After finding success in opening Black & Brew Coffeehouse and Bistro, Chris began wondering how he could continue to make Lakeland a cool place to live. So, he attended roasting school, purchased a roaster, and started Patriot Coffee in 2015. Since then, he has raised over $16,500, purchased a 5 kilo US Roaster Corp drum roaster, moved into his own space, and continues to provide high quality coffee to the residents of his beloved hometown of Lakeland.
What is your business? We are Lakeland’s first and only craft coffee roastery. We source high quality, green coffees from all over the world and roast small, made-to-order batches.
Who are your clients? We sell directly to customers at the Downtown Farmers Market and through our website. We also work with restaurants, cafes, and business offices to elevate the quality of their coffee offerings.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur? I’ve always had a desire for freedom in my work. That freedom keeps me inspired and as a result, I love going to work every day.
Something interesting? Patriot started with a 1/2 lb. electric roaster on my back porch and for 9 months, I was spending two 12-hour days per week roasting to meet the demand at the market. We can now do the same amount in less than an hour!
What are your short term goals? To educate Lakelanders on the possibilities of flavor and nuances inherent to high-quality coffee…and then to convince them to buy it!
Why Lakeland? It’s my hometown and is exploding with potential! There is a rapidly growing small-business + buy-local culture emerging.
What would you like to see in Lakeland? More independently owned restaurants, a rock-climbing gym, & more small business collaboration.
How has Catapult helped you? Catapult purchases our coffee, promotes our business and creates opportunities for collaboration. We’ve partnered with three Catapult members on multiple projects and provide coffee for two Catapult graduates.
Secret Sauce? Apply consistent, focused effort. Operate with the highest level of integrity. Treat your customers and team members like owners.