It may only be one of a 22-story book, but Danny O’Neill’s journey outlined in “Entrepreneurs + Mentors = Success: 22 Convincing Stories” is well worth the read. Our beloved President, Owner and official Bean Baron shares his relentless pursuit of a coffee dream in the book encouraging entrepreneurs in Kansas City and around the globe to chase their dreams…no matter what.
SPOILER ALRT: Danny’s story has a happy ending! But like many success stories, it started from humble beginnings. As an exchange student in Costa Rica during his senior year of high school, Danny spent many days learning to pick coffee beans. Those early days (November 22, 1978 to exact) would be the foundation of The Roasterie. However, due to his years studying at Iowa State University and sales positions in Omaha and Kansas City, the coffee venture took a backseat.
That all changed in the early 90s, when Danny decided to quit his job and travel the world to study coffee. He ordered a bean roaster and began selling his coffee the old-fashioned way: door-to-door. Through his personal hard work, Danny’s Roasterie was born in November of 1993 in the basement of his Brookside home. The company’s first café was later erected in the same Brookside area in 2005.
Among the decades that led to today’s success of The Roasterie, a particular day stands out: New Year’s Eve at the Midland Theatre in 1994.
Businessman Barnett Helzberg, Chairman of the Board for Helzberg Diamonds, continually came back to Danny’s coffee stand during the symphony to enjoy his incredible concoction. Helzberg convinced Danny to be mentored by a group of entrepreneurs, and former CEO of H&R Block, Henry Bloch, took Danny under his wing through the Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program (HEMP).
In appreciation for the advice given to him as a mentee in the program, Danny now serves as a strategic coach for HEMP.
This story, among many others, is available in Entrepreneurs + Mentors = Success: 22 Convincing Stories (and if you’re a Kansas City entrepreneur, it’s worth a read!). You can order the book here, and read up on the history of our great company, of course while enjoying a cup of our air-roasted coffee!