Interview with Frank Elias: Utica Coffee Roasting Company Owner

AIM recently assisted Utica Coffee Roasting Company with developing and implementing a food safety program. The Utica Coffee Roasting Company was awarded 50% of funding for the project by National Grid’s Manufacturing Productivity Program. Below is an interview with the owner of the local coffee company, Frank Elias.

Q. Frank, please tell us about your company.

A. Utica Coffee Roasting Company sources, roasts, and offers high-quality coffee and sells other café items. We package, distribute, retail and wholesale our products. We purchase all of our ingredients locally except for our coffee beans, which we order directly from quality coffee-producing countries including Brazil, Columbia, Costa Rica, Peru, and others. Our company serves a broad range of coffee drinkers, from those looking for the best flavors, to people most interested in finding good prices, to community members who appreciate either locally-sourced or organic products.

Q. What are the benefits of implementing a food safety program?

A. Our new certification in this impressive level of food safety regulations appeals to a wider range of customers and allows us to work with more companies. Overall, the food safety program helps with environmental, food, and employee safety alongside improvements in company management, documentation, and operations.

Q. How was AIM involved in the project?

A. AIM provided a consultant for the food safety program who provided workforce training, policy review, documentation, and general guidance in establishing a food safety plan. AIM provided weekly meetings to keep everyone up-to-date on the project and moving forward. A consultant was helpful to developing our company because they view the business from the outside. Our project consultant became so familiar with our company in the process that he is now almost an extension of our staff.

Q. Do you have any advice for local businesses regarding food safety?

A. Use local resources as much as possible. Also, when you start marketing your product/business, start with friends and family. Many successful businesses grow through the participation of friends and family. Ironically, it takes about 10 years to become an “overnight success”. Programs like AIM can help with food safety regulations which lead to better credibility and increased sales, plus other benefits outlined above.

If you are interested in finding out more about Utica Coffee Roasting Company, visit them at 92 Genesee St, Utica, NY 13502 or call them at (315) 624-9596. To find out how AIM can help your business, contact Cory Albrecht at [email protected] or (315) 624-9800.

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