They may have started with farmers markets and local fairs, but the founders of Commonwealth Joe — a small-batch coffee roaster and retailer in northern Virginia — quickly learned that good coffee travels fast. “We grew 10x between our first and second years, and we’ll grow another 10x this year,” says Robert Peck, CEO.
Launched in 2012 by four college friends inspired by one mom’s artisanal roasting skills, Commonwealth Joe is on a mission to make amazing coffee more approachable; they’ve focused on DC and Virginia, but their beans have already traveled as far as San Francisco, Portland, Chicago, and New York. They also recently took ownership of The Java Shack, “Arlington’s Original Coffee House,” an opportunity that added more than 10 employees to their existing team.
“When you’re moving at 300 mph, you no longer have time to research and do everything yourself,” says Robert. “We know Gusto has our back; they save us time by taking care of payroll, taxes, and compliance so that we can focus on what we do best: finding, roasting, and brewing amazing coffee.”
We know Gusto has our back; they save us time by taking care of payroll, taxes, and compliance so that we can focus on what we do best.
Keeping the focus on growth, not paperwork
“Setting up your own business and navigating the challenges that come with growth isn’t laid out step-by-step in a manual somewhere,” says Robert. When The Java Shack’s staff boosted their total employee count to 17, Gusto made onboarding painless. “I just sent an email to employees, they filled out the information, and everything was recorded. It was also easy to set up their own direct deposit. I didn’t need to enter all the information myself.”
Saving time isn’t the only thing that matters; Robert also appreciates Gusto’s simple and affordable monthly pricing. “We’ve had three other payroll companies approach us, but no one comes close to Gusto on price. And indeed, cash is king, especially for a rapidly growing startup.”
Gusto’s modern cloud-based software also helps keep the back of office admin paperless and straightforward. “As we keep expanding, I know Gusto can scale quickly with us. It has the tools to support 100+ employees easily and reliably.”
Sharing a common brand
Robert aims to establish Commonwealth Joe as an early adopter on the cutting edge of new tech — it helps them stay lean and agile, which is important in an increasingly competitive market.
“The tech you use represents you as a company: having the right tech, and using it appropriately gives you more legitimacy to investors, to employees, to your customers. More importantly, it allows you to focus on your core business ” says Robert. “Gusto is part of an ecosystem that lowers the barrier to entry and supports a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.”