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Feisty Goat Coffee Roasters

Feisty GoatAt Feisty Goat Coffee Roasters, levels of start-up inventory are still quite low, but there is definitely no shortage of passion. Juniors JT Peifer and Kari Heuer officially launched this start-up coffee roasting business on Feb. 14, and they could not be more excited.

Peifer, an English major and Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise minor, does all of the roasting, grinding and distribution for the company.  He explains his attachment to the new venture by saying, “I am just plain in love with coffee.” Peifer traces his coffee obsession back to his youth in Kenya, where he had his first cup of real coffee at age 10, owned his own espresso machine by 7th grade and ran a small on-campus coffee stand as a high school student. It was at this point that he truly developed his palate for high-quality coffee, and he began collecting and trying coffee beans from all over the world. Now at Wake Forest, Peifer is currently the manager of Campus Grounds, the university fair trade coffee house.

Peifer’s business partner, Heuer, is a Business Enterprise Management major and Mathematics minor who, with the help of Peifer, has also learned to appreciate the nuances of a truly great cup of coffee. Heuer handles the operations and management side of Feisty Goat Coffee Roasters. The pair’s strengths complement one another perfectly. Peifer explains, “I am so obsessed with coffee that I would give it away for free if I could,” to which Heuer quickly interjects, “that’s why I have to keep him realistic and grounded!”

Feisty Goat Coffee Roasters offers three coffee options: Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Sumatra Madheling Grade 1 and other adventurous specialty coffee options as available. They sell their product at a competitive price (1/2 lb. for $7, 1 lb for $13 and a 10% discount off orders of 3 or more lbs.) and offer the personalized touch of hand delivery for any on-campus orders. Peifer even tests every order before he sells it to make sure it meets his quality standards.

Though still in the very early stages of their venture, Peifer and Heuer are ambitious and motivated for a bright future in the coffee business. Peifer, confident he will continue a career in the coffee industry post graduation, adds, “It’s my goal to change the way people think about coffee. I would love to see a revival of the Victorian penny universities where creative people came together and used coffee as a stimulus for activism, anarchism and progressive thought.”

Heuer also believes that it is time for the way people view coffee to change.  She hopes to “inspire an appreciation of a high-quality product” through their venture, and plans to expand Feisty Goat into a well-known brand in the future.

Feisty Goat Coffee Roasters is currently in the process of applying for a New Venture Seed Grant through the Office of Entrepreneurship and Liberal Arts.  With that money they hope to purchase another roaster so the company can continue to grow.  Their first expansion project is to get contracts signed with various on-campus departments.

Peifer and Heuer are thankful for the opportunities and resources the university has provided them thus far, and they would both strongly recommend launching business ideas while still in the university setting. Heuer explains, “This is a great place to fail without dire consequences, and there are so many resources out there to get you on your feet!”

For more information on Feisty Goat Coffee Roasters, check out their fan page on Facebook or email .

March, 2010

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