Dynamite Roasting Company

Black Mountain, NC

First in Sustainability

Andy Gibbon was into coffee. He had started roasting his own beans at home because he couldn’t find a quality product anywhere else. He talked to his friend Josh Gibbs about starting a roastery to fill the gap in the market. “I had a coffee background, Josh had a marketing background. But what we were really looking for was sustainable organic coffee that tasted like the coffee that we were roasting at home.” They founded Dynamite Roasting Company fifteen years ago to produce a cup o’ Joe that lived up to their high expectations.

Managing Growth

Time went on, and the business did well. They regularly added to their products and services, but they were learning as they went; neither of them had a background in business. “As you get bigger, you have other challenges: How do you work with grocery stores? How do you work out distribution? How do you build the building to put your roastery into? There’s always something new to learn.” Eventually, they grew big enough to hire a new general manager, but they needed some help with the search process.

Deep-Dive Analysis

Gibbon heard about the SBTDC through a series of webinars from a partner institution. He worked with the SBTDC to navigate Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) during the pandemic. His counselor also produced a deep-dive analysis of Dynamite Roasting Company’s finances. And when it came time to grow, the SBTDC was there to help with hiring and negotiating salaries for a new management team. “We received some counseling on how to search for, hire, and compensate a new general manager. We had some consultations on how to work through those challenges,” Gibbon said. The SBTDC has “tons of resources for all aspects of our business,” he continued. “We had an analysis of our website and how we can improve our SEO and online marketing presence. Plus lists of possible industry partners, and potential customers.”

To date, SBTDC assistance has helped Dynamite obtain over $1 million in financing, create three new jobs, and thrive post pandemic.

Accessing New Markets

During the pandemic, many of Gibbon’s service-industry customers shut down, forcing Dynamite to pivot into wider distribution. “We were able to shift quickly from those hospitality-type businesses into grocery, which exploded, and online, which got huge. Navigating that shift was how we’re able to be successful, be nimble.” Gibbon’s willingness to think creatively and his partnership with the SBTDC has kept the business from stagnating. “It just seems like every time there’s a question, SBTDC has an answer.”

A Sustainable Future

Today, Dynamite Roasting is thriving. Their product is stocked in two dozen stores, and they ship all over the country. They have translated much of their success into community service, giving back through yearly fundraisers that raise thousands of dollars for local causes and charities. They also participate in recycling and composting programs, and they’ve invested heavily in solar to produce electricity for their cafe and their roastery, even purchasing an electric delivery van. 

Dynamite coffee is fair trade and organic certified, and a big part of their mission is focused on sustainability. “Working with farmers at the origin to help them develop their business and access markets has been really important,” Gibbon explained. “We spend a lot of time traveling down to our origin countries and meeting with farmers sourcing products and then telling their stories to our customers, helping them achieve higher prices for their coffee and in turn providing a better product for us.”

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