I suppose it is true that a new idea is a rare thing. No matter how clever we think we are, usually someone else has not only had our same thought, they may have even implemented it. Back when I was selling coffee in Bloomington under the B-town Beans name, I private labeled some coffee as “Motorhead Coffee” to bike events, shops and enthusiasts. When I sold the business and eventually moved away, I always figured I would be behind a roaster again. However, I did not plan to revive the Motorhead name or idea until my retirement. Just as my old Brooklyn coffee broker warned me, once you get in the coffee business, you can’t stay away.
I used to envision what “Motorhead coffee” would look like. I even went as far as to look at an old abandoned oil company building in Bloomington. My friend Terry knew the owner and, as it turned out, they were looking for a business like mine. I was specifically looking for those type of places because, after all, what kind of building should Motorhead Coffee be housed in? A gas station or garage, of course! I even toyed with making the logo and signage look like graffiti on an old brick building. And while I do plan on creating some t-shirts like the one below, I really wanted to carry the theme by making “pit” or “mechanic” shirts.
When we moved to Louisville, I did not know right away that I would be in business here. In fact, I visited many of the fine local roasters, got to know some of them and bought their product. However, there was a growing dissatisfaction inside that I could not deny. If you read back in some of these blog archives, you can probably figure where that discord comes from. At any rate, here I am, returning to the coffee business.
My plans are still developing, but they go something like this. First, I am concentrating on wholesaling, web sales and opportunities outside the Louisville area (distance is no problem!). I am also focusing on group events, like the upcoming Kentucky Kickdown. Next step is a trailer or food truck, so I can make the business mobile. Finally, I would like to set up shop in a retail environment. I don’t want a strip mall. I don’t want a shiny new building; I want an old, vintage garage or gas station. Even though I’ve been thinking about this for years, it is, unfortunately, not a new or novel idea. Just take a look at the photo below. The Garage Bar on Market Street beat me to it! I don’t know if they planned it that way, or just found the building and decided to take advantage of the idea. Either way, its a cool place with awesome food and a great craft beer selection. If you ever wonder what I see when I see Motorhead Coffee, a place like the Garage Bar is at least part of the vision. The “when, where & how” are still unknown. For now, I will simply go where the road leads me.