One year ago, Collin Young began dabbling in home roasting using a $30 popcorn popper, “and it was amazing.” As he roasted small batches of coffee, Collin became, “pretty blown away with how good it was,” and he found his friends shared his sentiments. Having been drinking coffee from household names such as Blue Bottle Coffee and Verve Coffee, Collin knew his small batches, once fresh roasted, were comparable. With encouragement from friends who had tried his home roasted coffee, Collin became interested in how far he could take the roasting side of things.
Collin and his wife Carolyn transitioned into selling bags of fresh roasted coffee out of their home, using the popcorn popper, “and it was so slow, I think we could do an eighth of a pound at a time.” In spite of the tedious process, Collin found, “people would say it was the best coffee they ever had.”
“I’ve loved coffee for a really long time and Carolyn loves any new business idea that we can hustle.”
Carolyn adds, “I like the event side of things.” Motivāt has brought their coffee around communities at weddings, conferences, church plants, and birthday parties.
Carolyn and Collin worked their first event last August when Inspire church launched a theology and coffee series. At the time, the grassroots couple were pastoring and asked if they could serve in another capacity. For five weeks, Motivāt served coffee once a week at Inspire. Carolyn comments that set-up is her sweet spot, “That’s where I come in, I can’t handle too much caffeine, I’m already on a ten all the time,” she says with a laugh. Carolyn found the aesthetics, set-up, and community interaction to be so life-giving and fun that she knew they could branch out to weddings. As synchronicity would have it, just as the thought occurred, a member of their community asked if Motivāt did weddings.
In an effort to save money starting out, Collin used every email address he could get his hands on to acquire samples of unroasted beans from Blue Bottle coffee as he worked to perfect the roasting process. The husband and wife dream team studied at “bible college” and have hearts for ministry; they have been able to do pop-up coffee services at numerous church conferences and events in their community. For Motivāt it was important for them, “To figure out how we can take what we have in our hands and also do what we want to do as far as see this world experience more love.” A unique aspect of spreading love is Motivāt’s partnership with non-profits and seeing their work influence someone else’s community. All of their current selections are single origin coffees which means the beans come from one unique source in a specific corner of the world. Motivāt is committed to giving a dollar back to the country of origin they acquire their coffee from.
A new vision Collin and Carolyn have been fleshing out is the opportunity to do coffee blends with local non-profits. On the subject of non-profits, Motivāt is donating 25 cents of each purchase back to Smalltown Society. Carolyn reflected on Motivāt’s reach, “It has been really cool to see how us doing this small thing has inspired other people. We always want to leave a place better than it was before we got there.”
Although Motivāt has been a significant transition for a growing family Carolyn comments that they are all in, “We’re just really open to wherever God wants to take us. When we bought that popcorn roaster, that crazy $30 investment for Collin’s birthday we never thought we’d be here in six months.”
Motivāt is currently operating on organic self-funding and they work to make smart financial decisions as they grow.
A current goal Motivāt is working towards is direct sourcing their beans, they are especially interested in working with coffee farmers in Guatemala and will visit the country later in the year. They also aim to direct source from Kenya and Brazil. Motivāt currently has single origin coffees from Guatemala, Kenya, and Brazil. They described how proceeds are benefitting each country of origin. For Guatemala, they are supporting the farming community they source from while in Kenya they are giving to Freely in Hope, a non-profit that works to aid and restore the lives of young women who are survivors of sexual violence through emotional support and educational opportunities. Motivāt is currently seeking a non-profit in Brazil to give back to.
The smaller size of the business allows Motivāt the opportunity to engage in sustainable sourcing of beans while finding connections that help them support the community.
In the near future, Motivāt will partner will La Familia, a multicultural organization
committed to strengthening the emotional wellness of individuals and the preservation of families. La Familia provides opportunities for job training to individuals who are formerly incarcerated. Motivāt will work with individuals and provide them with 100 hours of barista training.
Collin and Carolyn hope that their coffee and work with the community continues to motivate people to go to the next level in their lives and abilities to impact their communities.
For more information on coffee subscriptions and featured products visit motivátcoffee.com and follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Motivāt Coffee Roasters will be at Smalltown Society from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. from February 19, 2018 until February 23, 2018.