Modus Coffee Roasters Q&A with Sharif Sharifi:
We reached out to Sharif Sharifi, Owner & Operator at Modus to learn more about the story behind this micro-roastery. Launched in 2017, the team has a modest but specific way of operating that fascinated us.
What's the story with Modus?
We started Modus out of a 100 sq ft space with essentially nothing, the shop came a couple of years later, again built with minimal funds, but in the start, it was really to satisfy what we thought was missing. Lots of people are turned off by specialty coffee, and we wanted to do something that's a little easier to understand, and that's done mainly through the profiles and how we structure the coffees that fit into those profiles seasonally.
How would you describe your green buying ethos?
Now that we're able to move more volume we're gravitating more towards working with the same groups and producers anytime possible, year after year. This means that we're essentially planning our coffees at least 6 months ahead. We've grown into this type of buying method to foster better relationships, and build more collaboration.
We are small, so we are still working with importers, but actually, they do a lot of the leg work and we've been introduced to a number of groups who are either brand new to the specialty market, have difficult access to it, or are in plain dire circumstances. We are trying to shift our coffees to support more of these producers not only because they need it more than more established producers but because their coffees are amazing considering the little resources some have.
What are you most proud of with Modus?
I think mainly the fact that we started it all with very little funds, and so far have not accepted any type of loans, or taken money from any investors. We're both big on organic growth, and see that as a more sustainable way to grow something that people can relate to, including staff as well. The hands-on owner/operator model can be rough, but what else would we do if we're not the ones also pulling shots and cleaning toilets?
What are your aspirations for where you would like to take Modus?
Same as what we've been doing, we both want to keep it tight, efficient, and good. The next mission is to find a more suitable space to move our production to. Aside from that, we're a coffee roaster first and want to keep the bar high on that end always.