At just 16 years old, Aevin Kumar knew he wanted to work in some capacity with coffee using ethical practices. Amidst the pandemic he put his dreams into reality and did just that. Sharing his unique story, the young and dynamic entrepreneur spills the beans on how it all started!
By Avneet Takhar
First off, tell us how at age 16 you got started in the coffee biz, Aevin?!
Yes, I began Coffee Craze Company officially in March 2021- when I was 16 years old. My interest in coffee really started when my brother began introducing me to different types of coffee. I also studied various business courses back then, and I quickly became obsessed when I came across a local roaster in Maple Ridge, B.C, and tried some (coffee) selections.
I started spending time planning, researching and deciding if this was something that I could do. With the support of my family, I went for it and began to reach out to my now roaster and had many conversations about creating my own different blends, learning about the process and tasting/testing in the span of months, along with business planning for marketing ideas etc.
There was so much that went into launching it, as is the case for any new business. Continuing to share these amazing blends and spreading the enjoyment of coffee, taking a moment in the day to relax, reflect and brew a cup of joe. Making a positive impact in day-to-day life. That was, and is my goal!
How’d you come up with the name?
Deciding the name of my business took a couple weeks. It was actually a family effort as we brainstormed together, and I wanted something unique and different, which stood out. I went with Coffee Craze Company, because it reflects the jolt/love of when I first began trying and drinking coffee.
You’re based in Surrey BC, and ethically source all of your organic Arabica coffee beans, which come from areas as far as Ethiopia and Vietnam! How does this process work?
When I first proposed the idea of working with my current local roaster, I learned 10 times more about coffee, beans, and the overall process. The local roasters work with estate and family farms in major coffee-growing regions, and the entire sourcing process is ethically and organically carried out. Each plantation gives fair and equitable wages to workers while maintaining safe, clean and community-friendly conditions. There is direct contact between plantations and roasters.
And with the 100% Arabica beans I use, I work with my roaster to share 4 distinct coffee blends that are each unique and delicious to enjoy. Coffee blends are often created to produce a distinctive flavour profile that combines features of multiple beans and origins.
Instead of having 1,000 pounds of 5 different coffees, you can combine them and have 5,000 pounds of one blend. Blends tend to take the edge of the harsher flavours of individual coffee.
That’s so great to know, Aevin! And according to your coffee knowledge, what are some fun drinks we can make with your coffee and newly added hot chocolate?
There are so many drinks you can try! I’m currently obsessed with any espresso-based drink, one of which is a creamy iced latte, which you can make using any of our espresso options.
I also like a good iced chocolate mocha which you can create using my espresso selections and hot chocolate. Each month I share different drinks on my Instagram page and brewing methods! There’s about 20 recipes I’ve shared so far and I’m planning to share much more. We love drinking coffee but many forget to enjoy the process of brewing that cup of joe. Taking the time to do so elevates the experience.
Do you have any advice, or resources for young people out there who want to get started in the food scene?
You should go for it if you are genuinely passionate about starting a business! Regarding the food scene, I remember having many doubts because here in Vancouver, we have a rich coffee environment filled with amazing roasters and cafes. With that in mind, I thought if I didn’t start or at least try, I’d continue to wonder or possibly regret that I didn’t at least give it a go.
When entering the food scene, there are many things to learn. Here are just a few key components that I came to find out:
- Develop your initial ideas for a couple months, brainstorm and gather data along the way.
- Possibly start to think about a “why”. The reason you’re thinking about going into the food scene/business. Think about who you want to appeal to, ideal customers etc. Write down and plan, especially in those early stages.
- Do research about the industry you want to head into and study the current market.
- Reach out to people in that industry- similarly to how I did when I began talking to my roaster about the coffee industry.
- I find you can learn from social media as well; follow people in the industry and gain inspiration, ideas and knowledge.
Before and during the early stages, I took a few business courses just to gain an education (you don’t have to have a degree to start) and find out about different business areas. Learning more is why I found it beneficial, and you can connect with me on Instagram for some recommendations!
Thanks for the info, Aevin. And we see you already ship across Canada. Any upcoming or future business plans for your coffee empire that we should know about?
I love how the business is currently going, and now as a full-time university student pursuing a Bachelor of Interior Design, I’ve been trying to find the balance between the two and equally focus on both important aspects.
Currently I plan on maintaining how the business is running; I’ll continue to focus on that and my education. In the future, I want to grow Coffee Craze Company and take it to the next level but for now it’s going great, and I’m loving the journey. I hope to later see myself expanding my selections, collaborating with companies and stores, sharing my blends across Canada, and many more potential growth ideas!
To buy some delicious brews online, check out the Coffee Craze Company website. Use this 10% off discount code for your first purchase: CRAZE22.
And for inspo on coffee beverages to concoct via Aevin’s recipes, follow the Instagram page.