Per’La Specialty Roasters

perla coffee Perla Coffee
Chris Nolte, B.B.A. ’05 
Paul Massard B.B.A. ’05

Miami Business School graduates devise innovative company roasting specialty coffee.

Chris Nolte, B.B.A. ’05 and Paul Massard B.B.A. ’05, began their partnership long before launching Per’La Specialty Roasters. Graduating from the Miami Business School with International Finance & Marketing degrees, the duo paired their expertise to form one of South Florida’s most exclusive coffee roasting enterprises.

After traveling and gaining experience, Nolte and Massard began writing the business plan in April of 2015, bought their roaster and took over their roasting facility in October of 2015, and celebrated their first roast on December 15, 2015.

Starting out with no customers, word of the quality and scents of custom roasting travelled fast, quickly growing their portfolio to over 40 wholesale customers, and roasting around 1,200 lbs. of coffee per week.

Nolte and Massard met as freshmen at UM in the fall of 2001 and have been friends since then. After graduation, their paths ventured in different directions with Massard going to master the coffee route and covering every aspect of the business from roasting, sourcing, and farming which included six years of traveling the world building relationships with producers that are used for sourcing the coffees that the duo procures today. Nolte went the sales and marketing route and learned the positions in government contracting, logistics, and most recently in medical sales. The pair bring the combination of operations and sales expertise together with the art and science of roasting to synergize into a great dynamic and foundation for their business model.

Both Nolte and Massard share that the classes they took at UM were, indeed, integral to their success as entrepreneurs. They both also attribute the soft skills they developed during their undergraduate studies as a vital piece that they utilize every day when running Per'La.

They credit the University of Miami alumni network with helping to elevate their business contacts. “You never know when your paths will cross with other UM alumni, whether that be professionally or personally,” Nolte said, “and how those relationships will develop. I met my wife in a junior year marketing class.” Nolte shared that a recent business associate is also a fellow UM graduate. “We recently connected with a large distributor who had one of our business school classmates on their sales team.”

The dynamic duo will be participating in eMERGE, a convening of global enterprises, leading startups and government leaders focused on innovative digital solutions transforming industries April 23-24, with various University of Miami faculty and alumni.