The Greenville coffee roaster West End Coffee Company was recently featured on the “The Profit” on CNBC.
On the show investor Marcus Lemonis uses his own money to help struggling businesses. But the contentious relationship between West End Coffee’s two co-owners proved to be a problem.
“There are two things that I found when I walked into West End Coffee – the smell of coffee, which was nice, and the cursing, not so nice,” Lemonis said during the episode.
West End is owned by John Brown and Becky Schramm, who were romantically involved when they purchased the company for $500,000. They split up as a couple but continued to run the business together.
West End did $840,000 in sales last year with $40,000 in profits. But Lemonis said the company was only working at 33 percent capacity. He wanted to help Brown and Schramm generate $3 million in sales with 50 percent margins.
While he praised Brown and Schramm’s passion, Lemonis spent most of the episode mediating between the business owners.
“I’m here to sell coffee. I’m not here to babysit,” he said on the show. Most of the conversations between Brown and Schramm devolved into a blame game of who was responsible for which task.
In the end, Lemonis walked out on the owners.
On West End’s website, Becky Schramm is not listed as a staff member. An employee who answered the phone at the company said he wasn’t sure if Schramm still worked at the company but thought she did.
Schramm’s son, Bryan, who was also shown in the episode, is listed on the company’s website as a junior roaster.
Neither Brown nor Schramm could be reached for comment by press time.