Research Outline

Direct-to-Consumer Boutique Coffee Insights


To obtain insights into starting a direct-to-consumer boutique coffee business.

Early Findings

Preliminary research identified four possible competitors in the DTC boutique coffee space. Most DTC boutique coffee companies own their own coffee farm and roaster, which cuts out much of the traditional supply chain.



  • Vega is a coffee subscription company that sells its coffee direct-to-consumer.
  • It is "single origin" and the product is "packaged and roasted by the same farmers who grew it."
  • Vega works "directly with small farms and cooperatives" in Nicaragua to turn coffee from a commodity to a consumer-ready product.
  • Its coffee is sourced from Estelí, Nicaragua, where Vega also owns a roastery. Between 50 and 100 local farmers bring their coffee to the roastery to roast, package, and ship their own product.
  • In addition, "every bag of Vega Coffee is signed by a farmer-roaster, a mark of the time, care and personal investment each member has put into the new coffee experience."
  • The Vega process cuts out the middleman and allows farmers to earn up to four times more per pound than through typical supply chains.


  • Kona Mountain is an American-grown coffee company that sells its products direct-to-consumer.
  • Kona Mountain owns its own 100-acre coffee farm located on the Big Island of Hawaii.
  • The ripe coffee cherries are all hand-picked and roasted in small batches by a master roaster.
  • The bags of roasted coffee are hand-packed and shipped directly to consumers.
  • In addition to a la carte purchases, customers can join its subscription Kona Mountain Coffee Club and will receive shipments that have been roasted within 1-2 days of their subscription date.


  • Mistobox is a coffee subscription company that sources its products from over 50 artisan coffee roasters.
  • When consumers order one of 500 coffee products, it is roasted to order by one of Mistobox's coffee roasters and then shipped directly from the roaster to the consumer.
  • Roasters are all small-batch companies located in the United States and include companies like Centri Coffee in Ventura, California; Good Folks Coffee in Louisville, Kentucky; Halfwit Coffee Company in Chicago, Illinois; Parisi Artisan Coffee in Kansas City, Missouri; and Zoka Coffee in Seattle, Washington.
  • Customers can make a one-time purchase or sign up for Mistobox's subscription service.
  • The source for each roaster's coffee is available on the website.