A thousand congrats to Chris for acquiring his own space! We’re grateful to have been a part of his journey and will keep buying his wonderful coffee because let’s be honest: entrepreneurs always need coffee.
We sat down with Chris to get some updates on what’s been happening with Patriot since he’s moved into his new space.
Q+A with Chris McArthur
Catapult: What was the breaking point in which you realized it was your time to move out of Catapult?
Chris: It was an operational need for us! We needed a new and larger space to accommodate the commercial equipment we needed.
Catapult: How was the transition from working out of a co-working space to your own space?
Chris: I was using the co-working space for my business needs and to get some energy from other entrepreneurs. I’m still a member and occasionally come in for that same reason! I need some occasional movement.
Catapult: What are some wins for your business since you’ve moved into your new space?
Chris: I’m able to accommodate more wholesale clients, so I’ve gained more of them, like the Poor Porker. I also have a lot more wiggle room and have plenty of room to grow. I’m only roasting 1 day a week a right now!
Catapult: Have you been able to hire any new employees?
Chris: I’ve been able to hire 2 apprentices for a 6 month apprenticeship and one of them just started full-time! I’ve found that an apprenticeship works really well in this industry, so I’ve developed my own program that is mutually beneficial for me and my apprentices.
Catapult: Are you seeing an increase in growth each quarter?
Chris: I’ve seen stable growth each quarter and I’m picking up more commercial clients each month. I’m very happy with where I am and I’m not looking to grow any faster right now.
Catapult: What are your secrets to customer growth?
Chris: I give over-the-top customer service. My customers can have confidence in me and my product because I can give them ability and dependability in return. It’s given me a continued positive reputation thus far! Craft coffee is all about the local market.
Catapult: What goals have changed for you from when you first started to now?
Chris: When I first started, I thought I would be focusing on retail and subscriptions, but in reality, my wholesale accounts are where I’m bringing in the most income! I also never thought I’d be able to do an origin trip in my first year. (Origin Trip = a trip to the country where the coffee Chris purchases comes from. He visits the farmers who are growing the beans he purchases.)
Catapult: Which specific aspect of Catapult can you look back on and identify as the most helpful to your business?
Chris: Catapult has been a cheerleader for us: support from the LEDC, consistent exposure, and wholesale coffee purchases each week! It’s extremely functional and the partnerships I’ve made have been invaluable.
Catapult: What’s one thing you’ve learned that you wish you knew when you first started?
Chris: Don’t reinvent the wheel! Tap into the wisdom that came before you. Be coachable, teachable, and flexible.
Catapult: What would you wish next for your business?
Chris: By 2017, I’d love to have an ideal sized team consisting of 2 full-time employees and 1 part-time employee.