Mercer University student grinding away at new coffee business

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Mercer University student Shane Buerster wakes up at 4:30 a.m. every day because his uncle told him that’s what successful businessmen do.

At 21, Buerster owns his own business called Z Beans. The idea for the company came to him two years ago during a Mercer mission trip through the Stetson Business School at Mercer University. Buerster met a man named Aturo, who is a self-proclaimed coffee expert. Aturo helped him forge connections with local farmers and helped Buerster import the beans to the U.S.

“Just being able to completely immerse myself into the culture which all spurred from going down on a Mercer On Mission trip, it’s really unbelievable. It’s a great opportunity, and now, the Mercer Innovation Center is where I am able to do all of the work,” said Buerster.

At Mercer’s Innovation Center, Buerster has his own office and storage area. He stores, grinds, and packages the beans out of the center. He has over 43,000 pounds of arabica beans in storage. His friends, Carter Varge and Ben West, are interning with him this semester and help him respond to online orders through their website, zbeanscoffee.com.

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West predicts that one-day, Z Beans will be bigger than Starbucks.

Bruester said he has plans to take over a retail place in Macon and says Z Beans coffee will be available in K-cup pods starting in March.