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VOL. 128 | NO. 149 | Thursday, August 01, 2013

Reverb Micro Coffee Roastery Gaining Steam

By Andy Meek

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Reverb Coffee Co. is a new micro coffee roastery launched in Memphis by a coffee connoisseur with big ambitions for his small startup.

The name of the company – Reverb – in a way chose itself, because the word implies an echo, which is what owner Jeremy Harris wants his venture to do.

“Great coffee for a greater good” is the phrase that drives Reverb Coffee Co., the new micro coffee roastery launched in Memphis by coffee connoisseur Jeremy Harris. (Alan Bunn)

“I guess to sum it up, it’s that good things are happening to us as a company, and we want to echo that back into the community,” he said. “We want to reverberate in any community we’re involved with.”

Right now it’s essentially a one-man show aiming to fill what Harris says is a gap in the local coffee industry that a high-quality coffee experience could fit nicely. At the moment, Reverb has no physical storefront, and its coffee is being sold online as well as through two established businesses – Trolley Stop Market and Maggie’s Pharm.

“Great coffee for a greater good” is a phrase driving the operation. The plan down the road is for Reverb to have a place of its own while still providing coffee to other local businesses. And “to be a go-to name for coffee in the city,” in the words of its founder.

Harris talks in general terms about eventually teaming up with churches and other organizations in the city, as well as looking to eventually hire employees from underprivileged neighborhoods. His plan also is to open a public roaster at some point so local customers and visitors can watch the process that coffee goes through “to get from the farm to your cup.”

“Right now I’m working on getting some wholesale things into places like local cafes,” Harris said. “That’s the focus of my time and phone calls right now.”

Reverb launched in April. It grew out of international mission work Harris was involved with for about two years, toward the end of which he says he was working with a nonprofit in Malaysia. As part of that, he helped start a coffee operation there.

“My role on the team was to help them out with everything, but then also it was about studying up on coffee blogs, videos, anything I could, so that I could relay information to them on things like best practices,” Harris said. “I got all that knowledge – that was the beginning of last year – then I decided to bring it home and do something with it here in Memphis.”

Reverb’s orders from customers are processed at the start of each week. The plan is to roast orders from the previous week on Tuesday and ship them out on Wednesday.

Customers can place orders at Reverb’s website, myreverbcoffee.com, and in the future Harris hopes to have a local delivery service to help Memphis customers save on shipping costs.

Right now, Reverb is offering coffee it says comes from Columbia, Burundi, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Tanzania and Sumatra.

Harris is keeping customers and anyone else interested in the company’s progress updated via social media outlets such as Facebook. A recent posting there explained how he’s been busy “plodding away on a business plan for our future cafe locations. Almost to 5,000 words!”

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