Old Linn Run Coffee Bean Roastery

Old Linn Run Coffee Bean Roastery
A little bit about us.

Coffee Descriptions and Pricing

Coffee Descriptions and Pricing

Who we are......by Kandi

Who we are...... by Kandi

It was my desire to have a coffee roasting business in Ligonier Valley for many years. I discovered a transportable roaster and knew that “now was the time”. My partner, Dave was crazy enough to agree to the idea and “so it began”. Our business was established in June, 2010

We ordered the roaster, made with all U.S.A. parts, from a small company out west, traveling nine days round trip to pick it up. It was quite the adventure--- as I’m sure the business will be too.

Our intention is to offer quality coffee that is fresh roasted. This makes all the difference in taste, as our increasing number of coffee “fans” can attest to. To maintain peak freshness, the beans are roasted after they are ordered.

Since our first event, Back to the Garden Market, “just down the road” from us, we’ve brewed and sold coffee at many festivals and markets. Along with purchasing direct from us….our coffee is sold at various other businesses from Rector to Pittsburgh with more in the works. A list is posted. Other businesses have expressed interest and we are receiving a lot of phone and e-mail orders. The positive response is very encouraging.

We hope that once you try our coffee you’ll taste the difference too and become a valued customer and friend as well!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

$124/lb for your morning coffee???


$124/lb for pre-packaged, ground, stale coffee……

We have been telling our customers to buy the DIY filters. It saves money in the long run and you can have coffee you actually like. Most don’t believe it or think it is too difficult. Maybe this will article will  help.

Monday, February 25, 2013

For those that ask “What is Agave?”

Photo © Paul g. Wiegman
Sharing a post from Phipps conservatory Facebook page. We offer Agave Nectar along with raw sugar for those that need a sweetener added to their coffee. We often are asked, “What is Agave?” Here is your answer.

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

The Agave lophantha, or Thorncrest Century plant, has just begun to bloom in our Desert Room. This beauty produces greenish-yellow flowers that emerge in a spire shape from a rosette and can grow as tall as 10 to 12 feet in its natural environment. Visit to see it in person: http://bit.ly/Ni0Sak

Friday, February 15, 2013

the ramblings from a "PAIN IN THE BUTT”  on  FRIDAYS

Here it is, late night Friday. Just realized that I committed myself to these Friday posts. Damn. I hate commitments! ;~)  I guess I will just share some of the issues that I am sure all small businesses have to think about and deal with. 

During this slow season, we have time to consider what we need to be doing to increase sales and hopefully find we need to expand.  What do you do to not be just an “expensive hobby”? 

Marketing….. that must be one of the big dilemmas (or dilemna if you choose) of all businesses, especially if you are small and relatively new like us. How to sell our product directly more than wholesale..especially without that “brick and mortar” is the question. 

Another issue to keep in mind is the overhead costs. I think you need to be mindful of keeping those costs down as much as possible in the beginning. I’ve seen too many start ups jump right in, spending money as if they had it, a nice costly building, perfectly decorated, lots of inventory and all the fun stuff. Along comes the real B.S., ie: insurance, utilities, licenses…… plus the fact that you need guaranteed income to pay for it and then some. Quite a scary prospect! Often the businesses are here today and gone tomorrow. So what is the answer? When is the time to go for it vs. holding back a bit more? That is the risk, the timing that has to be decided, and hopefully the right decision.

We are finally breaking down and starting a website. Being a small business with virtually no “brick and mortar” building to operate out of, it is difficult to sell directly other than the country markets. A few friends and business clients have suggested the website. Of course some others have said that they've not gotten enough business from theirs to pay for the costs. What to do…….

Our current, less extravagant, plan of opening a small, home based shop here in Rector is going so SLOOOOOOOW! I thought it would have been ready this past July. However, other issues took our time away from it. Here we are, mid-February and still not open. I am quite frustrated. A lot of the work to remodel the building seems to go in spurts. I seemed to be making progress with the insulation in the ceiling awhile ago. It was difficult doing it alone. Quite a bit of acrobatic moves with two ladders and having to use my head to hold up the insulation etc, a comedy act. I thought  we could get the rest completed in no time but we have to do things during free time and good weather which has not happened often. Oh well, some day soon I hope we will be telling everyone that we are open for business…whatever that means as a “home business” in Ligonier Twp. At least it will be home for the roaster and we can have some semblance of an actual business, close to home. 

Another “brilliant idea” we’re still working on is looking for something to use for a cafe to continue at Linn Run State Park. We loved being there each weekend in the fall. We heard a lot of positive comments and it was well received. We have an exclusive license for there and are constantly on the lookout for the right option to replace the tent we currently use for the country markets etc. 

Something else that I am trying to discover: How do we get the word out that we are also “green”? A friend, Michelle, and I were discussing that a lot of big businesses are jumping on the “green” bandwagon to market their products. She mentioned that we should consider using materials etc and let it be known. Ironically, we have been doing that all along simply because that is something important to us, whether it is in style or not. Our beans not only are Grade one, they are Direct Trade, organic and/or sustainably grown. Some have those feel good “stories to tell” of saving birds, building villages etc. Our cups are made from recycled material and also made in the USA, we pay extra but….  We donate to organizations when we have extra $ to do so. However, how in the hell do we get all that info out to the customers? I can design and print as many informational signs that I want but does anyone read them? Where do I put all these signs? We would need a separate tent just for what I affectionately call the “blah blah”.  How do we get it through to the conscientious consumer that purchasing our coffee is helping the planet + +  just like those other companies that they read about? The big difference though…. our coffee is also Grade One and Fresh roasted! What is the answer? I don’t know yet. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!!

Well, it is officially Saturday now. I have written a long post. Don’t know if anyone reads these, especially the long winded posts. If you are out there reading this…. it would be great to hear from you!   Thanks again! Kandi

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Friday, February 8, 2013

changing the name a bit….

the ramblings from a "PAIN IN THE BUTT”  on  FRIDAYS

Today I want to discuss “FAIR TRADE”. 
I know many of you have heard that term.  A lot of people, like I, have heard the term and jumped on the proverbial bandwagon. I however, have learned more through the years and jumped off. I’m not so sure it is what it professes to be. The reason I bring this subject up is because many consumers are making purchasing choices based on just a little knowledge. You know what I mean…. just enough knowledge to make yourself dangerous. LOLWe have some very nice acquaintances that refuse to buy our coffee, along with others we probably don’t know about, because it is not “Fair Trade”.  I attempted to explain the Direct Trade concept and they did not want to hear it. We have the same trouble at times when trying to market our coffee to a store for resale. In the case of our acquaintances, they are "very much into birds & the environment” and yet our Bobolink Farms Brazilian is of no interest to them. I posted a few videos further down on this blog about the farm. They have won sustainability awards, are a small family owned farm that has taken on the task of saving the Bobolink bird (+ any other creature that benefits as well) by farming shade grown coffee that produces excellent quality grade one beans. They plant fruit for the birds and have educated the other farmers ++++ Audubon has visited their farm. Now please, tell me why in the hell they would not purchase that coffee (if they liked the taste) ?  The answer…..it’s not “Fair Trade”. 

I inadvertently found an article from the  STANFORD SOCIAL INNOVATION REVIEW,  titled  “The Problem with Fair Trade Coffee” by Colleen Haight summer 2011   To summarize a very long article:The Fair Trade concept began as a way to  pay producers slightly above-market “fair trade” price provided they meet specific labor, environmental, and production standards— which was a very good ideal. "However, through the years the idea being sold to the consumer in actuality is not what is occurring. The reality is simple: consumers are not guaranteed to get a good quality coffee and the farmers are not getting all the funds directly into their pocket. "
  • Membership in a cooperative is a requirement of Fair Trade regulations. Another core element is the premium—the subsidy (now 20 cents per pound over market value) paid by purchasers to ensure economic and environmental sustainability. Premiums are retained by the cooperative and do not pass directly to farmers. Instead, the farmers vote on how the premium is to be spent for their collective use. They may decide to use it to upgrade the milling equipment of a cooperative, improve irrigation, or provide some community.
  • The quality of the coffee is not guaranteed to be of a good grade. Commodity coffee is broken into grades of coffee to determine the price. Specialty coffee is considered a higher price on top of that due to the flavors along with the grade. Fair Trade coffee is considered a “Specialty coffee” simply because of the certification but not necessarily due to the grade.  Along with that comes the problem that if a farmer has, for instance, 2 bags of coffee to sell….one being a high grade worth $1.70/lb on the open market and another lower grade worth $1.20/lb, which will he sell on the open market vs to  the Fair Trade?  Fair Trade is offering $1.40/lb (20 cents over the market value). Which bag of beans do you think will be sold to Fair Trade for $1.40/lb? Quick….answer….. is it the good quality he can get $1.70 for elsewhere or the low quality?  The answer of course is the low quality beans. Another problem is that sometimes the beans from many farms are thrown together before reselling, yet another way of not being guaranteed good quality beans.                                                                            
You cannot be guaranteed that you are getting  high quality beans and yet you are paying a high premium price just for the label stating “Fair Trade”.  On the other hand, as with our coffee, the beans are purchased directly….thus the term “Direct Trade”. Our broker who is a certified grader, visits the farms, determines the grade of beans for the farmer’s resell purposes, and purchases, directly from that farm, only the highest quality beans. We are purchasing grade one, single origin beans. We want to roast only the best beans. We have been approached by other coffee brokers from Pittsburgh and elsewhere, with less expensive beans but we are not interested. We choose to buy only the best for our clients. We hope that you appreciate this too.  

 BTW, awhile ago we also had a new store in “the city" tell us that they only purchase beans from roasters that bought "directly from the farms"….. ironically, the roaster they purchase from sells direct and fair trade beans... but they do not travel to the farms to purchase. Yet another example of someone hearing a term but not fully understanding it.  

Oh well. C’est la vie. Another day in the life of an entrepreneur. There are always encouraging and discouraging times. We only  hope that the former outweighs the latter.  ;~)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The cheese making kit arrived!!! Now if only there was enough time to try it out. ;~(

There are a lot of farms with cow and goats milk, so we should have fun once we find some time. After we get the hang of it, if we do, we want to attempt to use our dry coffee rub on some and age it. 
Will keep you posted!

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Bobolink Farms Brazilian

This is one of our offerings that “has a story to tell”. If you read the history link below you will see what we mean. The Croce’s have done everything they can to grow an incredible coffee bean and yet protect the Bobolink and more. 
Please watch the videos and enjoy and peruse the website. The Bobolink video is interesting, just to hear them sing.  We are listed in the “Where to Buy” - roasted coffee section on their web. Now if only we can actually visit there as we were invited to do by, Felipe Croce. ;~)

Grown at one of the few Brazilian coffee farm co-ops that uses sustainable, organic growing methods. This coffee has a deep flavor full of nuts, chocolate, and caramel, with a subtle earthy quality, along with a hint of citrus.
This group of farms is located in Igarai, a lovely region in the state of Sao Paulo, where crops of bananas and vegetables grow alongside the coffee, surrounded by honeybees, flowers, and forest. These farms set an example for living and creating a truly sustainable model for life and for farming.

A video of the farm                     http://youtu.be/MaMG2ycNXkM
A video of the Bobolink              http://youtu.be/8TXIrXiyW6o                    
History of “Bobolink Farms”      http://www.bobolinkcoffee.com/Coffee.asp?op=History

Friday, February 1, 2013

It is officially Friday, so I guess I have to write something. I do not like this commitment to Fridays.
Not sure I really have that many “pain in the butt” stories to tell fortunately. I may need to reconsider this despite the fact that Hadleigh came up with the idea. 

Being a partner in a relatively new small business (June 2010),  presents it’s own types of issues. The main one being, financial. 
So many people have the misconception that working for yourself is easy and lucrative. They think it is just fun and games, setting your own hours, not working when you don’t feel like it, making a lot of income like they think their former employers do…….+++
Reality check…. what income? haha   The “rule", if I remember correctly, is that if you break even after five? years, you are going to make it. 

I had to laugh awhile ago when I listened to a friend of mine, also a new small business owner woefully say they had to sell their tickets to a show. This was because they were hustling to be ready for their grand opening. I stood there and thought…well never mind what I thought. My response: "Welcome to owning your own business.” It is not just about decorating your shop and having fun buying inventory. There are rules and regs to follow, paperwork, lots of it, money invested and a ton of time out of your life, sometimes getting you nowhere fast. 

However, it is an adventure and a challenge. There are so many people you meet that are incredibly nice!!! It is always rewarding when things do go the way they were intended (& then some at times)!! If you can hang in there, be persistent and resourceful plus  have a good idea/product, chances are you will be successful, however your define success.

That is our hope. 

Thanks for reading my “ramblings". Kandi