Microbreweries are popping up everywhere. Alongside the desire for craft beer is the demand for higher quality food and beverages. Custom Cup Coffee, a percolating micro-roastery, is making a name for themselves by providing a high-quality product to meet this demand in downtown Springfield. We spoke to co-owner Brent Boesdorfer about the venture.
Who started Custom Cup Coffee?
My wife Kendra and I founded Custom Cup Coffee.
Where did the idea come from?
From a desire for great small batch coffee and a need to generate additional income. We randomly saw a video on how to home roast coffee, so ordered some raw coffee and a Whirly-Pop popcorn maker and gave it a try. After the smoke cleared, we tried the coffee and it was great. We gave it away for Christmas to family and friends and they felt the same way. In January of 2014, we started figuring out how to launch the company in regards to regulations. By the end of January, we were open for business roasting coffee at night in a catering kitchen and selling it through our website and at select retail locations.
Why did you choose downtown for Custom Cup?
Our storefront was selected for foot traffic, parking, cost, and the neighborhood. We wanted to be away from the hustle of 6th street and close enough to the capital to make our shop highly accessible from multiple directions.
What exactly is Custom Cup Coffee?
The original business plan was for custom small batch roast to order coffee with home delivery. We have since transitioned into a storefront cafe/micro-roastery that still provides custom small batch roast to order coffee with home delivery.
When did Custom Cup officially open?
We opened our original storefront Thanksgiving of 2014 and recently expanded next-door quadrupling our space in June of 2016.
How did you go about opening Custom Cup and what do you think contributes most to the success?
We spoke with numerous friends and acquaintances about “how” to get going, worked with local government agencies (City, County, Health, etc.) as far as requirements to be legal, and made a few crazy decisions. The biggest component of our business is the quality of our coffee and our customer service. We provide a product that was hard to find in Springfield, especially daily fresh roasted coffee.
What makes Custom Cup so unique?
Our customers keep coming back for our coffee, which is obviously our main business. But we have also recently added Incredibly Delicious pastries to pair with, as well as Wi-Fi, and more seating. Our coffee, roasted daily, is what makes us unique. Just high-quality coffee roasted in small batches without any additional flavoring, just as it was grown to taste. We only offer organic half & half and raw sugar as add-ins, just keeping it simple and accessible.
What's new this year or is there anything new coming soon?
2016 was a big year for us. We expanded next door, added indoor seating, pastries from Incredibly Delicious, Hanks Root Beer and Cream Soda, along with organic chocolate milk, and Lacroix sparkling water. We also expanded our retail and restaurant/cafe partners so people can enjoy our coffee around town. The most recent news is our collaboration with Rolling Meadows Brewery on a coffee infused imperial brown ale called Coffee Break, which is phenomenal.
Are there any local businesses or organizations that you have/are working with?
Many. Our building owner has helped immensely with our buildout, Sangamon Reclaimed with our tables, Resource One for seating, Incredibly Delicious for pastries, and Rolling Meadows Brewery for a beer collaboration. Our retail partners have been crucial in our market expansion, especially Country Market, Hy-Vee, Bunn/Pease’s, Maldaners, American Harvest, Cafe Andiamo, Driftwood, and County Market. Downtown Springfield Inc. has helped us meet more people in our downtown community as well as promote small businesses and events in our area.
What are your hopes for Custom Cup Coffee?
Expanding our customer base by helping more people to take the time to enjoy their coffee at our shop and at home!
Any upcoming events happening that you think we should be aware of?
No specific events at our shop, but we are always changing coffee offerings as well as food items. We do offer a decaf version of one of our coffees. The decaffeination process that we use (Swiss Water Process) is only done in three locations in the world. From this process, the caffeine that is extracted is sold to soda companies to add into their products. We will also start corporate Christmas gift packages as well as more retail items.