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Espanola Coffee Roasters, a well-grounded business

Espanola Coffee Roasters is a labour of love for owner/operator Dan Massicotte

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Financial assistance from LAMBAC helped with the purchase of a larger roaster.

Dan Massicotte enjoys fine coffee, so much so that he roasts his own. In 2015, the Espanola electrician decided to share his passion with his community, offering the only locally roasted coffee. Lacking business experience, Massicotte turned to LaCloche Manitoulin Business Assistance Corporation (LAMBAC) for critical guidance and a micro loan.

LAMBAC is one of 24 Northern Ontario Community Futures Development Corporations funded by FedNor. It offers free business advice and workshops, as well as commercial financing to entrepreneurs and those looking to start a business in its catchment area.

With LAMBAC’s encouragement and financial assistance, Massicotte invested in a small roaster and launched Espanola Coffee Roasters from his home.

“Running a business and deciding how much to charge were among some of my first biggest challenges,” admitted Massicotte. “As my business grew, LAMBAC was there for me every step of the way  whether it -involved another loan for a larger roaster, assistance with my expansion or advice. At one point when I was expanding and moving my operation into a rental work space, my costs exceeded my sales income so they gave me a repayment holiday for a couple of months. That flexibility and support were invaluable.“

LAMBAC Loans and Business Development Officer Carolyn Campbell credits Massicotte’s success to his hard work and methodical approach.

“When sourcing coffee roasters, Dan was very diligent in meeting all the criteria to obtain the Technical Standards and Safety Authority seal of approval for safety and performance for his imported equipment,” explained Campbell. “He operates the same way when it comes to finances. He is very money conscientious and prefers to grow at a steady pace to ensure he’s on solid ground before taking his business to the next level.”

Making Inroads in the marketplace

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Espanola Coffee Roasters products are available in a dozen retail locations and through an online store.

Massicotte is proud that Espanola Coffee Roasters is meeting a demand for locally sourced quality coffee. He adds that his business is benefitting from the “buy local” movement which has gained momentum during the pandemic.

“Last year, (2020) was my best year yet, and I sold about 10 thousand pounds of coffee,” shared Massicotte. “With beans that I purchase from an importer in British Columbia, I make eight different coffee varieties. Some are blends and the others are single origins.”

Massicotte has not quit his full-time day job, however he hinted that Espanola Coffee Roasters is about to undergo another expansion. He preferred not to share the details until all is been finalized.

As of April 2021, LAMBAC has funded 732 deals like Massicotte’s since 2000 with a combined value of $33 million, leveraging more than $10 million from other sources, aiding in the creation of approximately 349 jobs while maintaining an additional 642 jobs.

To find out more about realizing your business dream, contact LAMBAC toll-free at 1-800-461-5131 or your local Community Futures Development Corporation.
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