Counting beans

Over the past few years, hundreds if not thousands of coffee roasters have set up shop around Australia, with lenders, co-roasting facilities, and contract roasters having lowered the bar of entry to the industry. However, the sudden rise of coffee roasters has created a competitive landscape sometimes called oversaturated, meaning new players may struggle to thrive.

According to Tim Mazzarol, Winthrop Professor specialising in small business management at the University of Western Australia (UWA), Australia has many mechanisms in place to support someone looking to start a small business.

“The coffee roasting and café industries are seemingly perennial, and a business can really get going if it finds a good niche and is well managed,” Tim says. “The overall climate in Australia is relatively good for small business and the ease of starting a business is better than most other countries with a fair bit of support in a whole raft of areas.”

Andrew Low, Co-founder of Ordermentum, has seen the sudden rise of coffee roasters firsthand through the online B2B ordering platform, which has more than 200 roasters using the system. As former Managing Director of Toby’s Estate, he also understands the challenges of running a successful roastery.

“The traditional journey to becoming a specialty roaster is largely through a barista pathway. They’re often an enthusiast

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