I found myself at a crossroads in my career, after spending decades in the biotech/pharmaceutical industry. With this in mind, the crossroads provided an opportunity to try something new.
Above all, here was a chance to embark on a new path. Specifically, a path that aligned with my passions and offered a balanced lifestyle. Owning my own company was a dream I had for many years. Firstly, creating a brand that people believed in. Secondly, building a team where I could support personal development. Consequently, I had done and cherished these throughout my career.
To begin with, it was time to envision the new company. What would it be? Being an avid jazz and saxophone enthusiast and serious coffee lover, was there a way to combine these into a single business opportunity?
Reflecting back, I remembered previously creating a business plan for the launch of a jazz club. At any rate, the plan would need revisiting. While doing some research, I came across an update to the Food Modernization Act (FMA), which brought coffee under FDA guidelines. I had an entire corporate career centered around FDA regulations and compliance. With this in mind, it sparked me to dig deeper.
Finally, my new venture would be a coffee roasting business. Eventually, expansion plans would include the original jazz club/restaurant/coffee shop I envisioned.
Getting it done
To open and operate a business, I knew I would be eminently qualified. Especially having an extensive career in operations, facilities, procurement, and supply chain management. However, how do you roast coffee, I asked myself?
To do it properly, I needed training. A major requirement would be to learn everything there is to know about the coffee industry. As a priority, I committed a great deal of time to learning the coffee business. In particular, I embarked on training and became certified through the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA). Meanwhile, I was fine-tuning the business plan.
The business had to showcase my personal passions. Namely, helping others, protecting the environment and ensuring the highest quality. My goal was to give people who love coffee, a product that is ethically produced and has full traceability. Customers would be able experience the full complexity and flavor of specialty coffee.
SCA training surprised me how complex coffee can be. Predominantly, the skill of the roaster can accentuate the delicate nuances and flavor characteristics of the bean. This resulted in my own palate being expanded to include lighter roasts. Until then, I had never really known or appreciated the natural floral and fruiter flavor notes lighter roasts offered.
Finding a name
Burwell Beans takes its name from the English town of Burwell, a medieval settlement near a river or stream. In fact, the word Burwell is derived from an Anglo-Saxon settlement (Burgh) close to water.
The settlement and water represented new life and new trade opportunities. In particular, the Burwell Beans logo design was intended to follow the shape of the settlement, with the inside of the shape representing water droplets. It also resembles a butterfly, associated with new life. Formerly living in the village of Burwell in England (at a time when I myself, was starting over), I knew I’d discovered the perfect name and image for my new beginning.
The logo was expertly created by David Gilman from Cognito graphic designers in Maynard MA.
The Dream Comes True
Burwell Beans began to take shape, with loving support and encouragement from my wife, family, and friends and I turned my attention to finalizing my plans. In particular, securing space for the roastery and procuring equipment that would be energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.
Today, I remain passionate about my dream:
Burwell Beans gives customers outstanding choices for their daily cup of coffee. Including consistent quality and transparency in what they purchase. The company helps people discover new flavors and aromatics that get them excited over coffee. This was a new beginning for me, and I want everyone to share in it. With me.
Make a fresh start with us today. Come and enjoy Burwell Beans and live that excitement for great coffee!
Thank you for reading our story and we look forward to building a coffee community with you!