Interview with Koffee Kult founder & CEO Jamie Mardis
Read Jamie's full interview with Authority Magazine at Thrive Global here,
We are sharing excerpts from Jamie's interview with Authority Magazine. To read the full interview, please click here.
Jamie Mardis is the founder and CEO of Koffee Kult, a small batch specialty coffee roaster based in Hollywood, Florida. In 2010, after drinking yet another cup of average coffee, Jamie began his quest for a better cup of java. He believed that roasting his own coffee beans would be the only way to get a better cup of coffee.
What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?
What began as a personal (and unsuccessful) quest for a solid cup of coffee in 2010 led me to begin sourcing and roasting my own beans. After finding the perfect coffee roaster and sourcing the right beans, my first personal batch of roasted beans dropped into the roaster cooling bin in early 2012. After realizing I could only drink so much of it myself, I began sharing my roasted beans with family and friends, which garnered attention from friends of friends, who sought bags of my freshly roasted coffee of their own. In a true “Aha Moment” — realizing there was a real potential for growth — I saw this as the perfect opportunity to take my home-based coffee hobby and turn it into a full-scale, FDA-approved coffee roasting facility in Hollywood, Florida. Alas, Koffee Kult was formed.
"Koffee Kult started as a small coffee roaster and now competes against some of the largest coffee companies in the world."
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Koffee Kult is about better coffee. It started with me wanting better coffee for myself with no intention of ever being a business. When learning to roast coffee, there was always more than I could drink personally, so I shared it with my friends. To this day, it is still about the coffee, finding the best we can roast, and sharing it with our customers.
"The greatest thing about being an entrepreneur is that you are your own boss. The worst thing about being an entrepreneur is that you are your own boss. When someone asks me about my position at Koffee Kult, I tell them I am a “Head Floor Sweeper.” This is true in so many ways. CEOs have lots of friends when things are going well, sales are up and they want something from you, such as a job or marketing contract. When the building is burning and the bills are stacking up, those same people are out getting other jobs and contracts. This leaves the “Head Floor Sweeper” still there to clean up the mess. Sometimes the only person that can get your company out of a situation is you. As a CEO, you have to be strong all the time even when things are not going well."
In your opinion, do you tend to keep a positive attitude during difficult situations? What helps you to do so?
One of the most important things about being a CEO is staying positive. Customers and staff are not going to get behind someone that is miserable. As a CEO, you set the tone of the company — it really rolls downhill. I like to focus on my company’s achievements and regularly evaluate what it is that is resonating with my customers. If sales are down, I look to find where they have shrunk and set new goals to reach them again. There are losses in the business — that is inevitable — but there are also incredible gains, not just financial.
"Koffee Kult’s customers have a choice in where they get their coffee. If we had a reputation of being rude or treating our employees or farmer’s poorly, we wouldn’t be one of the premier artisan coffee roasters and distributors; instead, we’ve always pushed to provide our customers with the finest products, top-notch customer service and to advocate for the things we believe are essential, like promoting equal pay for women and other sustainability projects at the coffee farms."
We hope you enjoyed learning more about Koffee Kult. To read Jamie's full interview, click here.