CEO Sundays: Entrepreneur 101 with Tyler Ornstein, Tyler’s Coffee

By January 4, 2015


This article was contributed by the CEO of Tyler’s coffee, Tyler Ornstein

The entrepreneur- what is this word that is so often tossed around in the small business world? What is it that will lead an entrepreneur to success? For one, entrepreneurs are fueled by passion and not staved off by the fear of failure. A successful entrepreneur never says, “This idea has business potential.” Instead, they pour their hearts, initiative, and even wallets into sharing their passion with the world. web-banner155x100

How have I turned something as simple as common as coffee into a successful international business? Simple: by doing; not telling. If I hadn’t gone door to door on my bicycle at 14, Tyler’s Coffee would not be the company it is today. It was the devotion and excitement I had regarding my product that buyers were able to truly see. I genuinely cared about giving my customers a healthier product and a chance to potentially improve their overall health, and this was obvious to my customers.


If you want to be successful, you have to believe. Map out a strong business plan that you believe will be effective. Hire and involve people whom you believe will benefit the business and keep its best interests in mind. This means resisting the urge to offer friends and family exclusive involvement in the company. Most importantly, believe in your product and your self. Find your passion and follow it. When people can see passion, they become more trusting. Don’t let them down.

It’s important to be knowledgeable about every aspect of you product or business. Know the ins, out, ups, downs, nooks and crannies, cracks, blueprints, etc. The union of your passion, knowledge, and belief in it all is what builds the fortress around you, your product or service, and your business.


In 2004, I was 14 years old when my biochemist father asked me, “What is the second most popular commodity in the world?” The answer was something I have loved since my first sip: coffee. My father designed a proprietary “Z-Roasting Process” for coffee, which effectively roasts the beans perfectly without letting tannic or lipid acids bloom. Aware of my love for coffee, he presented me with 2oz. silver bags of the world’s first acid-free coffee. I was driven to show my father I was serious about growing this business and infatuated with the product myself. With an entrepreneurial spirit and a backpack full of silver packets, I set off going door-to-door on my bicycle introducing people to this healthier coffee, developing relationships, and laying the groundwork for a future customer base. The coffee began selling rapidly, and everyone eventually, perhaps inevitably, started calling it Tyler’s Coffee. Thus, a business was born.


To this day, my love and passion for this business is as strong as it ever was. We have only improved upon our product in the past ten years, even becoming USDA Certified Organic in response to requests for an organic product from our customers. Tyler’s Coffee now operates with a full warehouse and staff and is sold in stores across the globe, predominately locally owned food cooperatives and natural markets. We are adapting with our customers and the changing market to continue to grow. We have recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to begin production on acid-free single-serve brew cups that will be compatible with Keurig style machines.