Seven in 10 Americans drink coffee every week, with 62 percent consuming it every day, according to the National Coffee Association. And there’s no doubt that coffee connoisseurs like gourmet coffee — about 60 percent of coffee served in the United States is brewed from premium beans.
Entrepreneur Dan Gould recognized and addressed that market when he launched Uncommon Grounds, a semi-industrial gourmet coffee roastery located off Interstate 41 in Appleton.
“I was trying to focus and target this region as a fresh craft roaster,” says Gould, who roasts 15,000 pounds of single-origin beans per year. “We have a pretty good following. I roast, package and deliver.”
Gould, who previously ran four coffee shops in the Fox Valley, became interested in coffee in the late 1980s when he picked up a book called “The Perfect Cup” by Timothy James Castle. He worked in various sales fields before landing on coffee as his business, launching Uncommon Grounds in 2013.
Today, his single-origin coffee beans come from a few main coffee regions around the world — Africa, the Middle East, Central and South America, and Southeast Asia. “By origin, different parts of the world impart different characteristics,” says Gould, who roasts about 30 pounds of beans at a time. While he does have grinders, the company focuses on selling roasted whole beans.
In addition to offering subscription boxes of coffee bean favorites to customers, Uncommon Grounds distributes to Festival Foods, Woodman’s and other independent markets.
When the pandemic hit, Gould’s wholesale business remained strong. “More people are staying at home, so my grocery business has increased,” he says, noting that sales went up about 25 percent.
He’s also constantly looking to increase awareness of his company. “Having a small business is always about sales,” Gould says. “Part of this is the person-to-person aspect of it. I’ve always enjoyed that aspect. Every week, I try to let somebody else know I’m out there.”