Karen Blankenzee

Avalon Park, Florida

Rosso Coffee Bar
Personal LinkedIn Profile

What is your company description and what makes your company unique?

I am very passionate about coffee and do my best to provide better coffee to my customers. I created my own House and Breakfast Blends with medium roasted specialty coffee which my customers enjoy and say they can taste the differences in my coffee when compared to other coffee in the marketplace.

How did you get into entrepreneurship?

I was seeking answers to what my purpose is in life and one day I read an article from a community magazine about how many kids go to bed hungry at night. It shocked me a lot so I wanted to show some positivity to those kids, and I thought to myself that I could start a business and use a portion of my revenue to eventually establish a scholarship foundation.

Since 2018, I have been roasting specialty grade coffee only, packaging and delivering them to my customers. In 2020, I decided to take the next step to bring my products to more customers by opening a coffee bar. Based on a recommendation from one of my customers, I investigated the Avalon Park area and found a location where there was little to no competition.

Why do you do what you do?

I’m a coffee taster and have been roasting coffee for years. It bothers me when people say coffee is coffee and that they are only having it for a caffeine kick. There is a lot more to what coffee offers. I want my customers to experience different coffees from all over the world and truly appreciate each one. As a coffee taster I believe that medium roast coffee offers the most flavors. Just like when we over cook foods we loose flavors in those foods and same is true for coffee when the beans are roasted too long.

What tools, resources or books have you used to start and/or grow your business?

I spent time doing research by going to other coffee shops, tasting their coffee, and understanding how they operated their businesses. I also went through many courses and read books regarding coffee. Plus, watching YouTube videos has helped me to stay sharp.

Why did you choose to locate your business in Florida?

I came to Florida in 2010 because of my husband's work assignment so Florida became my first home in the United States. As a certified coffee taster for specialty coffee, I noticed there were not many specialty coffee shops in town back then. The marketplace being developed in Avalon Park is a growing trend of bringing local eateries together in a shared location vs. having to incur the cost of having my own retail location. A great opportunity for me!

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?

Be patient and enjoy your journey.

How can other entrepreneurs help you?

Please consider purchasing products and services from local businesses.


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