It all started because Andy Oakes was desperate for a good cup of coffee. Desperation turned to dabbling that has now morphed into a start-up coffee-roasting venture that is growing as befits a caffeinated product.
Oakes launched Fresh Roasted Coffee
in the Greater Susquehanna KIZ
incubator in Bloomsburg only last summer as a one-man operation. He's since added two employees – one a fulltime graphic designer to do custom labels– and is hiring again. Oakes started out roasting a few thousand pounds per month; today the company is doing five times the volume.
His niche, he says, is using green roasting technology to supply high-quality coffee to distributors seeking to offer private-label brands and to fund raisers. Fresh Roasted Coffee also has an online retail store.
Oakes started out as a distributor of coffee and bottled water, but could never find the "quality of coffee that I wanted." About five years ago, he bought a small roaster and began to experiment. Today, Oakes offers 18 blends and can replicate coffee blends from client samples.
A key to the company's approach is its highly efficient, eco-friendly roaster, which uses 80% less natural gas and greatly reduces the amount of CO2 emissions compared to conventional coffee roasters.
The Greater Susquehanna KIZ recently honored Oakes with its Impact Award, calling his company "a beacon of hope for the Central PA region in job growth and green innovation." To say nothing of finally getting Oakes that great cup of joe.
Source: Andy Oakes, Fresh Roasted Coffee
Writer: Elise Vider