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Rising From The Ashes with Scot & Christine Steenson

Podcast Episode #57 —

Rising From The Ashes with Scot & Christine Steenson

00:00 / 59:51

Scot & Christine Steenson have one of the craziest startup stories that you’ll ever hear.

They used to live in Paradise, CA, and as you may know, their entire town was destroyed back in 2018’s Camp Fire, which was California’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire in history.

Scot & Christine now live in Forest Ranch, CA and sell roasted coffee with their cottage food business, Road Roaster Coffee Company.

After losing their home and nearly all of their physical possessions, they had to start over. And that’s exactly what they did!

Christine had long dreamed of opening a coffee shop. So they decided to try it. After all, why not? They literally had nothing else to lose.

And as you’ll see, they actually had a whole lot to gain! Their coffee business quickly took off and they have been going pedal to the metal ever since.

With almost $50,000 of sales last year, they are one of the most successful cottage food businesses in California.

In this episode, you’ll hear how they created a very unique brand that flies in the face of traditional coffee marketing, and how their mission driven approach has allowed them to become very involved in their local community.

You’ll also learn what it really means to be living in paradise.

What You’ll Learn

  • The story of how they lost their Paradise, CA home in 2018’s Camp Fire
  • The 4 Pillars that guide every business decision they make
  • How their business allowed them to become much more connected to their community
  • A creative idea for collaborating with other farmers market vendors
  • Why you should find creative ways to collaborate with other businesses
  • How they used a summer camping trip to get feedback about their product
  • What kind of equipment you need to roast coffee
  • Why you shouldn’t look for the cheapest option when buying equipment
  • Their insane first holiday season, with Scot roasting for over 100 hours per week
  • How they flipped coffee marketing on its head to create a unique selling proposition
  • How to use unique and fun product names to capture customers’ attention
  • Why not being able to sample their coffee turned out to be a blessing in disguise
  • How to use different pricing tiers to capture a larger customer base
  • What to consider when sourcing green coffee beans from abroad
  • Why they created a crazy promo video
  • Why they’ve currently ditched their plans to move into a brick-and-mortar location
  • What it really means to be living in paradise


Road Roaster Coffee Company website (Instagram | Facebook | Rumble | Gab)

Crazy promo video

Coffee roasting Facebook groups:

Diedrich Roasters

California Cottage Food Law


This transcript was computer-generated, so there may be errors

David Crabill: Welcome to the Forrager podcast, where I talk with cottage food entrepreneurs, about their strategies for running a food business from home. I’m David Crabill And today I’m talking with Scot and Christine Steenson.

They live in Forest Ranch, California, and sell roasted coffee with their cottage food business, Road Roaster Coffee Company.

Simply put Scot and Christine have one of the craziest startup stories that I have ever heard.

They used to live in Paradise, California. And as you may know, their entire town was destroyed back in 2018’s Camp Fire which was California’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire in history.

After losing their home and nearly all of their physical possessions, they had to start over. And that’s exactly what they did.

Christine had long dreamed of opening a coffee shop. So they said, Hey, let’s try it. Why not? We literally have nothing else to lose.

And as you’ll see, they actually had a whole lot to gain their coffee business quickly took off and they have been going pedal to the metal ever since with almost $50,000 of sales last year, they are definitely one of the most successful cottage food businesses in California.

In this episode, you’ll hear how they created a very unique brand that flies in the face of traditional coffee marketing and how their mission driven approach has allowed them to become very involved in their local community.

And with that, let’s jump right into this episode.

Welcome to the show, Scot and Christine. Nice to have you here.

[00:01:24] Scot Steenson: Hey, it’s great to be here.

[00:01:26] David Crabill: Well, I know you guys have this crazy backstory. Can you take me back to how this whole coffee business got off the ground?

[00:01:35] Scot Steenson: yeah, Chris and I were previously lived in a town named paradise, California. We now live one Ridge over in another town called forest ranch.

But on November 8th, 2018 the town was affected by a massive uh, California’s largest wildfire and it, burned down 20,000 structures and unfortunately about 87 people lost their souls. And, um, prior to, to the fire, we had talked a lot about, and we had discussions about opening a coffee shop.

but really hadn’t act on it. We had our own lives. Chris was working as a fish tech with the salmon fishery in, um, I was a traveling salesman.

And so we basically said, you know, we’ve had to change every single aspect of our lives. Except our jobs. so maybe this is our opportunity to try to do something.

[00:02:21] David Crabill: So, I, I know we’re going to get into your business in a little bit, but can you take me back to that event? The campfire, I mean, I know it was just crazy, I only a couple hours away from you guys. So What was that night like?

[00:02:37] Scot Steenson: Well, I think Chris was a little more affected by it. I got up about two o’clock in the morning and, um, I had to drive up to a town called Arcata And so I was already hundreds of miles away. When it happened and I’ll let you know, Chris will talk here in a second about her experience.

But for me it a unique experience because it was, I was completely helpless, helpless. I had to hundreds of miles away and my wife and my children and everything had to evacuate by themselves.

So for me, it was a mad dash driving my company vehicle, you know, a hundred miles an hour for three hours straight trying to get home.

[00:03:10] Christine Steenson: by the time he did make it to. Chico, of course the roads were closed, so he could not get up to paradise anyway. So we had a meeting spot in Oroville.

But no, it was, no that day was just started out as an average day. It was just getting my, daughter to school. And we noticed this guy was a little pink and actually very pretty and we knew that it was a fire, but living there most, all of my life you’re used to fires.

so it wasn’t anything out of the usual or anything to be concerned about at the time. But I would say within two hours of that, this, it was when the chaos started and we were being told to evacuate paradise and I had to go back and grab my daughter from school and get to the house and start packing up anything and everything we could.

and hit Neil road and, you know, took a couple hours to get seven miles.

And we lived seven miles to the freeway that was kind of crazy. It happened so fast. And, even when I was evacuating and embers coming down, when was going crazy I still, at that point did not believe that the fire would make it clear to where we lived. We were at the bottom of paradise, the lower end, and the fire was um, on the upper end, across the canyon at the time.

So yeah, just happened extremely fast.

[00:04:34] David Crabill: what was the waiting period like for you to, you know, figure out if your home was still there?

[00:04:42] Scot Steenson: I took quite a while.

[00:04:45] Christine Steenson: The hardest part,

[00:04:47] Scot Steenson: almost a month. So there were like people that were in the town, you know, the firefighters and support, you know uh, construction crews or whatever it was recovery crews so we would just be glued to the like Facebook, you know, to social media, to anything, to see if, cause some people would drive up and down roads with their cameras, with their cell phones and take videos of certain roads.

so we would just watch everything we could to see if somebody would happen to be driving up and down our road. and then that’s the problem is somebody did go down our road, And then right when they got to where our house was, they panned the video to the other side of the road.

Right. And so we didn’t really know. And then we also had a bunch of chickens there as well that we, that we left.

And we, weren’t sure what was happening with them. Well, but then we had a friend in the fire department and I think she went by the house eventually, or was able to get, somebody, one of her friends to go by the house and tell us a that unfortunately, the um, unfortunately the house was, was no longer there, but the great thing was the amazing thing was that all the chickens had survived. B ecause they were kind of in a separate part of our property and there wasn’t much brush around it. And so not only did our chicken survive, but all of our neighbors took their chickens and stuff.

[00:06:01] Christine Steenson: Well, the neighbor chickens found their way into our coop. So it was one big flock of chickens when by the time we were able to get up there and see what we have left. So that’s what made it out of the fire were those chickens.

[00:06:15] Scot Steenson: And so people took care of the chickens. They were giving them water and all that kind of stuff.

for the month that we couldn’t get up there. But to answer your question, somebody eventually was able to go by our house personally and um, telling us whether or not it was still there.

[00:06:28] David Crabill: What did you guys lose in the fire?

[00:06:31] Scot Steenson: I mean, physically everything. I mean, I think the only thing we were able to really grab was our backpacking backpacks.

[00:06:39] Christine Steenson: some camping gear, some just a handful clothes and our paperwork. And that was about it. Um, like I said, when I was evacuating, I still in the back of my mind did not believe that that fire would make it to our house.

So in hindsight, I could have packed an entire pickup truck of stuff, but I didn’t, I just grabbed the essentials. that was pretty much it. We lost everything,

[00:07:04] Scot Steenson: we lost everything, but then, but it’s all physical. We’re so fortunate that our, you know, our physical wellbeing was obviously it was not affected.

but then again, you know, now almost, you know, three years later, it’s almost like, you know, we look at what we’ve gained because of what we lost. So, you know, it’s hard to answer what did we lose because what we gained as

[00:07:25] Christine Steenson: well, it’s been an exchange for sure. And then you kind of come to realize what’s important in life, you know, and it’s really not the things that you have.

there are a lot of sentimental things, but you know, there are worse things.

[00:07:40] David Crabill: Yeah, I was looking back at some of the social media posts from you guys back at that time. And I mean, obviously it’s difficult, but you just seem to have a really exceptionally positive attitude, like much more positive than I would expect of someone who’s going through that.

and that’s from both of you, what do you think causes you guys to have that kind of positive attitude in a really dark time?

[00:08:05] Christine Steenson: I think that you have two choices and one choice is to dwell on your loss. Of course you’re going to mourn no matter what, you’ll mourn, any loss that you have. And I think the other choice is. you just get through it and you be positive and you be strong for each other. And when I say each other, not, not just your family, but all your loved ones and your friends around you.

We feel very blessed and fortunate that just being able to find a place to live. And we were so distracted with that. And the fact that we had three kids that we had to get to school every day and the constant distraction of trying to keep life as normal as possible for those kids.

getting them to school, making sure they’re with whatever friends were left in town to hang out with And so I think we, we just chose to move on and to move up and to stay positive in that aspect. And I would say mourn kind of silently.

[00:09:05] Scot Steenson: you know, you also got to look at the personality types.

prior to the fire, Chris and I were avid backpackers and, but we always knew that, you know, there was always you know, a mountain to be climbed and the rewards for climbing that mountain are immense. so we had experienced that.

I think together as a couple, we’d like done the John Muir trail, we’d done these other backpacking trips that were, you know, hundreds of miles that we spent time just alone, together, climbing mountains. And I think those physical mountains kind of prepared us as a couple together to be able to climb and, summit our own personal mountains.

You know, they always say Don’t make big life choices during times of crisis. Well, I mean, we probably made the biggest life choice during the point of our biggest life crisis we’ll ever encounter. when we asked the question, what do we have to lose?

[00:09:58] Christine Steenson: Yeah. We have nothing else to lose. So why not? Why not do it? Everyone thought we were crazy, but here we are.

[00:10:06] Scot Steenson: you know, I had my previous job, it was a, good job. But at the same time it was a job. And Chris had the same thing. She had a good job, but it was a job. And so now with a fresh new perspective on every single aspect of our lives, I don’t know. I don’t think that choice was all that hard. And you know, then you also look at the town of paradise and you look at the people that are there.

It’s almost like, we owe it to the people of paradise. We owe it to the town of paradise, but just, I think also the American spirit of perseverance, I think we owe it to ourselves in our, in our country just to, do what we can because again, what do we got to lose might as well?

[00:10:42] David Crabill: I think that’s one of the things that really struck me about your business. it’s just a very mission driven business, right? I mean, it’s for the people of paradise it’s for hardworking Americans is for the people rebuilding this town.

[00:10:55] Scot Steenson: what we, we settled on earlier on it was like, what are we going to do? What are we going to have?

That’s going to drive us. And what’s going to help us keep ourselves focused. And so we came up with a four pillars Those four pillars are community charity, coffee and fun in that order.

And the reason why it’s in that order is because, you know, without community you have nothing we’re just wandering souls. But in order to have a strong community, you need to have charity.

People need to take care of each other and people need to look out for each other. so if we’re, if we’re getting ourselves involved with community or getting ourselves involved with charity,

then that gives us the right to do our business of coffee and it gives our coffee purpose. And so then once we have that, that purpose is there. Well, then the last part is fun so having those four pillars for us has allowed us to, to concentrate on, aspects that we think are good for the community, but also good for our business and good for us.

[00:11:52] David Crabill: So, can we start with that? I mean, the community aspect, how do you feel like you guys have embraced that and help support the community around.

[00:12:02] Scot Steenson: we love the community. I mean, people are just, you know, coffees. It’s such a cool product because

[00:12:08] Christine Steenson: people love coffee. They love what coffee brings to them on a personal level. I mean, it’s not just the coffee, but it’s, it brings people together

[00:12:19] Scot Steenson: Yeah. It brings people together. And so, You know, we started this business knowing nothing about roasting coffee. I mean, Chris was definitely more into the enjoying coffee for what it was, I was more into drinking coffee so that I could continue to work for caffeine, caffeine.

And so, but both of those are good for their own reasons. but the way is brought together community is like, it’s like, okay, well, how can we work? And so when we started our business, one of the decisions we made is we wanted to have a label printer for our coffee.

So that we can not only just obviously do our labels for our coffee, but also so that we could do custom labels for charitable organizations or do, or for causes or something. Community events. We could, And then also like, you know, we, we did beer with a company secret trail brewery We did a collaboration with a beer with them, and then with that being done, then we were able to do a a release party and then with that release party, we tied it into a charitable cause for the Alzheimer’s association.

then at that party was, you know, a band. And so we had community charity, coffee and fun, everything all together And that’s just one piece. I mean, we’ve had other individuals come out and reach out, help us and put things together, introduce us to people.

[00:13:33] David Crabill: Well, I have noticed that. I mean, it just seems like you’re so well connected to the community. you have so many collaborations with other businesses and nonprofits and organizations. Do you feel like you were really super connected to the paradise community before the.

[00:13:50] Scot Steenson: I’ll answer that. I think to me, absolutely not. because my, the, my life I’ve moved my entire life as a military kid, been in the military after that. And so I’ve moved since the day I was born And then I moved to paradise and I stopped moving. But the thing was, was that my kind of my line of work that I was involved in was lots of travel, you know, two weeks, three weeks, a month out of town. not only did I not get to know my town, but I also didn’t get to know my family a whole lot. So I personally, prior to the business, I was not connected as much as I want to be.

Now, Chris.

[00:14:24] Christine Steenson: Yeah, I would say on me for me, it was more, everything revolved around the kids and getting involved with community activities for like say their school or, being on the board of like the swim team and putting on events like that. But that’s probably the extent for me. It was just more kid stuff involved with schools and things like that.

[00:14:48] Scot Steenson: So, you know, it was that thing it’s like, you know, you don’t know what you have until you lose it.

And then that’s when the gravity of the situation hits when you’re like, yeah. Why didn’t I spend the time to do this? Why didn’t I should’ve done this. I could’ve, you know, it’s like, you start beating yourself up and we should have, well, then it’s like, no, no stop beating yourself up because there’s nothing you can do about that.

But what can you do? You can make some choices that will affect the future. And so then that’s why now it’s not, it’s unacceptable to us to not try find a way to work with somebody else to help somebody, like what we try to do, if there’s a new person comes into the farmer’s market, it’s like, why would we not want to help this individual So what we do, we’ll do something like, Hey, if somebody buys our coffee, we’re going to tell them about your.

And if they show up our bag of coffee to you, can you give them a, you know, like whatever 50 cents off your product or something like that. And then vice versa, if if you send somebody over to our booth and they show that your product Well, we’ll give them a dollar off of our bag And so then that way we can start really developing that relationship with, with the vendor, but also promote the farmer’s market,

[00:15:50] Christine Steenson: And letting businesses know that know being open as a business to working and collaborating with other businesses, I think is so important, a nd I’m surprised it how little we, we don’t see businesses doing that. And uh, we love it.

[00:16:08] David Crabill: Do you have any sense for how many collaborations or partnerships you have at this point

[00:16:14] Scot Steenson: how, you know, at least, I mean 10, 20, 20, 30 collaborations, because it’s like, you always go look, you know, Hey, can we sell you coffee? Yeah, sure. I mean, now anybody else can sell you coffee, but then it’s like, okay, what else can we do beyond this? Like, what can we do?

What are our strengths that we can do to help you? And so we have this aggregate company. They have, they own these big, you know, all these trucks that go around butte county, the county we live in we supply the coffee to them for their business.

we asked them, Hey, would you mind if we kind of work together a little more on social media, you guys are really active on there.

But we are more so. And would you mind if on your fleet of trucks. you know, there’s always, if you don’t ask the answer’s always going to be no. And so we asked them and said, Hey, would you mind if we put on the, on the back of all your big trucks, would you mind if we put sticker a big sticker on each one of them that said driver fueled by road roaster coffee, they get to come back a week later, like yeah, why not?

you know, we start getting people saying, Hey, I saw your sticker on the back of these aggregate trucks. What kind of crazy idea is that? I’m like, well, I said, what that is is that’s a, that’s an aggregate company. That’s supporting a small business.

You should probably make it a good idea to if you ever need, or you’re going to be building anything that you might want to support them because they’re supporting us. and so then it, it, it opens up the conversation for about businesses and supporting each other and then people go, oh, that’s a pretty neat idea.

I think I’ll do that. And so then they go there and they say, Hey, Road Roaster sent us over here and then it gets back around and and so, and so then they come back and say, well, guys, would you like to have a little display in our, in our store? And it’s like, okay, does that make sense?

We’re not really sure, but the fact that there’s now conversation going now with this company, that’s just beyond coffee.

for instance um, Ridge builders out of paradise, they’re a construction company up there. we met them and we said, Hey, look, if there’s any opportunity, whenever you’re building a house, we’ll donate a bag of coffee and call it a welcome home. and so you know, when you do the COGS on a, middle price, coffee, you, those cogs are going to be about six to $7 for a bag of coffee. And then, you know, then once you add in all of the labor costs and everything beyond that, you’re looking at, you know, $8 for a bag of coffee and it’s like okay, $8 for us to have a bag of coffee, to have a construction company, put a bag of coffee into a brand new home in paradise for a returning family, that’s coming home. How can we say no to that? and so there is not only. Return on it for, for us as a business, because we are the first coffee in somebody’s new home. But it also helps the builder company. because they’re putting together these little gift pack.

and then we do like with schools, we donate our local school here in town and we give them coffee because on Fridays they have their, their kids. They have kids come out and sell hot coffee outside the school. And so here, you know, it’s an opportunity for us to support our children.

But at the same time, it gets posted on Facebook. Hey road roaster coffee, donated coffee to forest ranch school. And so it’s, it’s spending money, but at the same time, it’s helping with our brand. and it’s strategic. It’s not just. Always giving away coffee just to give it away there, there has to be a value on both ends of that transaction.

[00:19:29] David Crabill: Well, I mean, obviously it’s working because your business has grown tremendously and you know, we’ll get into that a little bit. Let’s walk back a little bit though. Obviously this whole campfire event happened. There’s a mourning process. There’s a recovery process.

And at some point you’re thinking about maybe creating a coffee business out of this. When did you actually start to form the business and how did you get it off the ground?

[00:19:57] Scot Steenson: So let’s see. It was March 2019, and We decided, you know, that’s, that’s when we sat around and said, we’re going to be coffee roasters first, or our plan is really more a coffee roaster, the coffee trailer, and then coffee shop.

And so, in order to commit ourselves to it, that’s when, in may of 2019, that’s when we formed our LLC, we really didn’t start selling coffee until the end of August in 2019. Because what we did during that time was we spent time learning how to roast coffee. And that’s when we we bought our first roaster. It was a small little sample roaster.

We bought that. And we taught ourselves how to be. I mean, I don’t think there’s ever, you’ll never learn how to fully roast coffee because there’s so many moving parts, but we got ourselves just to the point where we can get ourselves in trouble.

[00:20:46] Christine Steenson: We didn’t have any mentors. Or anyone that taught us anything. We just kinda, everything we did. We approached very slowly and cautiously because mistakes are expensive.

know it took us a while to get going. And then, you know, Scot started learning the roasting and started getting more and more confident with that. We hit the road And uh, we packed up the trailer with the roaster.

We camped in campsites while he roasted. And we traded uh, coffee for trout with some of the local campers. And they loved it, you know, and you have the campground and it’s filled with this amazing aroma of roasted coffee beans. And, you know, it sparked curiosity and people would come up and talk to us.

Yeah, the kids enjoyed it. I mean, you know, they would act embarrassed, but I think they really liked it. And it was great having that family time together to do some traveling while learning on the road. And um, no, we came back and kind of just hit the road with the business then.

[00:21:51] Scot Steenson: Yeah, it was pretty wild. We’d be out of campground and people would be like, what the heck are you guys doing?

and that would give us an opportunity to talk to people and, and understand, you know, kind of explain it to them, you know? And so we didn’t know what the we’re talking about. but the ability to explain it over and over again, to people really allowed us to start forming our ideas and what we liked and what we enjoyed about it and, where our strengths and our weaknesses gonna lie.

[00:22:15] David Crabill: I’d imagine that those conversations you were having were also just really helpful when you got to the actual markets and started selling your coffee.

[00:22:23] Scot Steenson: Yeah, it does. It did. I mean, I’ve had previous experience in sales and marketing to a certain degree, but it was in the construction world. So it’s very, very different than the coffee kind of world of, of sales marketing. And so we started out with different avenues. we were able to get a coffee into our local market here and get feedback on that.

you know, the plan originally was to have a coffee trailer, and then be able to use that coffee trailer to go to events we wanted to hear from the actual people that were enjoying our coffee directly, and that’s kind of hard in the retail world where the wholesale world, when you know, it might go through different layers. So that, that trailer aspect yeah, it definitely helped.

[00:23:00] David Crabill: So what were some of the best resources you’ve found? Because you said you didn’t know anything about making coffee when you started, like where did you start? What did you learn?

[00:23:10] Scot Steenson: Yeah. Well, I mean, we started with a sample roaster eventually we were able to buy a Diedrich a one kilogram roaster, and that makes, you know, roast up to about two

pounds. that ran about 10 grand as new. when we bought that, you know, that’s so much money.

me being in sales guy, I’m trying to negotiate with them, trying to get their money to come down and you know, this and that. And they wouldn’t budge because they are like the best roaster out there. And they know that and it’s not the best roaster because they look good, it’s the best roaster because they last they’re good.

American made roaster that will roast a good coffee for 40 50 years. And the resale value on them. It’s like, okay, I could buy a Diedrich, you know, or we can buy it for 10 grand, but we know that we’re going to sell it for 10 grand. And whereas you buy imported roasters, you buy it for $10,000, you’re going to sell it for $4,000.

but what we were able to negotiate though, is like, okay, you guys aren’t going to come down in price, w e are going to do something and they’re like okay, what we can do is we can offer you a free week, a week’s worth of training of coffee, roasting training. Like, Hey, there you go.

So we drove up there to pick up our roaster and they gave us a week of training and that helped get it going. And that got us, you know, got us to where we just knew enough to, to really start getting in trouble. and we’d be able to ask the right questions of ourselves. And so when we came back with our roaster, that’s when YouTube and, and also Facebook, because you know, like there’s a coffee roasters group, there’s a home coffee roasters group.

There’s all these different groups, roaster forums that are on there. So that was really it. We just poured ourselves into watching videos after videos and asking questions on Facebook groups We did go up and meet some other roasters up in Oregon. We reached out to them, said, Hey, do you mind if we come up and talk to you and kind of get out of our area. So they weren’t competitive. There wasn’t any competition, any problems with that aspect. stayed in the cheap hotel and talked to coffee roasters and they kind of give us some good, good guidance as well.

So yeah, we reached out to community both online and physically. And then we used as many free resources on training as we could.

[00:25:07] David Crabill: why did you guys decide to invest 10 grand into a coffee roaster instead of trying to use some kind of homemade method?

[00:25:16] Scot Steenson: Well as much as we knew that we didn’t know anything, we knew that we still had to create a business and we had to make money. we had to be serious about what we did. And so my background in the military was fixing jets.

And then after that, I spent a lot of time installing and repairing large pieces of equipment. And so in my experience, A lot of businesses would cut corner on the very piece of equipment that was vital to their success. And so well, you know, when Chris and I sat down and talked about it, we had, we had, initially bought a small roaster.

The first roaster we bought was, was like 800 bucks. and that’s when we kind of proved out. Okay, we can do something with this And so we did a lot of research, looked at used and all that, but we said, you know what, this is going to be the cornerstone of our business.

and we’re at such a point where. you know, if we fail or we buy something, you know, for $5,000, but then it keeps breaking Well, then that’s going to do, be very detrimental to us. So that’s when we make the decision because we, we, did get some insurance money, but that was like, okay, do we spend that on getting tools I mean, my toolbox that I lost and all my wrenches and all that, and so I think by us taking that money, I mean, I still can’t, I still don’t have the tools to change the oil effectively on our cars.

Like I used to before the fire, I used to do all the work on. And now we don’t even have a garage because that’s where our roaster is, but we took that money instead and bought a good quality roaster and then we found, you know, when we sold it for our bigger one, we got, we got our money back a hundred percent.

and so by spending the right amount of money on the right piece of equipment, we saved a lot of money. I mean, there are times with that roaster. when we got to where the capacity of that roaster was that max I literally was out there seven days a week, 16 hours a day for probably about 40

[00:27:05] Christine Steenson: true story. Yeah. Towards, towards the holidays, things started picking up unexpectedly.

were just growing quickly and um, bursting at the seams and Scot, you know, that was his thing. He would wake up early, start that little roaster up and start roasting all the way I would go to bed, you know, eight, nine, whatever. And he would still be up till one o’clock in the morning, out there roasting, I would get up and it would be immediately start packaging coffee.

So there were days when I was packaging coffee, as soon as it came out of the roaster, because we couldn’t keep up. And so thank God we got. the following year, a new roaster,

[00:27:45] Scot Steenson: If we had bought a lesser quality roaster, it would have broke down and then it would have been, and then we’d have been sitting there working on it, fixing it, and then you try, you buy a cheaper roaster and you try to, cause again, this is on my experience.

you buy a cheap machine, you’re going to get cheap support. And so this company, you give you a good machine. And we did have, I mean, because when they found out what the kind of production we were doing with it, they’re like, that’s crazy. And so, but we, so it did, it did have moments where it broke, but the thing was is that I was able to call them immediately troubleshoot it with them because they had competent techs, and then they were able to overnight the part and have it here and we were able to keep roasting. So that was probably the cheapest roaster we ever bought,

[00:28:30] David Crabill: you said that you’re working over 110 hours per week.

[00:28:35] Scot Steenson: Yeah, it was crazy. I was going to bed literally, probably one in the morning and I was getting back up about five or six in the morning and just get the roaster going, because the capacity of, of that roaster was only two pounds. so we would get

20, 25 pound orders where there’s a a hundred pounds right there. And you know, it takes you 15. You can do about three loads every hour so you only able to do six pounds an hour, maybe eight, if you really start pushing it, depending on the roast, but you get a couple of days, where you get a couple hundred pounds of orders, there’s no choice.

You just have to get it done. And, and we couldn’t afford a bigger roaster at the time. And

[00:29:15] David Crabill: Did you start turning down people or saying no to orders?

[00:29:18] Christine Steenson: We really didn’t. We went full steam ahead and we just worked through it and knowing that you know, and you’re starting a business, it takes a lot, and it’s a lot of sacrifice and blood, sweat, and tears. And Sco t and I were on board with that and we knew what we had to do and that’s what we did.

So we did it. I wouldn’t want to go back to that. you’ve never seen two people, so relieved to have the holidays over. And I don’t even remember that Christmas personally for us, cause we were so busy, but

[00:29:52] Scot Steenson: that day when we finally got the new roaster. It was like pure joy, pure joy. Cause then it’s like, wow. And our life back but you know, the tool that you have is the tool for the job. And that was the tool that we had.

[00:30:04] David Crabill: I’ve seen this new roaster that you have, and that’s an impressive piece of equipment. What size is that roaster and how much did that one cost

[00:30:13] Scot Steenson: So that’s a, that’s a 5k. It’s, it’s not, it would be nice to get a bigger one, but you know, we’re doing this debt-free so that one is a 5k, so a five kilogram. So it does about 11 to 12 pounds at a time. So, you know, it. Quintupled our, production capability.

and that one was when we bought it was $20,000, but now it’s it’s so, and we got it right before the price increase and went up to about $23,000.

[00:30:37] Christine Steenson: And even more than that now. Yeah.

[00:30:40] David Crabill: I mean, you talked about how crazy your business went in that first holiday season. And you started selling late summer? Early fall. So like how did you get your name out there so quickly? How did your business start growing so fast?

[00:30:55] Scot Steenson: we put our coffee first in the S . In our town of forest ranch. We have a small little general store and we put it in there. and then once people kind of found out who we are and what we were and all that, that, that started selling really

[00:31:06] Christine Steenson: quickly. Because as you know, during the holiday that’s when all the Christmas fairs and previews and we just jumped right in with what we had and kinda just started selling and we focused on paradise quite a bit and different entities, like the fire department and the Johnny Appleseed days and things like that.

So we just, you know, got out there and we were spread by friends and family and shared a lot of coffee and

[00:31:36] Scot Steenson: back what we were talking about earlier we’re not just here to do an event and it’s so coffee, what else can we do? And so like for our first event we ever did, um, my sister lives in Hawaii and a friend gave her to give to us a couple pounds of some Hawaiian green coffee that hadn’t been roasted yet. so we’re like, okay, well, we have, we have two pounds of Kona coffee do we just roast it and drink it ourselves? You know, that’d be nice. I mean, but we said, what can we do with this? And so what we did, we’re like, well, this is our first event. So we took that coffee and we roasted it. And made each bag $30. Was it $30 for each bag? and we were going to say all a hundred percent of the proceeds go to charity.

so that really helped people start talking about us you know, the word of mouth definitely started spreading social media obviously is a big help for a coffee company.

people started sharing a lot of our, you know, our posts and everything. so people would come to us with opportunities and if it made sense, we would just commit ourselves and I think if you know, by committing to the events, people saw our commitment to our business.

And so more people wanted to come to us with opportunities. So, it was just really just, just hustling and working hard and, coming up with ideas on how to create you know, buzz or interest.

[00:32:52] David Crabill: I mean, obviously coffee is an extremely competitive industry. Why do you think your coffee sold so well? Is it just the quality of the coffee itself or do you think it was just your engagement and local involvement? What do you think allowed it to take off?

[00:33:08] Scot Steenson: I think what we recognized to a certain degree, you know, Chris and I we come from blue collar working class, you know, we’ve been busting our butts since we’re 16 years old working, just good, hard jobs and I think that. to a large part, the coffee industry how do we say this without being, I don’t it’s it’s it can be somewhat pretentious. on the front of a coffee bag, when it says, ASL 3000 meters, well, a guy that works in a machine shop, that’s trying to work his butt off to make his mortgage and, get his children to school on time, along with his, you know, with his wife working another job and they see a coffee bag and they see ASL 3000 meters, do they really care about what elevation their coffee is grown at? And so. The average hardworking American to us up here in our area didn’t seem interested in good quality coffee, because the way that it was marketed towards them. you know, firefighters are out there or cops and they’re making a good wage and they’ve earned a good wage, but they’re still drinking really bad coffee.

I know like my experience in the Navy. I can’t describe how bad the coffee was. So I think for us, it’s been an opportunity for us to go to the people that are share similar, maybe values or similar outlook on life or whatever it is. It’s easier for us to go to them, say, Hey man, Hey lady, you’ve been working hard your whole life. you’re drinking coffee.

That’s really not that good. So, you know, but you probably don’t know that. So here, let us show you what a good cup of coffee tastes like, but. By the way while you’re drinking that coffee. Let me tell you something about that coffee. And I think because of where we come from, we’re able to communicate that to them really quickly.

We’re like, majority of the coffee that we source, it comes from areas with hardworking individuals.

[00:34:58] Christine Steenson: but to that as well what makes it appealing, I think too is if you’ve noticed our labels we try to make it fun and not just your everyday average labels, I mean our number one, hella dark coffee, with notes of screaming, what is it?

People love that because it’s different and it’s fun. And they’ll stop just for the label. They’ll buy coffee, just for the labels and the names of our

[00:35:25] Scot Steenson: that’s a good point that needs to be that that needs to be, that’s actually a better example what she’s given like, so on the coffee bags, a lot of times you’ll see all of this information about where the coffee comes from.

one of those is, is tasting notes, right? So you have the tasting notes and I don’t know about you, but I don’t know what meadow foam honey tastes like. there’s a bag of coffee that we bought when we’re traveling. And it said notes of meadow foam. And I grew up eating generic, honey. So this meadow foam honey, it’s like, it doesn’t relate with us. so that’s when Chris and I, we decided, well, let’s have fun. I mean, it’s part of our four pillars. So rather than putting tasting notes on there, it’s notes of fast cars and screaming, guitar, solos, people, they stop and they go, what the heck? you named your coffee hella dark? Which is, you know, up here as I kind of slang for like super awesome, rad, whatever.

And which generally most coffees are named, you know, wings of the bird, you know, or something very nice and fluffy, whatever. And it’s like, you know, and our other coffees are named accelerator and then we have express lane and then we have kick Ash, so we have these unique names, but then we also have unique tasting nodes on there that get people to laugh.

And the good thing about that is that people will laugh and they’ll buy the coffee, but a lot of times they’ll buy it, thinking that it’s, Hey, these are nice people. Ha ha this name is kind of funny, but then they try the coffee and then they’re like, oh, we didn’t really take them seriously, but we tried the coffee.

The coffee is actually pretty good. so now they buy into the whole brand and so I think that takes them further from just being a customer of ours, to being like truly a client to then friends and we’ve made friends and relationships. So that’s kind of, I mean, it’s the original energy drink. And so why do we got to be quiet about it? And why do we gotta be listening to jazz when we’re drinking coffee?

it’s like, no, let’s mark it and have fun with this brand, but at the same time, let’s make sure it’s still good.

[00:37:24] David Crabill: You’re talking about people taking it home and trying it out. So are you not able to let people taste the coffee at events?

[00:37:33] Scot Steenson: Well, that brings up another thing. So, you know, we’ve been, I mean, not only was the fire a challenge, but then after that, where we moved, we’ve had power outages, they shut the power off on us all the time. You know, what happened then? So the fire happens and then we have these, then the next summer we have all these power outages. We still get through that. And then we’re like, okay, these are going to get better.

Well, then what happens? COVID happens. Bam. And so that’s right when we started the farmer’s market and we were not allowed to do any samples, but I think that’s really was a blessing to us because it allowed us to engage people you know, they can take their coffee.

And the problem with that, we can brew coffee our way and it can taste good. And then it could go, wow, that tastes great. And then they go, they buy a bag and they go home and then they brew it in their brewer and they could brew it completely differently. And it doesn’t taste nearly as good. And so what that allowed us to do by not having samples is we had to step up our sales game and we had to sit there and really understand how to talk to people.

And that’s where the farmer’s market was beautiful because people could come, would come up and we would have to engage them very directly. Hey, what kind of coffee do you drink? What brand is it that you buy? What roast level is it that you buy? Okay. How do you brew your coffee? Tell me how you brew your coffee at home.

Boom, boom, boom. And so by us being able to have those kind of communications and those interactions with individuals, we were still able to put coffee into their hand, but then we’re able to send them off home and help them brew it correctly so that they came back and now that sampling is allowed. We haven’t had the need to do that. Cause now we were able to hire an employee now that works the farmer’s market for us now, but we trained him in the same way. And so by not having sampling it’s allowed us and now our employee to engage individuals and it helps us up our game as well, because we better know what we’re talking about.

[00:39:17] David Crabill: Can you talk a little bit about where this coffee comes from? Like how did you go through the process of, buying coffee in bulk?

[00:39:24] Scot Steenson: Well, when we first started the business, that was part of it, you know, we’ve got on the road and we met with some coffee roasters u p in Oregon and we talked to them, so they give us some good tips and with, with us selling to our demographic, somebody that has the money in their pocket, but it’s choosing to buy, say, Folgers for three pounds at, at $9 for us to ask them, here we’ve got this amazing, beautiful coffee from Haiti.

Grown, you know, shade, grown, bird friendly and all that. And, but it’s $17, you know, people would be apprehensive about that. And so we kind of, we said, okay, well we still want to sell really good quality coffee with a story but we need to be able to get that coffee.

We still need to get coffee in their hands. So we, we came up with a, a three-level price structure and so we have coffee. That’s $12 a bag. $14 bag, and then we have coffee at $17 a bag. And we, we talked with, the bean companies have sales reps. so we sat down and really talk with them and also we wanted to make sure that we weren’t dependent upon one supplier.

So we, source our beans from three separate suppliers. it’s, you know, it was working with the buyers, it was working with what we wanted to do and how we wanted to approach coffee. Be able to get coffee into somebody’s hand at $12, get them in there and say, hey that’s the best coffee I’ve ever had. What else you got? And then work them up into if they want to go into that area, work them up and do the really, really good coffee.

And so it’s, it was really, it’s really just working with our suppliers is what helped us. And then also with our, having our mission of who we wanted to sell our coffee to, that’s kind of really helped shape what kind of coffee we have.

[00:40:58] David Crabill: I noticed that some of the coffee beans that you source, they have their own mission behind them. Can you talk a little bit about.

[00:41:06] Scot Steenson: that’s the great thing about coffee. I mean, it’s such a wide spectrum that’s involved. You have all the way from the multinational corporations that are just running and grabbing coffee beans all the way down to the small family that has maybe an acre of, coffee trees so when you look at that, you look at the economies that are involved with coffee, you have a lot of choices that you could make. And so when we did that, it’s like, Hey, look, we are individuals you know, that it’s, it’s critical for us to be involved with our community.

So why should it be differently from the people that produce our coffee that we buy? And so Say for instance, we have two copies one’s road zombie, and the other one is called six speed. what’s amazing about that is that the six speed is a coffee from Dominican Republic and it’s grown on the Ramirez estate They are very in tune with the environment.

They use a lot of the excess coffee, the fruit from the coffee. They use that to, to, create the gas. Then they capture the gas and that drives the equipment uh, processing equipment on their farm, which is great. That’s really nice that they use that, but what’s really important is that they employ a lot of Haitians and I’m sure, you know, as most people know, Haiti is a country that’s just been.

faced with challenges And so what happens then is these Haitians. They learn what they’re doing. They’re going back to Haiti and they’re finding these growing regions that they can grow these coffee.

And so we’re buying coffee from the, the plant that’s training, these Haitians. Then we’re also buying the coffee from the farms of where these Haitians are growing their own coffee. You’re talking about these farms that maybe like five years ago were producing 200 pounds of coffee that are now producing 20,000 small

[00:42:43] Christine Steenson: family farms that are growing.

[00:42:45] Scot Steenson: Yeah. And so how can you not want to buy coffee from people that are, in these countries I mean, we can talk about our situation, as bad as we’ve had it. People out there have a very difficult life, every single day of their life.

and so to be able to support these kinds of coffees it’s, it means a lot And then we have Atlas and that’s a really unique Bolivian coffee.

And so the story behind that an indigenous family they’d been farming their land for uh, I generations and generations. Well, what happened in, in the eighties, there was a, huge surge in cocaine consumption around the world. Well the cartels forced this family to produce coca plants.

And so there were for many years producing coca plants for the cocaine industry. and so Cafe Creole it’s called cocaine for coffee. It’s a project that they’ve been working on, where they’re helping these families convert their coca plants and their coca farms away from cocaine manufacturing to coffee.

And so how can you say no to that?

[00:43:48] Christine Steenson: It’s ethically sourced. Then we, we feel good about that. You know, that’s important in this industry.

[00:43:55] Scot Steenson: see the thing is too. in the coffee world, there, there’s a big, big, drive for organic coffee.

Like everybody says, I want my coffee to be organic, but the problem is that the way that organic is treated is, you know, in order for a farmer in Columbia to have their farm certified as organic, they have to spend a lot of money and a lot of time in order to get that farm to be certified organic.

So what do they do before it’s certified organic? How do these other coffees? Well, that’s what we like to do is find that coffee that’s being grown by these families in a very ethical manner, in a organic manner. It may not be certified organic. And then that’s the same thing with us, for us to have our coffee roastery certified.

we have to spend a lot of money. We have to have a separate coffee roaster to be organic, all that. And so we’re too small and we can’t afford that. So why why should we expect our suppliers to go through all those costs as well? if there’s people that aren’t supporting the small guy out there, then how is that small guy going to ever succeed?

[00:45:00] David Crabill: So you’re buying all this coffee from these amazing operations and these small farmers. how does this come to you? How much coffee are you buying at a time?

[00:45:11] Scot Steenson: sometimes we’re ordering, you know, a thousand pounds a month. and then we’re obviously growing. And so there’s times when we’ve got to order 2000 pounds a month, you know, we have our strengths and weaknesses on an individual level, and Chris is really good at the organizational.

so she helps, you know, manages the money and all those aspects. And so her and I work together, Hey, I need to order this. And she’s like, no, no, we can’t afford that. What can you, well, okay, well then I’m going to order this amount and let’s hope that we don’t get orders for that, we’ve made that mistake where like, say for instance, we have, we supply coffee to a couple of trucks up in paradise. They go around to all the construction sites and they sell coffee, and that’s a really nice Brazilian coffee. Well, so we got ahead of ourselves, Cause it was they were buying a lot of it. It was going well, it was really cold out. And, so we bought like, uh, about 400 pounds of it spent, uh, almost, uh, two grand on that coffee.

Well then what happens? the weather gets all warm on us. Like literally the next week and it’s like 70 degrees out. so nobody was buying coffee from their trucks for like a month. And I’m like, oh my gosh, we just spent, almost, you know, that was two grand on this coffee and we’re not even selling it, but we need money to buy this other coffee and oh, you know, but, so it’s a good problem

[00:46:27] Christine Steenson: in some respects, it’s a juggle sometimes, it’s something you have to stay on top of.

[00:46:33] David Crabill: Yeah, I was wondering how you guys share responsibilities in this business. Uh, how do you split. split. And work together as a team.

[00:46:41] Scot Steenson: so, you know, when you look at a business structure, it’s like, okay, you know, what are our personal qualities? How do we go about daily life? And when you look at how we manage our home life, you know, Chris is very. The organizational part of things, and she’s really good with, uh, financial, aspects of life.

And me, I come from a sales world, so I’m more on the interaction with people side more, the creative side having to come up with ideas and all that that’s been my experience. so then how do you translate that into a coffee business was okay. Well, like the packaging and the, the mailing requires a lot of organization the storing the coffee, it requires organization and that’s Chris’s strength.

And so those are kind of the areas that she’s fallen into and I fall into the areas that require a little bit more creativity or a little bit more of the interpersonal interactions.

[00:47:31] Christine Steenson: Yeah. Scot is definitely more the face of Road Roaster, when it comes to all your social media, your videos, and your first contact with clients and those are his strengths.

He is definitely the salesman. And I’m good with that because I’m more on the quiet side and I’m not, I don’t put myself out there. Um, Like he is willing to, so that works out great for us. And I like handling things in the background and keeping things on par and the organization and inventory and things like that that I really enjoy doing.

So I think we work well. We balance each other out pretty well.

[00:48:08] Scot Steenson: Yeah, if it wasn’t for Chris, my gosh, we would probably be like the craziest coffee company that was super broke, know?

so Chris brings some of my ideas down to reality.

[00:48:19] Christine Steenson: but we have fun, crazy guy he’s willing to do pretty much anything

[00:48:23] Scot Steenson: well, cause we’re trying, you know, if we go back earlier about coffee, you know, it’s so competitive. the best way to compete is not compete. So that’s led us to make some odd choices that are doing okay. Like, We put our coffee into a hardware store people are like, why would you do that?

And it’s like, if you go down there, they’re not just a hardware store. If you go down their coffee makers section, they have arrow presses and pour overs and coffee makers. They have like half an aisle of coffee equipment. Why would you not want to put coffee bags in there next to the coffee? so we asked them, can we get the end cap?

Can we put a big sign up? And they’re like yes. Yes. So we are the only coffee that’s in there. And when people go buy a coffee maker, they see our coffee. Well, they didn’t actually buy a bag of coffee to go with a brand new coffee maker. And so That’s just one idea, but you know, we’ve got other, you know, we work with a guitar podcast guy and he’s starting to put our name out there and it’s like, we’re trying different things. And being able to work together and Chris being able to tell me that’s crazy idea,

[00:49:25] David Crabill: speaking of crazy ideas, I did see your promo video.

[00:49:29] Scot Steenson: Yeah. Well, there you go.

[00:49:34] Christine Steenson: That kind of gives you an idea of

[00:49:37] Scot Steenson: yeah, it goes, I mean, that’s again, I mean, look at your average, now I’m not knocking the coffee industry, but look at your coffee advertising. It’s so boring. And it’s like, coffee is the original energy drink. And so, we wanted to have like. a video that was like, over the top And so people would be like, what the heck was that? that’s crazy. That’s a coffee commercial. Okay.

yeah, so Hella Dark’s our number one seller, it’s our best-selling coffee. and that’s the one that says notes of fast cars and screaming, guitar solos. So I play guitar and um, our buddy that owns Briquettes Automotive, he has a really nice fast car and we just said, Hey, Joel, what would you think if, you know, you got in your really cool Camaro and did donuts and I played guitar.

While you did donuts around me. And we did a little video of that. He’s like, yeah, Heck yeah. So, we made the video and, you know, had our friends edit it. And then we had a really cheesy voiceover on it

We just brought everybody together and had a little bit of fun, but we also made a promotional video that really differentiated ourselves from every single other coffee roaster in the area.

[00:50:46] David Crabill: So obviously your business has grown a ton and I know, I think you said Christine. initially wanted to start a coffee shop.

[00:50:56] Scot Steenson: that end point has kind of changed it’s kind of turned into an unknown at the point. we have a small coffee trailer, with those not knowing anything we did make some mistakes. one of those was that we bought this trailer from somebody thinking that we’d be able to use it as a trailer and be able to go around and well, it turns out that actually that trailer, even though the guy told us, yeah, it meets all codes and everything like that.

Great. Well, we bought it and it turns out that it doesn’t meet all the codes that we needed it to meet

[00:51:24] Christine Steenson: well to make it a permanent trailer. So meaning we could go park it on a corner somewhere on a lot and sell coffee out of it every day as every day trailer. So it’s, it’s limited to events only.

So that was a disappointment in that we couldn’t utilize the trailer in the way that we wanted to. so for now we, we use it for events that we’re permitted to do. And it does great in that aspect. It just didn’t, you know, obviously we’re kind of losing out on some income that we could have had had we done some better research on that?

[00:51:59] Scot Steenson: maybe it was a blessing because all of a sudden then, you know, COVID hit was. So if we had gone into like getting a coffee shop or heck even a coffee trailer, you know, everything got shut down.

even for a while up here all the food trucks were shut down And so that, that would have been a lot of big investment. And then now with the brick and mortar is like, the economy is at a point where I think it’s just not in our best interest to commit.

Kind of responsibility both financially and physically to a business when there’s a lot of uncertainty right now for us.

[00:52:32] David Crabill: Did I see that you guys are, or we’re building a location in Paradise last year?

[00:52:39] Scot Steenson: So yeah. That’s uh, the cottage food organization this is a good way for us to, to kind of discuss it. a year ago. The revenue was limited to $50,000. And so the first year. We were at $49,500. We slid in $500 right underneath it. So let us stay year into our CFO. And so that’s when we started doing our investigations and we want to get placement into paradise. because that would be, we’d be the only roasters up there. People are, are starting to rebuild up there. So we started going down that route. but the challenge is, is that you know, there’s a lot of, lot of layers, but really at the end of the day, the town is still facing a tremendous amount of challenges. and we’re talking septic challenges up there. We’re talking construction, challenges, weather challenges, power challenges,

so everything is very, very, very slow. that building went from being supposed to be built in six months to now we’re on almost two years And so we were really going to be at a point where like, what do we do? And because the money we were at that cap, but then all of a sudden with your help and other individuals help the California passed that new bill, which allowed us to stay where we’re at now.

Right. in the nick of time in the Nick of time, because that, that facility is still not finished and it won’t be finished probably now for another six months. We’re not, we’re talking almost three years passed. And that’s the thing with the cottage food, which has been really helpful for us, you know, it’s allowed us to work from home. Especially in a, in a time of craziness, it’s allowed us to be close to home. But it’s also, it hasn’t constrained us by having the overhead of a brick and mortar.

it’s really given us ability to approach our business smart methodically and also be able to free up a certain amount of cash and reinvest it into ourselves rather than invest it into a rental or, for a roastery it’s a bit of a challenge because, you know, you gotta, all the ducting and all the venting and everything for the roaster is, very, very expensive.

it’s a big, big commitment for us, which is fine. And we’re going to have to go that route here soon, but the cottage food industry and how it’s changed has really allowed us to develop our our brand.

[00:54:51] David Crabill: where do you see this going in the future? You know, you see yourself eventually moving into a brick and mortar maybe in paradise or what are your plans for the.

[00:55:02] Scot Steenson: Yeah. The roasting is going to be the core part of our business for sure. we’re going to get a nice coffee trailer, one that’s very, the custom that’s like our current coffee trailer is a 1957 aristocrat. So you know, it’s almost 70 years old, it’s seen some better days.

and so a nice coffee trailer that we can go to events and, and really, be profitable and also, you know, space where we can put in another employee. So we’d like to see it, the roasting is obviously we want to grow. and so we will eventually have to grow into a brick and mortar, but we’d like to grow beyond that and have a nice uh, coffee trailer so that we can get our be out there with a face to the community.

And then I think the brick and mortar aspect, it’s not really as tangible to us as it was in the past, but if we do it, it’s almost gotta be over the top. Like it would be cool to have, and this is the dreaming part of me, where Chris will bring us down to reality.

Like it would be cool to have a coffee shop that had really fast go-kart track in the back with a nice stage where we could have some heavy metal concerts. I nstead of going to your coffee shop and listening to jazz, we’d be nice to have a coffee shop where, you know, people could get together and have fun I don’t know, well, we’ll see how things come together.

we have a goal to grow our roasting. We have a goal to have a legit, nice coffee trailer, but we’re still dreaming on the, on the whole coffee shop idea,

[00:56:26] David Crabill: All right. Last question. Let’s go back in time. Play a little game of what if, what if the campfire had never happened? The town of Paradise is still there. Your house is still there. Where would you guys be today? Would you have a coffee company?

[00:56:44] Christine Steenson: I doubt it. I doubt it. I’ve I have dreamed of having a trailer, just a mobile coffee. Cart or tray something in the coffee business for like 20 years. So this whole coffee thing goes back with me personally for quite some time. But I mean, the world we were living in, in paradise, we were doing well in our current jobs and, you know, you have your kids and you’re raising them.

And I don’t know that we would have ever found the time or the money to even invest in starting this venture. it was given to us, the opportunity was literally given to us to do it or not. And we decided to take the plunge and do it. given the loss it’s been the best blessing to us.

[00:57:32] Scot Steenson: it’s changed our definition or at least for me it’s changed the definition, what is doing what we’re doing? Well you know, like we’d been busting our butt, but, and so we had found a nice house, so we considered it our dream home, but that came with a pretty big mortgage.

And in order to, to pay that mortgage, you know, Chris had to work, but I also had to continue to work a job that took me away from home the time. and so where would we be? Probably. I don’t know, I would imagine stuck in the rat race. you know, the house that we have now, where we live now, smaller, it’s much more simpler, nothing works in it. Um,

[00:58:08] Christine Steenson: just to say that we had everything in paradise and now we have a lot less, we make a lot less, but yet I would say we have so much more, if that makes sense at all. It’s like

[00:58:23] Scot Steenson: Yeah, we would just be doing the same old thing. We just been doing the same old thing I mean, it wasn’t a bad thing, but now it’s, man. you asked that question and I’ve really never thought about that. we would be in a completely different world than we’re in now

[00:58:39] David Crabill: well, it’s an amazing story. It’s an amazing business. if people want to reach out to you guys how can they find you or how can they contact.

[00:58:50] Scot Steenson: All the social media outlets facebook, Instagram rumble. Gab. So we’re on those four social media networks, all roadroastercoffeecompany and then website So yeah, the website as well, social media.

[00:59:07] David Crabill: All right. Well, I’ll put links to those in the show notes and yeah. Thank you guys so much for coming on and sharing.

[00:59:14] Christine Steenson: Well, we thank

[00:59:14] Scot Steenson: you for your time.

[00:59:16] David Crabill: And that wraps up another episode of the Forrager podcast.

For more information about this episode, go to Forrager dot com slash podcast slash 57

And if you enjoyed this episode, please head over to apple podcasts and leave me a review. A review is the best way to support the show and will help others find it as well.

And finally, if you’re thinking about selling your own homemade food, check out my free mini course, where I will walk you through the steps you need to take to get a cottage food business off the ground to get the course, go to cottage food Thanks for listening. And I will see you in the next episode.

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