Site visit: Cool Beans: Advocacy Visits Small Coffee Roaster in Northeast Ohio
By Bruce Lundegren, Assistant Chief Counsel
As part of its regional regulatory reform outreach effort to small business, the Office of Advocacy has been conducting site visits to local small businesses in order to hear directly from them about regulatory and other business concerns. One such visit was to Caruso’s Coffee in Brecksville, just outside of Cleveland.
Caruso’s Coffee was formed by Mike Caruso and his three sons, Dominic, Michael and Paul in 2003. Mike Sr. has been roasting and blending specialty coffees in Northeast Ohio since 1982 and is a highly regarded expert in the industry. Caruso purchases fine Arabica coffee beans from quality growing regions around the world. The beans are custom roasted to order, packaged the same day, and shipped within 24 hours of roasting. The company has grown into one of the largest specialty coffee roasters in the Midwest.
Mike Sr.’s son, Dominic Caruso, led Advocacy staff on a tour of the plant. Joining the tour was Congressman David Joyce (R-Ohio), a two-term Congressman representing Northeast Ohio. Caruso explained that coffees are roasted separately by origin and type, and that different blends from around the world are roasted to achieve darker to lighter blends. The beans are roasted, cooled, and then combined in a large mixer where they are spun and then packaged in a variety of sizes, from bulk to retail to individual serving sizes.
Following the plant tour, Caruso sat down with Advocacy and Joyce to discuss business issues. He said that their business was expanding but he was concerned about increasing paperwork burdens from federal regulators and about possible trade barriers that could inhibit his ability to import coffee beans at affordable prices. He said the company now employs about 45 people in two facilities, but is planning to expand its warehouse capacity.
Along with Caruso’s extensive selection of conventional coffees, they also roast and blend a wide assortment of Fair Trade Organic Coffees. Their roasting facility is also certified organic by the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) International, is Kosher Certified, and is certified by the Safe Quality Food Institute. The company ships coffees throughout the United States and overseas, and has recently expanded into teas and other complimentary products.
Advocacy was in Kentucky and Ohio for Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables July 31-August 3.
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For more information on Advocacy’s mission, our regulatory reform efforts or to find out where the next Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables will be held, please visit: https://advocacy.sba.gov/regulation/regulatory-reform/.
Bruce Lundegren is an Assistant Chief Counsel for Advocacy whose portfolio includes safety, transportation, and security. Lundegren can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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