Columbus Chamber cbuzz: Greg Ubert of Crimson Cup

There was a time when coffee was more about the utility of caffeine than the taste of the cup. A business born of passion, Crimson Cup Founder Greg Ubert has been brewing quality cups of java since 1991.

“We are a specialty coffee roaster so we go to origin and source all our coffees, work directly with farmers, bring it up here, and roast it,” Ubert says of Crimson Cup today. “Our mission is to have the best coffeehouse products, and to teach others how to be successful in selling specialty coffee. That’s what we do.”

Ubert boomeranged his way back to Columbus to start his coffee empire that now spans 28 states, supplies a whole lot of Coffee to OSU, and makes its international way to Bangladesh. He grew up in Worthington, attended college at Harvard (earning an economics degree along the way) and did a brief stint in software in Chicago before deciding it just wasn’t for him.

“I think that’s what was missing for me – the passion,” Ubert says.

He found that his passions not only lie in a really good cup of coffee, but in creating a business environment where everybody could get really excited about what they’re doing.

With an idea that others besides himself would enjoy a cup of coffee for the taste and not just the buzz, he headed back to Ohio.

Ubert started Crimson Cup at a time when there wasn’t really a blueprint for starting a coffee roasting business. Many 90+ hour weeks were spent learning every facet, from the operations to roasting. He hit the pavement, literally, with his early brews, picking a section of downtown offices and knocking on doors until he got a ‘Yes.’ And every ‘Yes’ since has meant not just a customer, but a chance to build a relationship.

During Ubert’s podcast hear more about how Cimson Cup has grown from a supplier to having two of its own coffeehouses and about his sense of determination that meant failure wasn’t really an option. Listen to the full cast below:

The Columbus Chamber and CD102.5 have partnered to bring the first business-themed podcast to Columbus. During cbuzz, host and local comedian Dan Swartwout will speak with local business owners and entrepreneurs and allow them to tell their story and highlight their organization, while further inspiring the entrepreneurial spirit that is buzzing in the city.

Want to hear more? Visit for new podcasts every other week.

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