Greg Ubert from Crimson Cup Coffee and Tea

Greg Ubert is the Founder and President at Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea. After a short promising career in Chicago, he considered many opportunities. But, in the end, specialty coffee was his answer. He decided his mission would be to blend and roast a better cup of coffee.

He moved home to live with his parents in Columbus, Ohio while he got his fledgling business off the ground. Why Columbus? He saw some great opportunity to grow his coffee idea, plus Columbus was attractive as a city to raise a family.  And he has always done what most have considered a little crazy.

People do look at me strangely. And that’s kind of normal for people who are thinking outside the box. And it’s certainly something that I’ve learned that if I don’t get a strange look, I know I’m not pushing the envelope.

He named his new business “Crimson Cup,” both for the ripe red berry of the coffee tree and in honor of Harvard’s (his alma mater) official color, crimson. What ultimately has made his business different from others is his focus on the relationship chain.

So that’s why we got into teaching and training. That’s one of the things we do really, really well at Crimson Cup. We teach and train our customers how to be successful. It’s pretty simple. If they’re successful, we’re successful. And so that’s why we put so much into the training.

Greg took the next logical step and wrote a book, Seven Steps for Success: A Common-Sense Guide to Succeed in Specialty Coffee. Reading it is still the first recommendation Crimson Cup gives to people who are thinking about starting a coffee house. It’s now in its third printing, and is used as a template for coffee house owners to maximize their coffee house businesses and avoid costly mistakes.

We could have signed up a whole bunch of independent coffee houses. We only work with about 5 percent. And the reason is because we want to make sure that they’re the right fit. Because one of our core values is having fun.

Additionally, his true passion is helping the coffee bean farmers. They work with farmers on three different levels.

  1. Environmental – to make sure that they’re treating the environment right.
  2. Social – most communities that they go into have a lot of need.
  3. Economical – they offer their farmers contracts to grow and harvest better beans. If they make a better coffee (with Crimson Cup’s help), they’re going to pay them more for it.

So how did Greg come to start banking with Heartland Bank? His board advised him to “find a bank like you.”

A bank like me. I’ve never heard that before. But it’s interesting. And I did some interviews and certainly found Scott, and he was right on target.

Crimson Cup has offered great international opportunities for Greg and Crimson Cup.

Because establishing relationships around the world is awesome, because most people are truly wonderful.

The Driving the Cbus podcast co-hosts, Scott McComb, CEO of Heartland Bank and Kailyn Bucklew (McComb), a third-generation community banker, offer two different perspectives as they sit down and get real with local business owners. From well-established companies to startups, small businesses are the heart and soul of Columbus. Tune in to find out how it all began, what keeps them up at night – the current struggles they face, and what successes they are most proud of with some entertaining stories along the way.