Eric Faust had a long-range vision for a business that would put Duluth coffee on the map. Duluth Coffee Company got its start as a small wholesale roastery selling at farmers markets from the bed of Faust’s ’91 Ford F-150.
Faust had big ambitions, but substantial obstacles stood in his way, including lack of capital, lack of foundational business knowledge, two difficult business models and operational challenges ranging from siting to partnerships.
How can an entrepreneur overcome serious obstacles to establish and expand a business?
The Entrepreneur Fund provided extensive support to actualize his vision, including startup financing, expansion financing, classes and an expert consultant to advise him on business planning and troubleshooting. This multifaceted, multi-year support enabled Faust to:
- Launch a strategically sound wholesale coffee business
- Build stable revenue, market share and strong relationships with local businesses, fellow roasters, distributors and international coffee bean suppliers
- Expand his wholesale roasting operation to include a café and retail location as well as a Roasteria that also serves wine, beer and cocktails
Duluth Coffee Company is now an essential part of Duluth’s business sector, and Faust continues to focus on strengthening partnerships in every section of the business. By connecting intimately with real families who grow and harvest coffee to building trust with distributors, Faust keeps himself and his company grounded.