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Interview with Co-Founder of Roastful Coffee

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UNCC chapter.

Roastful Coffee is a coffee subscription service ran by three Charlotte locals. We interviewed one of the founders and owners, Zack Stamey, to learn more about the business and what you can expect if you order from their revolutionary company.

How did you get into the coffee scene in Charlotte?

Alright so, short answer: I began working in coffee as a barista in a cafe called Not Just Coffee. The long answer is much more complicated; I was a senior in high school and I wanted to work in the field of broadcasting, however coffee had progressively became a massive interest of mine, which continued into my buying habits through a semester in college before I dropped out and began working in coffee. That doesn’t sound extremely complicated, but there is a more spiritual side to all of that that I’m more than happy to talk about in detail if anyone is interested. HMU @zackstamey


Give us a brief synopsis of what Roastful Coffee is

Yeah so Roastful is dope. Essentially Roastful is a multi-roaster subscription service; meaning a subscriber is receiving coffee from multiple companies in one box. This in and of itself isn’t a revolutionary concept by any means, but there are aspects that set us apart. Most subscription services are going to cost between $15-30 for the base level product, and, most of the time, an individual may receive one 8-12 oz box/bag of coffee (depending on the quantity the roaster is packaging). You may have an option to subscribe up to three bags per subscription, but this will most likely cost more than $30, likely something similar to a $40 subscription. The best way for me to describe Roastful is the phrase I use lovingly, “subscription for the curious”. Rather than receiving an 8-12 oz bag of coffee, a subscriber receives three 4 oz bags of coffee from three different roasters selected by me, as I have a background in quality control for a specialty coffee roastery. By doing this we are able to keep the price affordable ($24), while still sharing the opportunity to try several different coffees, some of which are less accessible within the US. Brief right?

How did you and the co-founders come up with the idea for this subscription service?

So Zhon and Julia, my business partners, were regulars at the first cafe I worked at. Like I said in the question above, I buy way too much coffee, and I used to always carry a tote bag with a ton of different coffees in it. Every now and then when Zhon would come in the cafe I would brew him something I was into at the moment. Zhon had actually wanted to start a subscription service several years before and had actually bought the domain “roastful.com”. One day Zhon approached me with the idea of starting Roastful, a subscription service that we both would enjoy ourselves as customers, as we both bought way too much retail coffee simply because we wanted to try the coffees, not as much because we wanted to finish the entire box.  If I’m being completely honest, I was hesitant at first. I was transitioning from Not Just Coffee into my role with quality control and production that I currently hold at Hex, but our timing is never quite in line with true timing, and things progressed when they needed to.

How did you go about starting the business?

This is a tricky question. I can’t quite express this only because there were so many facets into how we started, which involved reaching out to roasters to gauge interest, creating the branding and website, developing a business plan and goals, and there is for sure more. This is also more Zhon and Julia’s department. They’re killing it with making the business run, doing the nitty gritty things that nobody wants to do but somebody has to. I’m extremely grateful for what they’ve done and continue to do.

What can people expect when they order from Roastful Coffee?

Rad coffee. Coffee from roasters all over the world, including roasters in the UK, Scandinavia, Japan, Canada, and more unannounced ;). Curation from an individual that has a background in quality control, and most importantly,  fun little notes in each box. We’ll be launching new media content soon that we hope connects both subscribers and nonsubscribers alike with our product, which connects to the roasters, and to the farmers. We aim to be connected.

What are some of the unexpected challenges you’ve come across?

Shipping man. We had a massive issue with shipping this past month. We are essentially receiving coffee from three different places, so this gives three opportunities for something to go wrong in customs. However we learn and we grow, and we’re looking to find our best options in the way of shipping services.

What is your favorite aspect of running a coffee subscription service?

My favorite aspect of running this subscription service is absolutely being able to curate and select coffees that I think are dope and share them with dope people. I’m in a unique position to have both a background in quality control and to be able to taste coffee from so many different roasters. Not only has it worked well for Roastful, but it’s been great for my personal growth as well.

Anything you want us to know about current or future projects? 



For sure. We’ll be launching some brew equipment approved by us on our website soon along with some new media content that I mentioned earlier. Keep an eye out for podcasts and videos coming from Roastful as well as future blog posts. You’ll be able to find all of these things on our website at www.roastful.com.



Emily Griffin (she/her) is a Senior at University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is a Special Education Major and a Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies Minor. Her writing mainly focuses on hot topic issues, female empowerment in all forms, and social media + all that comes with it. Her hobbies include grabbing a coffee and being a Virgo.