The Columbus Chamber of Commerce has honored Founder and President Greg Ubert with its 2018 Small Business Leader Award. The award was announced at the Chamber’s Feb. 8 annual meeting at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, 400 North High Street.
“I am beyond honored to receive this fantastic award,” Greg said. “I’ve been in business for 26 years now, and I’m incredibly proud of our Columbus community and the way we nurture and support local businesses.”
Greg congratulated the other finalists for the award, which included Jeff Burt of EclipseCorp, Charles R. Morrison III of MCR Medical Supply and Cheryl Stauffer of Crimson Design Group.”
“I’m grateful to Jeff, Charles and Cheryl for all the leadership they provide as members of the local business community,” he said. “I’d also like to thank the panel of judges for volunteering their time to look at more than 100 nominations before choosing finalists and a winner.”
For more than 30 years, the annual Small Business Leader award has honored a small business owner or executive whose business exemplifies success through increased sales, number of employees and contributions to the community.
In 1991, Greg founded Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea with little more than enthusiasm and a determination to succeed. After the recent Harvard graduate discovered he couldn’t fall in love with computer software, he left a promising career in Chicago to pursue twin passions for coffee and entrepreneurship. Greg moved back to Columbus and started a coffee roasting business with a tiny coffee roaster in a one-room office. With little business experience – and none in the coffee industry – he learned coffee roasting from the grounds up, without any formal training. From the start, his vision focused on providing the best-tasting coffee and coffee-house products to customers while creating a supply chain of mutual benefit with growers and suppliers.
After he saw that some coffee house customers were struggling, he studied their operations and developed a service platform called “Seven Steps to Success.” The program offered a unique proposition: Crimson Cup would teach entrepreneurs how to open coffee houses and help them stay in business. In 2003, he published Seven Steps for Success: A Common-Sense Guide to Succeed in Specialty Coffee. This book and Crimson Cup’s program have put more than 350 independent coffee businesses in 29 states, Guam and Bangladesh on the road to success.
Today, Crimson Cup is a leading coffee roaster, recognized by specialty coffee’s flagship publication Roast magazine as the 2016 Macro Roaster of the Year. Its coffees regularly win taste tests, high rankings from independent coffee reviewers, and trophies in competitions including the Good Food Awards, Golden Bean North America and America’s Best Espresso.
Among Greg’s community contributions, he serves on the boards of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce and Cancer Support Community Central Ohio. He previously spent several years as a member of the Chamber’s Small Business Council and has provided coffee industry perspective on the advisory boards for The Ohio State University Hospitality Management program and the Initiative for Managing Services at The Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University.