Frank Schipani – Owner of Three Hats Coffee

SGV Master Key Podcast Episode #076

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Quotes & Key Takeaways


“I guess my superpower is my drive. But if I can kind of give you a little bit of that in a cup of coffee, you can apply that to your day-to-day life.”

“I went down the rabbit hole of learning how to roast and source coffee, high-quality coffee; I should say, and then bring it to market.”

“I felt there was a screaming necessity for specialty grade coffee, so I just wanted to be a part and contribute that fabric of society.”

“I have to be able to pivot and understand where my customer is in their coffee journey and be able to elaborate the benefits of having a higher tier, premium coffee as their daily cup of joe.”

“Three hats essentially means one person wearing all the hats to make their thing go. When you’re starting something, and everything is relying on yourself, you need to be able to wear multiple hats.”

How did Frank’s coffee journey begin?

In 2020 in New York City, Frank was a property manager, but unfortunately, with COVID, it fell by the wayside.

This majorly stressed Frank out because he had a great salary, and he didn’t know where to turn next. Thankfully he doesn’t have any poor coping habits like drinking or smoking, but he did turn to coffee as a source of comfort.

He realized at that moment it was pretty recession-proof, and even if poorly down, there was a major upside.

Frank intended to move to California in 2021, but with how quickly things were falling apart in NYC, they expedited their trip.


Why move to California?

Even before COVID-19, Frank and his wife wanted to love California. They wanted their kids to have more open space and greenery that California offers compared to NYC.


What made Frank choose San Gabriel Valley for his business?

Frank felt like there was a strong need for specialty coffee in the area, so he wanted to help contribute that to the area.


How much education for necessary for customers?

Frank comes across a wide variety of customers. To some folks, coffee is coffee. Whatever you get it, whatever kind it is, it’s just that – coffee.

On the other hand, there are people more nuanced and sophisticated with specialty-grade coffee. It’s important for Frank to be able to understand where the customer is at on their coffee journey and be able to elaborate on the value of better-quality coffee.

Over time, Frank has learned how to pick up on clues and better understand where customers are in terms of needing education.


What is Frank’s Coffee Product?

A good coffee roaster’s year starts by sampling the roast at the beginning of the year. This involves sourcing and cupping. They roast to a very uniform grade and taste to test the characteristics of the bean.

This can be looking at whether it is too tart, bitter, or acidic.

After this point, they make a decision. They end up sourcing nine different coffees and roasting them to different profiles, such as light, medium, and dark.

Three Hats Coffee bag of coffee

How Many Different Varieties of Coffee Does Frank Offer?

Frank has nine single origins, which means he does not blend them with any other beans. He has one blend, which is espresso.

So, technically he has ten different bags that he can sell at any given time. Frank offers coffee at farmer’s markets. However, they do not have a brick-and-mortar location.

So, Frank typically sells bags of coffee.


What is the Significance behind Frank’s business’s name – Three Hats Coffee?

Before Frank left NYC, he knew he wanted to start a coffee roaster business. He wanted to choose a name that he felt was prevalent and would symbolize his motivation.

For Frank, three hats is one person wearing all the hats. It’s the idea of being able to rely on yourself and wear multiple hats.

Frank was roasting the coffee, sourcing, selling, marketing, and making local deliveries.


What are Frank’s Dreams for Three Hats Coffee?

Frank’s big dream, or a five-year plan, for Three Hats Coffee is to have 30 to 40 wholesale accounts throughout Southern California, 50+ farmer markets per week, and a larger online presence.

Ultimately, he wants to maintain the high quality but grow and expand the business.

This is possible through brand awareness, understanding the benefit, and showing customers that Three hats Coffee is high quality.


How Has Frank Overcome Struggles?

Frank believes it is important to have a clearly defined objective. In all aspects of his life, Frank tries to create a pyramid system. The top is the ultimate goal, but it’s not his base.

The base of his pyramid is the day-to-day activities he needs to accomplish to achieve his objective.


About Frank Schipani

Frank Schipani is a self-taught coffee roaster that started Three Hats Coffee Company during the summer of 2020. Since starting Three Hats Coffee, it has always been his emphasis to roast high quality, specialty-grade coffee fresh and offer it at local farmers markets and online.

His primary emphasis is to enhance your daily coffee ritual by providing you the best cup possible.

Frank’s company started from his garage with a small Behmor where he had to wear multiple hats in order to make his dream a reality.

The “Three Hats” in the company name is a commemoration to those that embody the will to keep going and have full conviction in their beliefs, even when things aren’t perfect. Go getting is heavily woven into the DNA of his company.

From the onset of the venture, Frank’s intent was to continually strive to be the best within the field of specialty coffee and to his community.


Instagram: @threehatscoffee

Frank Schipani – Owner of Three Hats Coffee

SGV Master Key Podcast Episode #076 Music Credits

Cities mentioned in Episode #076