Matt Marks knows how important coffee is to everyone, and he’s striving to roast and serve the best there is. The co-owner/partner of Forty Weight Coffee Roasters and Forty Weight Cafe describes coffee as his dream and something he believes in. The pride he and co-owner Andrew Ballard have in their product is present everywhere in this young company.
Forty Weight Coffee is available at stores across New York, and at Forty Weight Cafe in Park Slope. It can also be purchased on the Forty Weight website.
We had the opportunity to talk to Matt about his business. Here's what he had to say about being a true coffee connoisseur!
How did Forty Weight Cafe get started?
Forty Weight Cafe is the flagship of parent company Forty Weight Coffee Roasters, which was my best friend and roastmaster, Andrew Ballard's dream come to fruition. Andrew and I became co-owners/partners in 2010. His expertise and our dedication to artisanal roasting is evident in every cup we serve and every bag we sell.
Discussions about the cafe started in March, 2011 and we finally opened in November. It was a long and windy road indeed.
What’s your role at the cafe?
As owner and general manager I am responsible for virtually everything. From selecting and ordering coffee and espresso to purchasing new springs for our port-a-filters, I have my hands and head constantly full.
What are some challenges you face in the coffee market?
Once you get to the upper echelon of the specialty coffee world with the likes of Stumptpown, Counter Culture, Intelligista, and Handsome Coffee Roasters, it's a real challenge to stand out in a group that is doing such amazing things. These companies have a lot more resources than we do, which they wisely focus on marketing and shine. Once you get to a certain level in specialty coffee, everybody is producing amazing stuff. With everybody producing amazing stuff, marketing and shine can go a long way in getting your coffee into a customers hands. I mean I'm not complaining, good on these companies for acquiring the dollars to do this, but this is probably the biggest challenge our poor little grassroots company faces.
Our company is exactly how we want it to be, which makes our job exciting and rewarding every day. We are uncompromising in our vision and, this may go without saying, incredibly proud of the product we put out and we strive for the highest standards of excellence in the cafe.
I’m also proud of the reputation the Forty Weight Cafe staff has quickly earned for being incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. We don’t buy into the snobbery of the specialty coffee world, we prefer to engage with and educate our customers without the needless condescension. People truly respond to an environment that is inviting, not intimidating. Being responsive to our customers is essential to what we do and who we are.
What might you do differently if you were to do it again?
Advice for culinary entrepreneurs?
Fuck the naysayers, they don’t mean a thing!
Strong finish Mr. Marks, we couldn't have said it better!
Forty Weight Cafe is located in Park Slope at 6th Avenue and 9th Street.
For more information about the coffee and the cafe visit www.fortyweightcoffee.com