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A Day in the Life of a Coffee Innovator

May 10, 2017 //
Jessica Do Tully, founder of Palmpress
Jessica Do Tully, founder of Palmpress

Jessica Do Tully, BBA ’10, studied Finance at the Fox School of Business, and moved to New York City following graduation. Her work with J.P. Morgan required back-and-forth stints in London. While she enjoyed her job, entrepreneurship was always in the back of her mind. A few years later when her friend started a small business that helped companies develop wellness programs for their employees, Do Tully decided to join and gain exposure to the world of entrepreneurship.

“Since I was little, I’ve always had a fascination with creating things,” Do Tully said, “and working for my friend’s business let me learn so much, including what type of business I’d want to build someday.”

But what kind of business? Like any would-be entrepreneur, Do Tully looked for an opportunity in the marketplace. An avid coffee drinker and fan of handcrafting her own coffee, she read Amazon reviews of existing coffee-brewing systems and spotted some interesting trends—issues that she and other coffee drinkers shared. For instance, she saw that consumers, for fear of chemical leaching, had been moving away from coffee brewers in which hot water contacted plastics.

That’s when Do Tully set out to develop Palmpress, a personal craft coffee press that works for hot or cold brew coffee. It allows for personal customization to taste and strength, and utilizes a stainless-steel and silicone design and a reusable filter.

“We will start by producing a limited run of Palmpresses,” said Do Tully, who already has begun taking pre-orders.

“Today’s coffee drinkers are more knowledgeable than ever. They want to connect with their coffee experience,” said Do Tully, who is based in Miami. “Palmpress not only gives you full-flavored, freshly pressed coffee, but also an enjoyable coffee-making ritual. It’s a proper coffee break. So the next step, for me, is planning distribution and sales.”

Jessica Do Tully
Jessica Do Tully

A glimpse into a day in the life of Jessica Do Tully:  

8:00 a.m. Wake up and get ready for the day. Stretch. (Leftover pad Thai for breakfast.)

9:00 a.m. Work from home this morning. Catch up with our manufacturer on production status. Book flights for the Home & Housewares 2017 tradeshow in Chicago.

11:00 a.m. Head to Per’La coffee roasters, where I’m meeting with Paul Massard. He’s Per’La’s managing partner and a licensed Q grader, which means he is certified to identify and grade coffee quality. Today, I got to check out Per’La’s facility, learn a bit about coffee roasting, and—of course—we Palmpressed a few coffees! We tasted Per’La’s light roast Kenyan, which was delicious. (I’m always excited to taste test and get feedback on Palmpress from awesome coffee experts.)

1:30 p.m. Freshly caffeinated, I head to my co-working space and settle in at the Cambridge Innovation Center in Miami. Catch up with Dean DiPietro, Palmpress’ product developer, on the latest product news and next steps. Next, I grab lunch to eat at the desk. I speak with two advisors about an upcoming meeting with a distributor, and prep for an upcoming presentation for my accelerator program, WIN Lab.

7:45 p.m. Meet up for dinner with two friends visiting from New York City. Their flight is early the next day, so we opt for takeout and wine.

10:30 p.m. Open up the laptop to work on Palmpress’ financial projections, and to help inform business planning and fundraising. Send additional specifications to our manufacturer.

12:00 a.m. Lights out.

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