Interview with
Greg Stivers

Greg Stivers | Founder, Roast-master
Stivers Coffee


Q: Why did you start your business?

A: There is an entrepreneurial spirit between husband and wife.

Another factor was our exposure to different cultures through travel. We fell in love with European cafés, such as Café Greco in Rome, Italy and we really enjoyed the café scenes around the world. My wife and I decided that a café would be the ideal business for us.

We researched the industry for 18 months before finding the perfect location. We opened up our first coffee house in 1985 with a full espresso bar, all the latest coffee/tea accessories, and a roasting room with viewing window for customers to witness the actual roast. Smell, aroma, and taste at its best.

Q: What are some key factors or decisions that contributed to the success of your business?

A: One factor was the decision to roast and flavor our own beans. Some other factors were always having an open mind for improvement and change, treating every customer with respect and appreciation, and doing our research.

Q: What are some challenging aspects of your business?

A: Some challenges include marketing, advertising, trying to achieve continued exposure, and the cost of new technology/machinery.

Q: Do you feel you made any serious mistakes as you were starting or growing your business? Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently?

A: After enormous success in our first year, in an attempt to continue growth and cover all bases, we spent unnecessarily. Put money away for a rainy day and stick to what you know and what has been successful.

Q: What other advice or words of inspiration would you like to share?

A: In the words of Jim Valvano “never quit, never ever quit.” And judge a business by its product, service, and pricing.

About Stivers Coffee

Stivers Coffee offers coffee wholesale, roast and flavor, coffees from Africa, Central America, South America, and Indonesia, travelling barista service, espresso based drinks, coffee, tea and natural fruit smoothies, and roasting and barista seminars.

"Falling in love with European cafés was the beginning of our coffee journey. Romanticism is savoring a shot of espresso as you crunch on a Palmier at Café Greco in Rome, while wearing a fresh pair of Italian leather pants. "—Greg Stivers