I Believe In Velo Coffee Roasters

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I watch every coffee-related Kickstarter video anyone sends me; I read them all because I’m so curious about your hopes and dreams. Truth: I’m not always on board. If they’re not well thought out, if you haven’t effectively communicated why achieving your goal would make the world a better place, even in the smallest of ways, well, then I usually say thanks for sharing and move on.

That said, I was deeply struck by the Kickstarter offered up by Andrew Gage of Velo Coffee Roasters in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Here it is:

Andrew and his wife, Jessica, own and operate Velo in a burgeoning community of foodies and coffee lovers. They have insisted on growing slowly, even though doing it while raising kids can be painful at times. But over the past few years, Velo has gained a respected reputation and a loyal following in Chattanooga. They roast coffee and deliver it by bike, all while running an airy, eco-smart cafe for a growing number of fans.

Given their commitment to bike culture—Velo delivers to its wholesale accounts by bike—it makes sense they're offering a bike for a Kickstarter pledge. And she's a beauty.

Given their commitment to bike culture—Velo delivers to its wholesale accounts by bike—it makes sense they’re offering a bike for a Kickstarter pledge. And she’s a beauty.

Now Velo is ready for the next step: a larger roaster. Rather than throw together a simple Kickstarter to fund it, Andrew and Jessica worked long and hard to do it right—it’s just how they do things. I love the message about why they’re reaching out to their community—both locally and the larger national coffee community—as opposed to banks or other traditional institutions: This is how they’ve succeeded so far, through relationship building and exchanges of ideas and commitments.

Velo's Kickstarter was developed to raise the last funds needed to purchase a new roaster. Andrew says on the campaign page: "Our choice of roaster is a new cast iron Joper 15 Kilo with an added Brigus Roast Control & Profile System. Besides having a larger production capacity, this machine and profile system will allow precise control over every aspect of the roasting process. We're aiming to better our craft, and this machine will facilitate that."

Velo’s Kickstarter was developed to raise the last funds needed to purchase a new roaster. Andrew says on the campaign page: “Our choice of roaster is a new cast iron Joper 15 Kilo with an added Brigus Roast Control & Profile System. Besides having a larger production capacity, this machine and profile system will allow precise control over every aspect of the roasting process. We’re aiming to better our craft, and this machine will facilitate that.”

“We see Kickstarter as a way to give our supporters an opportunity to invest in Velo Coffee, and we’re ready to invest with you,” says Andrew in the campaign online. “We’ve been saving money in preparation for taking this step. Were half way to our goal, but we need one last financial push to purchase the roaster.” 

You can see why this is so important to them from looking at the amazing array of gifts available in exchange for monetary investment in this Kickstarter project, from something as small as a drink ticket, to a custom bike, roasting lessons, sturdy backpacks for carrying coffee equipment, and much more.

Custom camp coffee kit available from Velo as a thanks for a Kickstarter pledge.

Custom camp coffee kit available from Velo as a thanks for a Kickstarter pledge.

I sincerely encourage you to watch this video and consider Andrew and Jessica’s message: I believe they can do this, and that in doing so, they’ll inspire others and contribute overall to the good we can all do as part of the global specialty-coffee community.

Best of luck, Velo. We mean it.

About the Author

Sarah

Sarah Allen is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.