Backstory Coffee Roasters is a coffee roasting company based in St. Paul, Minnesota founded by Micah Svejda in 2014.  As a solo founder, Svejda began with a 6lb roaster and a vision to pair seasonal, approachable coffees with an exceptional wholesale program.

Customers took notice, leading to significant growth since Backstory’s inception in 2014.  It takes more than just a great product to run a thriving business, though. Businesses also need tools and strategies that help them run efficiently, especially as they are seeing significant growth. 

That’s why Backstory Coffee has relied on RoasterTools to help them succeed by becoming efficient as possible–saving time, automating production planning, and offering an all-in-one solution for managing their roastery. 

The final result? A thriving business with dreams for the future...and the tools to help them get there. 

Backstory Coffee, Meet RoasterTools

When Backstory Coffee founder Micah Svejda went to the Specialty Coffee Association’s trade show in 2016, he had already explored a few software solutions for his growing roastery. At that point, he and his team spent about 10-12 hours per week entering orders and planning production with Quickbooks and spreadsheets. Svejda knew that their daily flow could be streamlined with the right tool. He just hadn’t landed on one that offered what Backstory needed. 

Then, Svejda met RoasterTools founder Jon Ewalt at his booth at the SCA trade show. Ewalt was unrolling RoasterTools for the first time, and Svejda had an opportunity to see what RoasterTools looked like in action.

“It was so intuitive,” says Svejda of RoasterTools. “The user flow was so close to the way we already apportioned out daily tasks that it seemed like the transition would be seamless.”

And it was. Four years later, let’s take a look at how RoasterTools has helped change the game for Backstory Coffee–and helped it become the thriving business it is today. 

An All-in-One Solution for Backstory’s Diverse Needs

Because RoasterTools was founded by someone who actually roasted coffee, it’s built from the ground up with coffee roasters in mind–including the need to continually integrate sales with operations and production.

That being the case, Backstory Coffee was able to rely on RoasterTools as a powerful, all-in-one solution that would help the company deal with all aspects of running the business: from offering wholesale customers a portal for placing orders to planning daily production schedules to integrating with key software like Quickbooks Online. 

Svejda had found other software tools that offered some of what RoasterTools offered–but nothing quite as comprehensive. By turning to RoasterTools, he found a single system that would help him track orders, efficiently plan production, stay on top of cash flow, and most importantly, help him deliver his excellent product into the hands of the customer without making mistakes.

Integrating Every Step of the Process to Increase Efficiency

Typically, roasters spend a lot of time transferring data from one system to another.

As an example, when a customer places an order, you must transfer that order to an external system where you’ll collate all orders to determine how much coffee you need to roast that day. Then, you’ll need to transfer data again to ensure order fulfillment and shipping. Finally, you’ll need to make sure that customers have been accurately invoiced and payment has been collected for fulfilled orders. 

RoasterTools, however, integrates every step of the process together so that a) you don’t need to manually transfer data, and b) you can effectively manage and oversee the ordering, production, and fulfillment process from A to Z. By batching together information – such as coffee weight, roasting information, labeling, order fulfillment, and shipping – roasters are able to move through an easy, accurate workflow without having to enter in information or backtrack.

“RoasterTools keeps you informed every step of the way, so that you know where you’re at with each order. It works sort of like a real-time, collaborative worksheet,” says Svejda.

Dramatically Cutting Down on Time (& Labor)

As mentioned above, when Svejda came across RoasterTools in 2016, Backstory’s team had been spending about 10-12 hours per week on administration. But Backstory Coffee has grown significantly since then–and with that, the amount of data it manages. 

But by using RoasterTools, Backstory has been able to tackle an increasing load with ease. 

“The biggest task is production planning: looking at all your orders, compiling them, and then determining how much coffee you need to roast. But with RoasterTools, that’s all automated.”

“It basically saves us most of a person’s FT job,” estimates Svejda. 

That being the case, Backstory has been able to focus their valuable time, energy, and resources on efforts outside of data management–such as expanding the business by adding new wholesale customers and a physical location: Backstory opened its first shop in 2019, five years after launching as a single employee selling to just wholesale. 

Creates a Foundation for Scaling Up in the Future

With his sights set on continuing to grow locally – primarily in wholesale – Svejda knows that RoasterTools will help set them up for success in the future. 

“We won’t outgrow it,” says Svejda. By helping them to tackle increased orders without pouring more time and energy into data management, RoasterTools creates an underlying foundation for coffee businesses that want to scale up. The result? RoasterTools not only creates more time and space for succeeding today, but for building and scaling tomorrow. 

Would Backstory Recommend RoasterTools?

What would Svejda say to a roaster on the fence about choosing RoasterTools? 

“Just do it,” says Svejda. “When I was considering RoasterTools, I was on the fence in terms of value–but it’s definitely worth it.”

And no wonder - RoasterTools has saved Backstory significant time and labor while streamlining their production planning and ordering processes.  Backstory’s story is a testimony that hard work, and the right tools, will lay the foundation for success for years to come.