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Wrapping up the CanvasRebel interview with Tony, he shares some of the reality of managing business funding, family responsibilities, and why slow and steady works for him.


Can you open up about how you funded your business?

I was a broke teacher.

I took $500 to buy green coffee beans & supplies, knowing I could turn that into $1000. Then turn that $1000 into $2000. I worked out of my house & shed. I took no money initially. I built up a following and a little cash.

Eventually I did a crowdfunding campaign to buy my first commercial roaster. Initially I did not build out a space for myself, for the first 7 years I sort of “slept on people’s couches”. This means I would find the simplest ways to make my business operational so that I could grow it. I put my roasting machine in a commissary kitchen and work 3rd shift. I put my roastery in less than desirable places, though they got the job done.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Cooper

This was so important because it allowed me to self fund and not need to overextend myself with loans or investors. The alternative was to take out money, go all in on a business that was not proven, and potentially being overextended. This alternative was too risky for me and felt restrictive. We have always tried to be authentically us and this alternative may have prevented that in some ways.

Slow, organic growth. Consistent, quality product & experience for the win. Patience & sacrifice.

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