Erin Molnar

Renaissance Roastery

What is Renaissance Roastery?

Renaissance Roastery is a fairly sourced coffee roasting business serving Metro Detroit. I love coffee and used to own a coffee and chocolate shop in Ann Arbor with my husband. When we moved to Chicago we missed roasting coffee everyday! That’s when we started roasting our own with a Whirly Pop in our kitchen. Now we’re back in Michigan and excited to get the business up and running.

What was your experience in Build?

I loved the experience of running my own business in Ann Arbor, but after Build I learned we did it really wrong. We didn’t have a business plan and lost a lot of money – that’s why we ended up having to shut down. Taking Build was great because it allowed us to start over. The financial unit was particularly helpful – the product pricing, taxes, start up costs, and return on investment. After diving into the finances, I realized it wasn’t feasible to get started until I had a bigger, commercial roaster. Sometimes you find out it isn’t going to work out how you had planned, and that’s ok.



“Taking Build was great because it allowed us to start over.”


 What are your recent developments?

After Build, I put the business on pause while I was waiting to save up enough for a commercial coffee roaster. They can run up to $10,000 dollars! Getting that money was a roadblock to making the business bigger and more viable. I’m excited to say I recently acquired a commercial roaster through an old business connection. Now I’m ready to scale production and make this a full time business.

I’m in the midst of rebranding – there are a lot more coffee roasters in Detroit since I first came up with the idea. I want to carve a niche for myself and make sure my brand represents my mission and passion.

What’s in the future for Renaissance Roastery?

I hope to eventually have a retail location with a roaster in-house. I loved the physical aspect of running a coffee shop. We are coffee snobs and there’s nothing like going to a shop where they roast the coffee right in front of you – it’s a really cool process. There’s a lot more interest in where our food and drink is coming from these days, and like most things, coffee just tastes better when it’s fresh.