Entrepreneur Profile: Founders of Birch Coffee


Summer is here, and we are all making the transition from hot to iced coffee.  But what most people do not know is that iced coffee is not as simple as a hot brewed drink turned cold. The process is actually just as interesting as it is deliciously enjoyable.

Birch Coffee, a hip New York City coffee brewery, will teach you how to properly brew iced coffee, easily and simply, so you are not left drinking what is essentially hot coffee left out to freeze. And, riding almost 40 miles a week, they will deliver it to wherever you may be within in the city!

The founders, Jeremy Lyman and Paul Schlader, are two young guys who followed what has always been important to them: quality food and environmental sustainability. Then, they turned an idea based on those two tenets into an entrepreneurial venture: Birch Coffee. Most people use hot water to brew their coffee, and then cool it in their fridge, but this process leaves your drink with an acidic, unpleasant taste. However, Birch Coffee uses cold brewing – the process of steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period – which reduces 65% of the coffee’s acidity and allows for a smoother, sweeter brew.

Jeremy cashed out a $6,000 bond he had from his Bar Mitzvah in order to fund the venture. And since then, Jeremy and Paul used due diligence to research the market in order to avoid industry conventions. They now have a landmark location at the Gershwin Hotel and are expanding to a spot on the Upper West Side.

Birch Coffee is renowned for its quality, fashionable growlers, commitment to the environment and its innovative delivery of coffee – you can sign up for a subscription and they will deliver their iced coffee to your door via bike.

We had the chance to talk with Jeremy and ask him about their endeavors into entrepreneurism:

Every entrepreneur has their roots, that initial idea that sparks an interest where he knows he can build a business of his own. What was yours?

With Starbucks, Greenmountain Coffee, Think Coffee and even Financier, there are hundreds of shops that serve coffee. What motivated you guys to think: we have a foothold in this market?

Explain to us how "cold" brewing works? Is it more than an oxymoron?

Not many businesses can launch with a $6,000 loan. How successful is Birch to you?

What do you define success as? A feeling like satisfaction, or a monetary goal that you strive to attain?

How would you inspire others to acheive their own success or business venture? Starting a business takes risk, why should they take it?

What is your biggest failure, and what did you learn from it?

50 years down the line, what goals do you want Birch to accomplish?  Where do you see yourselves if everything is successful?