David French, Owner
David French started Griffin Creek Coffee Roasters four years ago as a result of successfully participating in the Oregon Employment Department's Self Employment Assistance Program (SEAP). As he was considering opening a small business, his wife encouraged him to make a business out of something he loved - roasting coffee, which he'd learned how to do 14 years ago. Today, his business is thriving, profitable, and on the verge of expanding to the point of hiring employees. David's mission is to deliver small-batch organic, roasted coffee to customers in Southern Oregon, and his vision is to create a profitable and sustainable business environment focused on organic coffee that also provides the ability to support and give back to community.
When David got started with the SOU SBDC, he attended the Smart Start Your Business workshop, the Business Planning workshop, and then went on to work with SOU SBDC advisor, Ruthie Painter, to finalize his Business Plan as part of the SEAP requirements. He continued with business advising with Ruthie as he moved toward opening his business. Participating in SEAP and working with the local SBDC office helped David take the business planning and decision-making seriously, and not approach it like a hobby. He says it's important to visualize the future of the business, revisit the business plan on a regular basis, and stay engaged in all aspects of the business.
David also attributes his success to staying local and keeping overhead low. He accomplishes this as a long-time member of the Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters Market, which has grown his distribution to the Ashland Food Co-Op and Medford Food Co-Op. He also spends Saturdays at the Grants Pass Farmers Market. David is a strong advocate of the value of local connections and local resources.
Like making wine, roasting coffee is a blend of science and art to balance temperature, smell, color, and environmental conditions for the perfect cup. After roasting he continues to sample batches to make sure they are right on target. This is called the "cupping." After each cupping, you go back and fine tune. Gee, sounds a little like running a successful business...