In 2012 Carlos Young took a detour from his career in the oil and gas industry and started roasting coffee.
“I’m an engineer by trade,” he said. “I was traveling the globe working for oil and gas, and I’d been making all these trips and drinking this great coffee, [then]I’d come back to Houston and the coffee was awful!”
His passion for coffee led Young to research how coffee is roasted.
“I bought a little roaster and started roasting [beans]in my kitchen—it was terrible. It’s a skill you’ve got to learn,” he said.
Young said he discovered a regional coffee distribution house in Houston where he could purchase burlap sacks full of unroasted beans called “green.”
“In the business we call them green, not beans—we say we want 50 pounds of Brazilian green, and everyone knows what you’re talking about,” he said.
Young and his wife, Yvonne, moved their roaster into a certified kitchen and trademarked a logo and company name to start selling their coffee online. Their five sons helped with the fledgling operation.
“There was nothing in the market [like this]. Engineer that I am, I was taking notes and taking notes and sending samples to friends,” Young said. “I would probably still be sending samples, but a friend said ‘stop giving us coffee and start selling it.’”
After selling their coffee online, the Youngs started selling coffee at the Farmers Market on Grand Parkway.
“You see how beautiful the customers are here?” Young said.
In the eight months he has been a vendor at the market, he said he has developed friendships with his regulars that extend beyond the coffee tent.
To keep up with business growth, the Youngs are in the process of buying a commercial kitchen facility to house a new Turkish cast-iron coffee roaster.
With a larger capacity, Young said he looks forward to hiring staff to help with distribution. Although they have no plans for a storefront, over the summer they hired two college students to help at the market.
“I really like to mentor the kids; I really have a heart for that,” he said.
Young said the students who work for him learn more than just how to roast a bean. They also learn how to have a good work ethic when serving customers and other life lessons.
“This is the American small business,” Young said. “We have artisans, master bakers, gardeners, right here in Katy.”
Brazilian, Ethiopian and Columbian beans
Ethiopian and Columbian beans with
a shot of chicory
Ethiopian and Columbian beans
Brazilian decaffeinated beans
1225 W. Grand Parkway S., Katy
Available online or Sat. 8 a.m.-noon at Farmers Market on Grand Parkway