Spirit of the Entrepreneur: The Beanery Coffee Roasters

Being an entrepreneur isn’t always easy and everyone does it a little differently. Some open online stores, while others open brick-and-mortar storefronts.

Some go all in and invest their lives into a new venture, while others start a new business as something to do on the side. Regardless of the type, entrepreneurs help drive the local economy.

Kurt Peterson, owner of the The Beanery Coffee Roasters, first fell in love with coffee on a family trip in the summer of 2002. He was in Venezuela and his family had missed their flight, so they stayed for an extra night.

It was in the morning when he had his first drink of dark, rich South American coffee. Peterson had drank coffee his entire life, but up until this point, he had never known anything besides Folgers.

Drinking that coffee was just Peterson’s first step on a journey that took another 12 years to come to fruition.

After graduating from Lowndes High School and attending Valdosta State University for a few years, Peterson moved up to Tennessee and earned a bachelor’s in business administration with a focus in the music industry.

The degree is similar to a regular BBA, but rather than using case studies on Amazon and Walmart, the case studies look at the music industry.

After graduating, Peterson continued to work in the music industry in Tennessee, but eventually moved back to Valdosta where his, and his wife’s, family lived.

He was selling insurance as his day job while working with Mark Neill at Soil of the South Productions at night.

Neill came to Peterson one day and told him there was a coffee place across the street he needed to try. The shop used a French press to make coffee, something Peterson had never seen before.

After trying the coffee and talking to the owner, Ellen Stevens, Peterson found out Stevens was looking to sell the business.

After talking to his father and Stevens, Peterson bought The Beanery about 10 days after first trying the company’s coffee.

Stevens spent the next year working with Peterson teaching him the art of making coffee, and now he owns and operates a coffee shop that focuses not on retail, but on wholesale business to companies, non-profits and fundraisers.

Lately, he has found success in selling his coffee to churches to use for fundraisers for mission trips.

Peterson can source beans from the area of the church mission trip, so the church can help provide to the country’s economy, he said.

The Beanery Coffee Roasters, 1203 Baytree Road, is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday. For more information, call (229) 242-1979.

By Jason A. Smith, The Valdosta Daily Times, Ga.

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