Coffee roaster Tony Konecny, better known by his nickname Tonx, had his first run at a mail-order, subscription-based coffee service play out in a way most people would see as success. Three years after its founding, his angel- and seed-stage-funded startup, Tonx Coffee, was bought out by Blue Bottle Coffee, which itself got gobbled up by Nestlé in 2017. At the time of its acquisition, the company was doing several million in annual sales and had been talking to venture-capital firms about a Series A investment.

Now Konecny is gearing up for his second pass at mail-order coffee. His new outing, Yes Plz, still focuses on sourcing green beans from growers and roasting them to demanding specifications in his own roasting equipment with his business partner, Sumi Ali. However, instead of Tonx Coffee’s exclusive single-origin coffee–a term defining anything from one harvest on a particular field on a farm up to a regional cooperative’s collectively processed output–Yes Plz will will offer a blend of several high-quality beans. Konecny says this will let the company better shape flavor and manage inventory and growth, while also discouraging what he thinks can be an excessive focus on provenance and wine-review-like sobriquets among coffee purists. Rather than offer just an every-other-week subscription with automatic renewals, the new operation will also offer one-off purchases and varying schedules and amounts.

Tony Konecny and Sumi Ali [Photo: Sean U’Ren]

The most important change, however, is that Konecny wants Yes Plz to resist the siren call of venture capital. While the startup has raised a…

[SOURCE]