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The Challenges of Starting a Veteran-Owned Coffee Business

Adriaan Brits



As a veteran, you know the importance of hard work and dedication. It’s what has kept you going during difficult times and will help you succeed when starting your own business.

But as Dustin Hayes of Red White and Badass Brew knows all too well, simply having those qualities isn’t enough. Many challenges come with starting a veteran-owned coffee business, and it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to overcome them.



In this interview, Hayes talks about the challenges he faced when starting his business and how he overcame them.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when starting your business?

The most difficult thing for me was coming up with the capital. When you’re a veteran, there’s not a lot of money to go around. I had to really scrape and save to get the business off the ground.

I was also challenged by all the paperwork and red tape that comes with starting a business. It’s not easy to navigate, especially when you’re doing it on your own. But I was determined to make it work, so I pushed through.

What is your advice for other veterans thinking about starting their own business?

My most significant piece of advice would be not to give up. It will be challenging, but if you’re passionate about it, don’t let anything stop you.

There are a lot of resources out there for veterans who want to start their own businesses. Utilize them, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

How did you come up with the idea for Red White and Badass Brew?

The idea for Red White and Badass Brew came about when I was trying to find a way to connect with other veterans. I wanted to create a business that would not only be a source of income but also a place where veterans could come together and support one another.

What are your goals for the future of the company?

My goal is to continue to grow the business and eventually franchise it. I want to create a national network of veteran-owned coffee shops where veterans can come together, share their stories, and connect with one another.

I also want to continue to give back to the veteran community. A portion of our proceeds goes to support veteran-related causes, and we also offer discounts to active duty military personnel and veterans.

What has been the most rewarding part of starting your own business?

The most rewarding part has been seeing the positive impact our company has had on the lives of veterans. We’ve created a community of veterans who support and encourage one another, which I’m very proud of.

Now, on to the coffee. What are your favorite blends?

It depends on my mood, but I really like our Whiskey Business blend. As it says on our website, it’s for those mornings when you have a lot to do. Whiskey Business has enough caffeine to get you going, and the whiskey taste will keep you from suffering from hangover headaches.

Another blend I’m rocking right now is our Whiskey Business. This is our #1 seller, This Badass Brew has hints of vanilla, caramel and whiskey and leaves you wanting more. 

Do you have any other products in the works?

We’re always trying to come up with new and innovative products. We’ve got a few things in the works, but we can’t talk about them just yet. Stay tuned!

What’s the best way for people to stay up to date on what’s going on with Red White and Badass Brew?

The best way to stay current is to follow us on social media. We’re very active on Instagram and Facebook, and we also have a weekly newsletter you can sign up for on our website.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Just a big thank you to all the veterans out there who have supported us. We wouldn’t be here without you, and we’re forever grateful.

So if you’re looking to support a veteran-owned business, and get your caffeine fix at the same time, be sure to check out Red White and Badass Brew. And don’t forget to follow them on social media for all the latest news and updates!

About Dustin Hayes

Dustin Hayes was born and raised in Yukon, Oklahoma, until he joined the United States Navy. After being medically retired from the Navy in 2013, Dustin knew he wanted to start his own business but wasn’t quite sure what that business would be. It wasn’t until he started roasting coffee that he realized this was his calling. And so, Red White and Badass Brew was born.

RWBB is more than just a coffee company; it’s a community of veterans who support and encourage one another. A portion of RWBB proceeds go to support veteran-related causes, and they offer discounts to active duty military personnel and veterans.

You can follow Dustin and Red White and Badass Brew on Instagram at or on Facebook at

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