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How To Find The Perfect Private Label Coffee Supplier For Your Business
Building a private label coffee business? Here's exactly how to find the perfect wholesale supplier to partner with.
Published: September 14, 2021
how to find private label coffee suppliers

Want to sell your own coffee and create a new brand, but aren’t interested or ready to dive into the world of roasting? That’s where private label coffee suppliers come in!

Creating a private label coffee brand is the fastest way to start a coffee business, since you get to leave the roasting part to experts, but get all the benefits of building a brand that’s 100% yours.

Private Label Coffee — Coffee beans that are sold under your own brand, even if you don’t roast them yourself. Essentially, a coffee supplier partner does the roasting work, then you get to slap your branding on it and have to build the rest of the business.

πŸ” Explore private label coffee suppliers near you.

In this guide, we’ll walk through the steps of finding a wholesale coffee partner that’ll help you build your brand, including:

  • The cost of private label coffee beans
  • The 8 keys of a wholesale coffee partner
  • Big questions you must ask before signing a private label contract

Ready to dive in?

What Are the Benefits of Creating a Private Label Coffee Brand?

Creating a private label coffee brand is the fastest way to start a coffee business, since you get to leave the roasting part to experts, but get all the benefits of building a brand that’s 100% yours.

Here’s a quick overview of some of the major benefits:

  • Lower Startup Costs — By opting for a private label coffee beans, you can reduce your initial costs significantly (almost all of them!). Why spend $60,000 on equipment and warehousing space when you can just skip it?
  • No Roasting Training Required — Private label coffee means that you don’t need to spend years learning to roast on your own. Most roasters say the first two years of roasting (even with training) are years of coffee that’s lower-quality than you want long-term. It takes a long time to build that roasting skillset!
  • Build A Brand (That You Own) — creating private label coffee allows you to build your own brand without having to worry about any of the roasting process — you just sell it as if it was roasting in-house.

How Much Do Private Label Coffee Beans Cost?

There are three main costs associated with private label coffee (usually).

  • The standard wholesale coffee price
  • A “toll fee” per pound
  • A fulfillment fee per pound (if you’re drop shipping)

Coffee roasters in our network tend to price their wholesale coffee around $8-10 per pound of roasted beans. That’s a fairly standard price for specialty-grade coffee that’s freshly roasted and well cared for.

But when you’re private labeling, you’re typically having your roaster partner also package the coffee — and that comes at an additional fee. Most private label coffee suppliers charge an additional $1-2 per pound for this service, sometimes called a “toll fee”.

If your roaster partner is also shipping orders out to customers on your behalf, they might charge an additional $1-2 per pound for the effort involved in printing shipping slips, boxes, and post office drop-offs.

8 Key Considerations for Picking a Private Label Coffee Supplier

Let’s take a look around the eight major considerations you need to think through when selecting a partner.

  • Branding: Can you work with the private label roaster to create your own private label branding for your beans? Do they have the packaging supplies you need to realize your vision for your coffee bags?
  • Location: Where is the roaster located? This will likely impact shipping prices, and ideally you can find either (1) someone very close to your or (2) someone right in the middle of your target market.
  • Variety of Beans: Does the private label coffee supplier offer a variety of beans? Single origins, blends, roast levels — make sure you know what you want to sell so you can check this box off.
  • Quality and Consistency: What is their quality control like? Is it monitored throughout the process from roasting to shipping out orders? When you’re building a business on someone else, it’s essential that you can always rely on them to do their best work.
  • Contingency Plans: How many roasters does the company have on their team? What will they do if people get sick or don’t show, but you have to send out orders?
  • Cost: What is your budget for private label beans in general, and what are you willing to spend per pound?
  • Customer Service: How easy is it contact someone at the company with a question or problem? Do they respond quickly by email, phone, or chat? You absolutely want to be able to rely on your partner to respond when there’s an issue or an opportunity.
  • Ease of Shipping: How does their private label coffee roasting facility handle shipping out orders? Do they ship to customers directly on your behalf, or are you responsible for that part yourself?

Also Read: Local SEO For Coffee Shops And Roasteries: A Google My Business Guide

Essential Questions You Need to Ask Your Potential Wholesale Partner

There are a few questions you’ll want to ask private label coffee roasters before signing up with them.

  • How long have they been in business? You definitely don’t want to sign on with someone who’s just opening their doors and looking for clients, but at the same time it’s great if they’ve been around long enough that you know they’re not going anywhere.
  • How long does private label coffee take to roast? You’ll want a private label coffee supplier who can get your beans in the mail fast enough that you don’t lose sales because of shipping time, but there are definitely some roasters out there with faster turnarounds than others!
  • What is their private label coffee roasting capacity? You don’t want someone who private labels coffee and only has the ability to roast a few pounds for you at one time, but neither do you want them if they can handle an unlimited order volume.
  • How often does private label coffee ship out orders? Are there minimums per private label coffee shipment (e.g., sending out orders once a week or month)?
  • Is private label coffee roast-to-order? Or do they private label coffee roast ahead of time and ship it at the appropriate time? You’ll definitely want to know if private label coffee is roasted only when an order comes in, which means shipping could be unpredictable.
  • How quick is their order turnaround time? If you need to get your bags of beans in a rush, make sure they have fast shipping methods available. You never know when you’ll sell more than you thought!
  • What are some additional wholesale private label coffee services that might be offered by the private label coffee roaster (e.g., private label coffee bags)? You might be able to find private label instant coffee, pods, or even private label coffee brewers from the wholesale roaster you choose!
  • What is their minimum order size for private label coffee? Obviously if your order doesn’t meet that number then there’s no point in ordering it: how will you private label coffee get your private label coffee in the mail?
  • What is their private label coffee packaging like? Is it professional-looking, or are you expected to supply all private label coffee bags yourself? If they don’t have private label coffee bags available for purchase online, does that mean you need to buy them somewhere else and put together an order?
  • What shipping methods do they use for private label coffee orders (e.g., UPS, FedEx)? This will have a noticeable impact on the overall cost, so get pricing estimates!
  • Will the roaster allow you to add flavors or extra ingredients to your private label coffee beans? You definitely don’t want a wholesale company that won’t accommodate your needs when it comes to custom private label coffee flavors.
  • What coffee equipment do they recommend for private label coffee businesses? If you don’t have private label coffee brewers yet, are they willing to help you pick the right ones that will work best in your private label coffee shop or restaurant?

Finally, ask them what else they can do to help your business (other than private labeling coffee). For example: Will private label coffee private label coffee ship to private label coffee? Do they private label coffee in-store pick up and drop off, or do you have to pay for shipping every time you private label coffee a private label coffee order?

When You’ve Found the Right Partner, Get All the Details In Writing

Handshake deals are common in the coffee industry, but we don’t recommend keeping things casual. Make the relationship official and put your private label coffee wholesale agreement in writing. This will help you avoid private label coffee supplier disputes down the line and keeps expectations crystal clear.

πŸ” Explore private label coffee suppliers near you.

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