Business Rx: Here’s how to brew up a new coffee business

This week, the experts at the University of Maryland’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship offer suggestions for giving a jolt to a new coffee start-up.

The entrepreneurs

Eric Golman really got into coffee while working as an intern in Washington, D.C. during his sophomore year of college. He explored the offerings at many different shops, but realized the options were basically limited to a few blends of coffee with different types of milk or flavored syrups. He thought the brew could use some innovation to make it more interesting – perhaps a bit of a healthier twist.

Golman started concocting things in his kitchen, mixing coffee with superfoods and teas. He was testing for taste and how the blends made him feel. He hit a winner with a blend of coffee, matcha green tea, and raw chocolate cacao. It made him feel so amazing, he wanted to share it with others. He and two friends shared samples with students. It was such a hit that they decided to turn it into a College Park, Md. company, Javazen.
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The pitch

Aaron Wallach, chief executive and co-founder

“Javazen is creating a new category of coffee by blending it with teas and superfoods. We take organic ingredients to create new functional blends of dry coffee. You brew them like you would any other ground coffee. Most people use a French press or an automatic drip coffee machine.

“Currently, we distribute to stores in the local D.C. area and we also have a few national accounts that expand our reach beyond this region out West and to the West Coast. Locally we are in about 30 stores, including MOM’s Organic Markets and Yes! Organic Markets. We also sell our blends on our Website at www.DrinkJavazen.com and on Amazon Prime.

“There aren’t many other companies blending coffee and tea. We differentiate ourselves with the addition of the superfoods. Our blends truly taste like a new combination. Consumers really enjoy it – it’s a different take on what a coffee can be.”

Golman, chief operations officer and co-founder

“We are selling three blends: Our Original Blend – a cross between coffee matcha and raw chocolate with a medium bold flavor. Our Boost Blend is a high-energy blend that mixes highly caffeinated yerba mate tea into coffee. We also have a Decaf Blend – a 50-50 blend of decaffeinated coffee and honey bush tea and goji berries.

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