SENIOR YEAR IN HIGH SCHOOL – A YEAR FULL OF PIMPLES AND ANXIETY
The year was 2002 and it was my senior in high school, when I truly discovered the magic coffee has. Shortly thereafter, I become a coffee connoisseur, or what I like to say, a "coffee snob." I enrolled at SUNY Onondaga Community College to start my journey of becoming a lawyer because the last thing I ever wanted was to own a business. I saw the struggles that came along with owning a small business and wanted nothing to do with it.
UNEMPLOYED SO BACK TO COLLEGE I GO
In 2010, I found myself living with my parents, again. I was unemployed and unable to find a job. I went on countless job interviews. When asked by the HR representative what makes me self-disciplined, I responded back with the fact that I get up most days at 4:30 am to train so I can compete as an ultra-endurance athlete. “That’s not the self-discipline we are looking for” responded every HR representative. It drove me wild! So, I decided to go back to get my bachelor’s degree. I thought to myself, maybe just having an Associate’s Degree was not enough education.
After much thought, I decided I was going back to college to become a professor to change the world for the better. Soon after I enrolled into SUNY Empire State College, I met my professor and mentor Dr. Julie Gedro. In one of her classes, I read the book, “Let My People Go Surfing” and it changed my life. The education system burned me out and I didn’t have the money to attend graduate school; so at that moment, I knew I wanted to change the world, but not as a professor.
OFF TO THE COFFEE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD
In 2012, the coffee landscape was much different from what it is today and I was in search for a more flavorful coffee. I traveled to Seattle, Washington and became captivated with the coffee bars and the romance of “better tasting” coffee. It was time to declare independence from stale, mass produced coffee.
STICKBOY COFFEE IS BORN AND WE ARE THE UNDERDOGS
I always felt that humor was the best marketing tool in business so I decided to name the company Stickboy Coffee; “Stickboy” being my nickname from high school – when you meet me, you’ll know why!
With all the support in the world from my Mom in 2012, I started Stickboy Coffee with no office, no computers, no distributors and I definitely had no connections. I didn’t even have a roaster. Yes you read that right. Who starts a coffee company without a roaster? Me. Stickboy. All I had was a dream. People told me I was crazy and the company would not survive two months.
I purchased our first roaster and began roasting. After tasting that first batch of Stickboy Coffee House Blend, I knew I had something that might just prove my doubters wrong. Through trial and error, and countless hours of researching roasting techniques, I was able to hone in on my craft.
Now that I have an awesome product so everyone is going to buy it. Right? Wrong! So many doors slammed in my face and I was called every name in the book. I wish I was joking here but I’m serious. I knew Syracuse, New York is one of the toughest markets in the world for small businesses, but did they have to be so rude?
TIME TO SEEK HELP OR MY DREAM DIES
I could not get anyone to buy my coffee. I had to either let my dream die or fight like hell to keep it alive. I started approaching some well-known entrepreneurs and to my surprise many of them e-mailed me back. I remember jumping for joy! “Oh you are at the move-back-in-with-your-parents’ stage. Been there. Done that. Welcome to entrepreneurship. I will help in any way I can” they would e-mail me back. Yes!
I spent most of my time going from place to place getting people to sample my flavorful coffee. The coffee caught on faster than I expected. By the end of the year in 2014, Stickboy Coffee distribution expanded from Syracuse, New York all the way to California and Washington, places where great coffee is revered!
MY BAD, I CHANGED THE GAME
I never really set out to change the coffee industry at all. Honestly. Stickboy Coffee has two key things in our favor: a coffee full of quality and flavor from our incredible passion for coffee which leads to great customer service!
Coffee lovers quickly learned about Stickboy Coffee and started sharing their passion for us through word-of-mouth promotion which has led to our coffee being available throughout the entire country. We introduced new and different coffee’s that other companies don’t dare try while having a line of seasonal coffees which has led to the growth of Stickboy Coffee.
WHAT A GREAT TIME TO LOVE COFFEE
At Stickboy Coffee, we are NEVER satisfied with the existing coffee styles, so we are always pushing the expectations of coffee to create new coffee blends with flavorful tastes. Everyone NOW gets to enjoy café quality coffee at home or at work. We never hold back inventory which leads to our coffee selling out. But don’t worry we are always roasting more!
We raise our coffee mugs to a better tasting coffee!!