan of projected costs and revenues.
          
“You’re always anxious to jump in with both feet, but we knew how important it was to be conscious of the time and money invested at startup. This initial ‘homework’ period allowed us to stay focused on the critical steps that needed to be done first,” says Chris.
          
With their basic business plan in hand, the actual launch of the business, uBuyCoffee.com, was the next challenge. Sampling coffees from different countries is a growing trend among coffee drinkers, with aficionados even going as far as tracking the coffees to the specific farms. All across the United States, there are hundreds of micro coffee roasters who are creating a market for specialty coffees and roasting coffee almost on demand.

 

My Successes: 

UBuyCoffee.com is now in its second year of operation, with a constant stream of orders arriving every day, a positive cash flow and growing revenues.
          
“We have confidence in our business plans, goals and long-term success,” says Chris.
         
If you’ve never tried fresh roasted coffee, or are interested in sampling coffee from virtually any corner of the world, check out uBuyCoffee.com or call 800-360-8105.