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A fresh approach to that morning blast of caffeine

Asbury Park-based Booskerdoo feels freshness of its beans is key to its success

James Caverly, co-owner of Booskerdoo Coffee with his coffee roaster, which ensures his customers always get fresh-roasted coffee.-(PHOTOS BY AARON HOUSTON)

When James Caverly first started mapping out the business model in 2010 for what would become Booskerdoo Coffee, he had one condition that could not be compromised: the coffee beans had to be as fresh as possible.

“With any food, fresh is better, but — specifically with coffee — the flavor peak is in its first week of life after it’s been roasted, and that’s hard to find,” he said. “Someone had mentioned this to me and I had my doubts, but I tried fresh coffee and it was fantastic. We don’t sell anything that’s over a week old.

“That’s sort of the niche I found.”

And because of it, many customers have found him.

After the company starting growing steadily from its base in Monmouth Beach, Caverly moved Booskerdoo to a 2,100-square-foot facility in Asbury Park last fall. The location has brought all of the company’s functions under one roof.

“It’s a cafe, roastery and bakery,” Caverly said. “All of our production is there in Asbury Park and the customer can see it all: They can walk on over and watch coffee being roasted. They can talk to the roaster. We have a big window into the bakery and it’s open, so, if you want to talk to a baker directly, you can just pop your head in.

“The concept is just very open and welcoming, so people know our stuff isn’t made in some weird factory.”

The company does its own roasting for the coffee at its cafe, but it also sells its beans wholesale. Those two different revenue streams were encouraging enough for Caverly to move forward with his plan.

Biz in brief
Company: Booskerdoo Coffee
Founded: 2010
Headquarters: Asbury Park
Employees: 35
One last thing: James Caverly owns the business with his wife, who was originally a teacher before coming on to run the baking side of the business.

“We have two ways of making money, so it’s twice as less of a chance that we’re going to fail,” he said. “If one part doesn’t work out so well, maybe the other one will.

“But both of them worked out really well and we just kept going.”

To keep the beans fresh for its wholesale operations, everything the company roasts is made to order.

“Managers place their order and are getting deliveries twice a week,” Caverly said. “Most of the stuff you’re drinking is only a few days old.”

For the wholesale clients, the company recommends at least a weekly delivery.

“We do it the same day every week,” he said. “And we don’t have a warehouse or anything: We roast it, package it and ship it, all within 24 hours.”

There’s an added benefit to moving the coffee so quickly: Since the beans don’t sit for long after their roasting, the company doesn’t have the cost of renting a warehouse for storage.

“It works out and saves us a bunch of money on rent,” Caverly said. “Otherwise, we’d be packaging it and putting it on a shelf in a warehouse, but we don’t do that.”

The company is in 15 Shop Rites throughout Monmouth and Mercer counties and has a presence in a few cafes in New York.

But that’s a drive the company wasn’t able to make until it relocated to Asbury Park, from where the company now moves thousands of pounds of coffee.

“I think we have a list of 30 clients and are only starting to push for that now,” he said. “We weren’t able to do it before because we were really at capacity at Monmouth Beach.”

It’s rare, Caverly said, to find coffee so fresh. It’s not something one would find at a Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts or Wawa, he said. But it’s a system that has worked so well for Caverly that he can’t imagine why it hasn’t become more commonplace.

“It’s just something most people don’t do,” he said. “But I don’t really get it because I find it to be kind of easy.”

For Caverly, it’s what gives the business purpose.

“If it’s 2 weeks old, it’s good,” he said, “but when we sell it, we want it to be the best. Otherwise, what’s the point?”

And it’s a reason why Asbury Park seemed the perfect fit for the company’s new home.

“There is this culture of people making their own stuff,” he said. “Everything is just fresh and done with a really high attention to detail and quality.”

Not only are there like-minded businesses, but there’s the customer base for this kind of craft.

“Us being there, we knew that the type of customers we attract, there’s a whole bunch of them in that town,” Caverly said. “Also, we wanted to be associated with that culture because that’s what we’ve done since we began.”

E-mail to: andrews@njbiz.com
On Twitter: @sheldonandrewj

Andrew Sheldon
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