How A Small Business Rose To The Top with Josiah Vilman

How A Small Business Rose To The Top with Josiah Vilman - Banking on Business

Episode 12

With over two decades running Nunatak Coffee in Beaver Dam, businessman Josiah Vilman joins Grace and they talk about how he began roasting coffee to provide better quality coffee. Josiah continues to grow his business by expanding into new markets and developing new taste profiles. He describes how the company started with no prior knowledge of coffee roasting and learned through trial and error. They now supply coffee to industrial customers, license their products through distributors, and have two cafes – one of which will be opening soon as a store with a cafe.

Josiah describes how COVID-19 had a big impact on the retail business and they had to adjust their operations on already slim margins. Staffing became challenging, although some good employees were retained. Listen to find out the lessons he has learned, including the importance of being agile and adjusting as needed, as well as his plans to expand manufacturing, online sales, and wholesaling.

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05:44 - We started developing marketing campaigns and procuring coffee, and developing taste profiles for customers. That led to roasting a few years later. We had always been involved in the roasting through testing and things. Developing the actual and roasting and handling that production didn't start until a few years later.

06:41 - It's not like I came from or we came from a history of roasting coffee, where we just took that knowledge and reused it. So, we developed it that way. I think we've gotten better at it. I think I was pretty good but we've certainly gotten better, and now we've learned because we're involved.

14:49 - As long as you're moving two steps forward, maybe one step back is not a bad thing. So, I think being content with that and understanding, that's part of the game, that's been helpful for me.


The Banking on Business podcast is aimed at helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses with practical strategies they can start using today. Hosted by Grace Bruins, Marketing Officer at Horicon Bank, each episode features an expert guest and explores ways to innovate the way you do business.

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