One way to sell coffee is to forgo setting up a Café or online coffee shop and simply roast and sell coffee in bulk as a wholesaler.

This means you are responsible for sourcing coffee beans and roasting them, but you're only focus after that is finding retailers (online or otherwise) to sell the coffee beans to.

In this post we'll review the steps required to begin pursuing a business as a coffee supplier.

Step One: Decide how you will distribute coffee to your customers.

There are two main methods of distribution, and both have their own benefits and drawbacks. The first is called drop shipping (or vendor-managed inventory). With this method, instead of holding coffee in a warehouse yourself, you allow the retailer or coffee shop to manage their coffee inventory and order it directly from you as they run low.

This means that there is no need to purchase or store coffee in advance, but the retailer will be left holding unsold coffee if their customers aren't ordering frequently enough (or not at all). The other main option is called consignment wholesale, where the roaster holds the coffee in their own warehouse, and then ships it to the coffee shop or retailer's wholesale accounts directly. This method ensures that coffee will be sold while still allowing you (the roaster) to hold some inventory for your own business, but restricts coffee retailers from selling beyond your approved contractual limits.

Step Two: Establish a timeline with due dates for orders, shipments and payments.

The coffee industry is highly competitive with many coffee shops to choose from so you'll want to ensure that your coffee business has a strong advantage over the competition. You can do this by having a consistent supply of fresh coffee beans arriving at the retailers' doorsteps every week or two (depending on their consumption), and by having coffee orders fulfilled within a specific time frame.

Overdue coffee shipments not only mean that your customers may be unsatisfied with the quality of their coffee, but it can also make you lose valuable retail outlets if they choose to go elsewhere instead of waiting for slow deliveries. By establishing clear due dates and deadlines in advance (and making sure you meet them), you can avoid issues with coffee retailers and ensure that your coffee business runs smoothly.

Step Three: Determine the minimum order quantity for each coffee retailer.

The best coffee shops are those who not only have a strong customer base, but also an active one that continues to purchase coffee frequently enough to keep supplies low. However, coffee supply is not infinite and you will need to establish a minimum order quantity for each retailer so that they do not purchase too little coffee (or none at all).

For example, if your wholesale coffee business supplies one of the best coffee shops in town with enough coffee beans to last them about three weeks or more at their current coffee consumption rates, you will want to set a minimum order quantity of at least three weeks worth.

This way the coffee shop can keep their coffee supplies low and continue selling your coffee without having to worry about running out or waiting for deliveries in between sales. You may also wish to establish different levels of wholesale accounts with different price points depending on the coffee shop's size and location to further incentivize larger coffee shops.

Step Four: Start searching for coffee retailers online or locally based on your established minimum order quantities.

There are many ways you can search for coffee retailers, including using some of the following as a starting point:


  • Google searches - Searching through directories (ex. coffee shop directories) - Searching through social media (Facebook, Twitter etc.)
  • Local coffee shops


You may even wish to start with some of your own personal connections if they own or work at a coffee retailer that meets the minimum order quantity you're looking for. Whichever method you choose, be sure to keep track of coffee retailers that meet your company's standards and requirements.

Step Five: Reach out to coffee retailers via email or phone call.

After compiling a list of coffee shops, you will want to reach out to them by either calling their store number or sending an email with the following information:

- Name of coffee business (including your coffee brand)

- Minimum order quantity for coffee retailers

- Due dates, timelines and expectations for coffee orders to be fulfilled.

Be sure to follow up with coffee shops that do not respond within a few days so you can keep track of which coffee retailers are interested in your wholesale business. You should also have all this information ready on your coffee business' website in case coffee retailers wish to check out more information about the company before reaching out.

Step Six: Follow up with coffee retailer responses and implement feedback.

You will want to follow up with coffee shops that do not respond within a few days of initial contact (regardless if they say yes or no) to ensure that your coffee businesses' information is up-to-date and correct.

If coffee retailers respond with positive feedback (and an interest in working together), you will want to work out the details for coffee orders including:

- Minimum order quantities

- Due dates, timelines and expectations for coffee orders to be fulfilled.

Take coffee retailers' feedback and preferences into consideration to implement changes that will keep coffee shops happy, incentivized and eager to work with your wholesale coffee business.

Step Seven: Ship the coffee retailer order as agreed upon in step six above.

Once you have worked out all of the details for coffee orders between your company and a coffee retailer, you will want to ship coffee beans as agreed upon.

Make sure coffee retailers receive their coffee orders on time and let them know when they can expect future coffee shipments so that they always have enough coffee supplies on hand for both in-store sales and online/bulk purchases.

How Much Money Can You Make Selling Coffee Wholesale?

There are many variables that come into play when establishing coffee wholesalers coffee pricing. Your coffee price depends on the quality of coffee you sell, your coffee's location, etc.

On average, coffee wholesale prices range from $12-$20/pound.

However, coffee can be sold for upwards of $50 or more per pound to higher end coffee shops and retailers that cater to a high-income clientele. So depending on your coffee business' goals and how much work you're willing to put in selling coffee, coffee roasters can make a lot of money selling coffee wholesale.

Coffee wholesalers are coffee suppliers who sell coffee to retailers or coffee shops. Coffee wholesalers can make a lot of money selling coffee wholesale, but they have to follow some guidelines and requirements before they're able to start their business. The process begins with researching where you want your coffee beans sourced from, deciding on minimum order quantities for different types of coffee, reaching out to the right type of coffee retailer via phone call or email with details about what you offer as well as expectations for when orders should be fulfilled etc...