Online company is perking along

A physician turns love of java into a bubbling business.

By Tyler Chin — Posted July 25, 2005

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Making sidelines pay

Business Pitch

Doctors who branched out beyond running their practice tell why they did it, how they did it, and what you should know before you do it.
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Name: Tim Welter, MD

Specialty: Emergency medicine

Location: Waco, Texas

Business: Persnickety Tim's Coffee. The company sells gourmet coffee and biscotti online (link).

Annual revenue: "We're profitable," Dr. Welter said. "One nice thing is that I own all the [coffee-roasting] equipment ... which really helps."

Why he started the business: Dr. Welter began roasting green coffee beans in the 1980s when he was a resident. In 1996, he and his wife, Jo, opened a drive-thru coffee shop. "It was something I really wanted to do," he said. The business did well, but the Welters closed it within a year, Dr. Welter said. "Having a retail store can take all your time and energy, and it did. It was quite stressful for our family, and that's why we closed it."

However, after the Internet took off, the Welters and a partner opened Persnickety Tim's in 2002. "The Internet makes running a business a lot more manageable," Dr. Welter said.

Why he keeps practicing: "I love medicine."

Words of wisdom: "Either you have to go to school to learn how to run a business ... or you should have a partner who does, because knowing how to manage your overhead, expenses, and market and package your product are not things that medical school prepares you for," Dr. Welter said. "So I think it's good to have people with you who really have that kind of expertise. It makes your life easier, and it makes the chance of having a successful business a lot higher."

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