Crimson Cup Founder and President Greg Ubert

Greg Ubert, founder and president, Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea
Greg Ubert

Twin passions for coffee and entrepreneurship have driven Greg Ubert’s career for over 30 years.

It all started in 1991, when the lure of emerging café culture inspired the recent Harvard University graduate to leave a promising career in computer software.

Instead, he fell in love with specialty coffee. He bought a tiny roasting machine, set up in a one-room office, and began roasting coffee in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

He named his company Crimson Cup for the ripe red cherry of the coffee tree and Harvard’s official color. And he set out with three core values: achieve results, have fun and give back to the communities that supported him.

Under Greg’s leadership, Crimson Cup is now recognized as one of the country’s top coffee roasters.

Among other honors, our coffee won 2017 and 2020 Good Food Awards, which recognize the nation’s best-tasting and most responsibly sourced coffees. In 2016, we earned Roast magazine’s coveted Macro Roaster of the Year award.

Creating the 7 Steps to Coffee Shop Success

After a few years in the roasting business, Greg noticed that some of his coffee shop customers were not as successful as they wanted to be.

He studied best practices in coffee shop operations and began sharing ideas with his customers.

As coffee shops made more money, Greg sold more coffee.

In 2002, he compiled these experiences into a book, Seven Steps to Success: a Commonsense Guide to Succeed in Specialty Coffee.

Now in its second printing, the book became the foundation for our 7 Steps to Coffee Shop Startup Success consulting program.

Entrepreneurs in 30 states have followed the 7 Steps to open over 200 independent coffee shops.

Toward a More Sustainable Coffee Supply

Greg Ubert on a coffee farm
Greg and Coffee Farmer David Lopez on his farm in Honduras.

Greg observed that, just like many coffee shop owners before Crimson Cup, the farmers were not earning enough to support their families, workers, and communities.

Next, Greg and his coffee team began traveling to coffee-growing counties. They forged direct relationships with coffee farmers instead of just working through coffee brokers, as many roasters do.

Crimson Cup had been a Fair Trade certified roaster for over a decade, but Greg thought he could do more. He started our Friend2Farmer initiatives to provide a better quality of life for the farmers, their families and their community.

Under Greg’s leadership, the Crimson Cup Ripple Effect starts with our company culture and disperses into everything we do.

We believe the actions we take today will ripple outward to affect the lives of our team, partners and community for years and generations to come.