Backyard Beans brews plans for future
Local coffee company brewing a formula for success
“We’ve been able to guide our coffee program in a way that has allowed us to be more creative in what we’re roasting, but while also sourcing some staples that our core customers will continue to enjoy.” — Matt Adams
LANSDALE » Matt Adams was an avid coffee drinker in high school, but his shift into the coffee industry was all but conventional. As a Penn State student getting a job to make extra cash, Adams worked at one of the many coffee spots on campus, and from there his appreciation for coffee grew to something much more.
“I enjoyed the coffee scene; I worked in one of the little campus shops,” says Adams. “From there I just got fascinated with the concept of coffee.”
In 2012, Adams and his wife, Laura, moved to Lansdale and he was able to roast coffee out of his garage. But after attending a local farmers market that had no coffee vendors, Adams saw an opportunity and went for it. Accordingly, Adams’s next steps was to get certification to roast and grill in his backyard and become a vendor at the local farmer’s market.
This marked the start of Backyard Beans Coffee Company, with “backyard” signifying his beginnings of roasting coffee. While invested in this new venture, Adams, however, still had a full-time corporate job, consulting.
“At the time, I enjoyed my consulting work I did,” he says. “I didn’t really have a plan one way or the other on if I wanted to run the business full-time or just keep it kind of as a side business.”
Two years in and Backyard Beans was growing increasingly enough to where Adams decided it would be best to take on the business fully. Recently, Laura also left her job to work full-time with Backyard Beans, while also dedicating more time to their 6-month-old baby.
Along with the name, the logo also shares a unique, insider-joke meaning. The logo is a llama, and ‘llama’ is both Matt and Laura’s initials: Laura L. Adams and Matt Adams. “It was a joke we found out when we got married,” says Adams. “It was our internet, code name type thing. But that’s now our logo.”
Now, Backyard Beans’ llama logo can found in nearly 100 stores, including Whole Foods and Weavers Way, and in states such as Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia and D.C. In addition to that, Backyard Beans hopes to have its first cafe shop opened in early 2017.
But those interested and wanting to find out more will more than likely head over to Backyard Beans’ website. Though a small business, Adams wanted to make sure that the website reflects the time and effort putting into making quality coffee.
“It provides consumers with more information on who we are as business owners, our company philosophy,” says Adams.
Backyard Beans also offers a brewer’s guide for those wanting to know the best way to brew Backyard Beans Coffee. Adams says Backyard Beans receives a lot of questions regarding the appropriate way to brew their coffee.
“Everyone’s coffee is different,” says Adams. “It’s important for companies to be able to inform their customers on how to brew their coffee,” he adds. Like beer and any other craft products, brewing coffee is a science and every roast style reacts differently if you brew using the same method.
Although is was important for Adams to have a very nicely put together website and good social media presence, he credits much of the success of the business today from the direct marketing and personal relationships he’s created.
“Social media is a great platform, but social media does not lead to sales,” says Adams.
Word of mouth, along with Backyard Beans’ presence at local farmers market has been extremely beneficial for the company.
Though not formally certified, they also only roast organic coffee, something everyone agreed on at the inception of the business. And unlike their competitors, Backyard Beans doesn’t offer many coffee blends.
But what they do offer and what has become very popular is their ‘Punch in the Face’ canned cold brew, the dark-roast, single origin coffee from Hondu-
ras, which can be found in about 52 Whole Food locations.
Along with their signature coffee, Backyard Beans will also offer wine, beer, and cocktails, through a collaborative effort with Round Guys Brewing Company. They’ll be moving the wholesale location on-site, roasting and brewing, with the cafe placed at the front. “We’re able to go from just that coffee drinking crowd to the larger craft scene,” he says.
On this journey, customer feedback has been very important to Adams that customers are honest about their feelings on the coffee. The honesty of the customers has helped Backyard Beans slowly but surely introduce their palettes to different coffee.
“We’ve been able to guide our coffee program in a way that has allowed us to be more creative in what we’re roasting, but while also sourcing some staples that our core customers will continue to enjoy.”
Once the cafe officially opens, Backyard Beans hopes to continue to build that collaborative culture between themselves and the customers.
The farmers market was one retail space for Backyard Beans Coffee Company. Co-owners Matt and Laura Adams are pictured here.