Northlandia Coffee

Megan Sahlfeld is an STA alumna who decided to take a chance and start her own coffee company.

by Katelyn Buckley, Staff Writer

“You miss a lot of life in those years when you do corporate jobs,” said Northlandia Coffee owner and STA alumna (class of 2004) Megan Sahlfeld, “There’s just more to life.”

On Gentry Street in North Kansas City, Sahlfeld started her own coffee company that sells high quality and locally roasted coffee.

Small business was not new to Sahlfeld. Her father owns a printing business that helped her develop skills that she brought into Northlandia.  

“There’s more out there and I was ready to try something new,” Sahlfeld said

Coffee was always a passion of the Northlandia founder’s. Her time at STA was where she discovered this love for coffee.

“Before going to wait in the carpool spot, there would always be a gas station and I would always get a cappuccino,” Sahlfeld said.

 Although she has loved coffee since her high school years, a trip to Belize pulled her in the direction of making it something more.

“On that island [Belize], there was a little specialty coffee roaster that was getting their beans from Guatemala. It was out of this world,” Sahlfeld said. “It was the best coffee I’ve ever got my hands on.” 

Sahlfeld’s new mission became high-quality coffee in the Kansas City area. 

“We came back [to Kansas City] and we could never go back to any of the mainstream coffee brands again,” Sahlfeld said.

This freshness that she found in Belize is what was most important to Sahlfeld when she was creating Northlandia Coffee.

“The commercial process of factories to bags, then bags to distributors, and then distributors to smaller distributors, then to the grocery stores . . .it really is months, so the product is never going to be as fresh as microroasters,” Sahlfeld said. 

She drew on her experience from the family printing business to set out on her own endeavor.

“I’ve had the luxury of helping run a business so I knew how to [do] bookkeep, taxes, filing for an LLC —none of that was new to me,” Sahlfeld said.

Although Sahlfeld knew the basics of small business in America, coffee roasting was something that she had to learn from scratch.

 “It was essentially learning the process of roasting and then finding the equipment, researching different types of roasting processes, and going down the rabbit hole,” she said.

Not only was learning the roasting process a demanding task, community outreach is also an element  of small business that was part of her learning curve. 

“Continually trying to find new avenues for your brand and for your product is something that I still struggle with, and I think a lot of business owners do,” said Sahlfeld.

 Learning the new processes and getting the new equipment may have been hard, but it all was worth it for Sahlfeld.

“It has really been a labor of love, but I don’t regret a single step,” she said.

Being a local business owner, Sahlfeld gets to meet the consumers of her own product. This part of her job is crucial to keep her going.

“The customers that are going out of their way to leave you a review and just say ‘this is the best coffee I’ve ever had!” she said, “That’s what keeps you going.”