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Growing a Business from Bean to Cup in Oregon

Matt Higgins inside his new roasting facility in Portland, Oregon

Growing a Business from Bean to Cup in Oregon

Having spent years in specialty coffee, Matt Higgins dreamed of starting his own company, where he could roast and prepare coffees that would be exciting for professional baristas and inviting to everyday coffee drinkers.  In 2008, the veteran barista and roaster started Coava Coffee in his garage and bootstrapped the company by repairing motorcycles. Higgins knew that in order to accomplish this goal, he would need to source exceptional “coava” or green coffee beans as the foundation of his company and dream. Higgins not only needed to source exceptional coffee beans to fuel his new business but also the capital to grow it.

Solution 

With the help of the SBA 7(a) Loan Program, Higgins was able to finance a new coffee roaster and fund much needed improvements to his retail locations. In 2015 and 2016, Higgins secured the financing through the SBA 504 Certified Development Company Loan Program to help fund the purchase of a commercial building to expand Coava’s coffee roasting operations. 

Impact

What was started in a 500 square-foot garage 10 years ago has now expanded to three retail locations in Portland, Oregon and a new location in San Diego, California along with a new roasting facility. The company employs more than 50 team members and increased its revenue by more than 40 percent since its expansion.  Coava’s commitment to its long-term partnerships with coffee producers from around the world including Central America, South America, and Africa helped pave the way to Coava becoming a new fixture in the Northwest’s coffee culture.  The company is committed to financially supporting its producers during times of crisis so that the farms can continue to provide for their local laborers and their families. Higgins was recognized as the 2018 SBA Oregon Small Business Person of the Year.

From the Owner

“The SBA has really been a critical partner for me throughout growing my company whether from advice from individuals in the banking industry, adding counsel to my program or from loan products that we’ve be able to access to help ourselves grow.” - Matt Higgins

For More Information

SBA Funding Programs: www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans

Coava Coffee Roasters: coavacoffee.com

Company Name: 
Coava Coffee Roasters, Inc.
Location: 
Portland, Oregon