How to relocate a coffee roastery without disrupting sales

Nuvin Sithanen
July 21, 2023
An image of coffee roasters preparing to relocate a coffee roasting business in an article on how to relocate a coffee roastery without disrupting coffee sales

Growth is a typical measure of success for any business: the larger a brand becomes, the more successful it is considered to be. However, the most important indicator of success is the ability to create scalable growth. 

As a business grows in size, its sales volume increases. Effective scaling is when revenue increases without adding to resources or costs. The key question is whether the business has the capacity and capability to meet increased demand while maintaining and raising the level of profitability. 

For some coffee roasters, this growth may include relocating the business entirely. Relocating a coffee roastery is a significant undertaking. It requires careful planning and execution to ensure a smooth transition without disrupting orders and sales. 

To learn more about relocating a coffee roastery, I spoke with Johann van der Merwe, owner and roaster at South Africa’s Raging Goose Coffee. 

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Why would a coffee roaster relocate?

The most common reason roasters choose to move is because the volume of the business has outgrown the current space. Johan, who also works as a coffee consultant, explains most roasters begin with limited resources and therefore, opt for a smaller space. “However, as your business grows and you receive more orders, it becomes essential to find a larger location that can accommodate your expanding operations,” he says. 

Beyond this, the decision to invest in your own roasting equipment may require a move. “Renting equipment is a good starting point,” Johan says, “but if you’re ready to take your roastery to the next level, investing in your own roaster is a natural progression. This may require moving to a new location that can accommodate the specific requirements of your new equipment.”

More so, roasters looking for the long-term benefits of a unique brand space may want to invest in their own property. “This certainly gives you more control and allows you to create an environment that directly reflects your brand and vision,” Johan explains. “Furthermore, it eliminates the challenges that often come with working with landlords.” 

In some cases, neighbour complaints may prompt a move. Roasting coffee produces notable smoke and aroma, which may not always be well-received by surrounding businesses or residents. Johan says maintaining a harmonious relationship with the local community is crucial. “If you receive complaints or if you foresee potential issues, it might be worth considering moving to a more suitable location.”

An image of a coffee roaster standing over a coffee roaster, coffee roasting equipment, dismantling coffee roaster, in an article on how to relocate a coffee roastery without disrupting coffee sales

How to relocate without disrupting orders & sales

Communicate the move

When it comes to moving any business, communication with customers and suppliers is key. This, however, requires thorough planning and timely notifications. “Before anything else, it is important to have a clear understanding of your monthly, weekly, and daily volumes and trends.” He suggests roasters schedule the move during a slower period to minimise disruptions and overwhelming demand. 

Creating a detailed timeline for the relocation process is vital. This should also include an estimated duration for the move. “Notify your customers and suppliers well in advance,” Johan suggested. “Plus, keep an eye on supplier delivery notes and waybills to avoid any disruptions in the supply chain. Regular and transparent communication is essential.”

Roasters should use all communication channels to inform customers and stakeholders about the move. “I suggest leveraging local newspapers, social media platforms, and prominently displaying signage at both the current and new locations,” Johan adds. “Treat the new space as a billboard to generate excitement and awareness about the upcoming move.”

Organise your stock

To ensure a continuous supply of coffee during the moving period, proper stock organisation is crucial. Johan suggests roasting a bulk amount proper to the move. “This can strike a balance between having enough inventory and preventing coffee from going stale during transit, helping you meet customer demands without interruption.”

He also suggests renting roasting time while the relocation is underway. “Renting time on another roaster allows for ongoing production, ensuring that customer orders can be fulfilled without disruption. It’s a temporary solution that can help keep your business running smoothly.”

Next, transportation logistics should be carefully considered in order to protect the stock. “Proper packaging and labelling of equipment and green bean storage are essential to prevent any damage or loss during transit. Treat your stock with utmost care to maintain the quality and freshness of your coffee.”

An image of recyclable coffee packaging, Raging Goose Coffee bags, customised coffee packaging, in an article on how to relocate a coffee roastery without disrupting coffee sales

Dismantling & moving roasting equipment

One of the most important decisions to make while relocating is when to dismantle the roaster and other equipment. Johan suggests roasters have a clear plan and understanding of the new location before initiating the dismantling process. 

“By determining the new placement of the machinery in advance, you can minimise downtime and resume production as soon as the move is complete.”

Moving the roaster and equipment can be a challenging task, especially considering the potential risk of damaging the equipment. “Depending on the size of the machinery, it is highly recommended to invest in a professional moving or rigging company with experience in relocating coffee roasters. Their expertise and specialised equipment will ensure the valuable machinery is transported and reinstalled in the new location safely.”

Relocating a coffee roastery is a complex process that requires careful planning, communication, and expert guidance. However, by carefully considering the above factors and having a coherent plan in place, roasters can seamlessly transition to their new location and continue serving customers.

“Relocating is a significant step for any roaster,” Johan admits. “But, with meticulous planning and the right support, it can lead to exciting growth opportunities and a stronger foundation for your business.”

After all that hard work, it is essential your coffee remains fresh for customers. Investing in high-quality, sustainable coffee packaging can help you maintain your reputation for a premium, freshly roasted product. At MTPak Coffee, we provide roasters and coffee shops with a selection of 100% recyclable coffee packaging options. 

These range from coffee bags made from renewable materials such as kraft paper, rice paper, or multilayer LDPE packaging with an environmentally friendly PLA lining, as well as custom coffee mailer boxes made from 100% recycled cardboard.  Our design team is also available to help you customise your coffee packaging in innovative and creative ways using our digital printing technology.

This allows us to offer our customers quick turnaround times and low minimum order quantity (MOQ).

For more information on sustainable coffee packaging, contact our team

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Nuvin Sithanen
Nuvin Sithanen

Nuvin is a specialty coffee professional with experience in a variety of sectors in the industry, including green coffee sourcing and coffee equipment distribution. He is actively involved in the South African coffee industry, providing coffee beans and equipment to both home baristas and businesses.

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