Coffee connoisseurs have many reasons for loving single-cup brewing machines like the Keurig brewer. They’re convenient and brew a fine cup of high-quality coffee. What many Keurig users don’t love, however, is the cumulative costs of purchasing the individual K-Cup Packs. Made of non-recyclable plastics, these single-use K-Cup Packs can cost upwards of $.75 a piece ($.50 if you’re a bargain hunter) and ultimately end up in landfills.
“Almost everyone that buys a Keurig unit gets buyer’s remorse rather quickly,” says David Dorfmueller, founder of My-Cap. “And I was one of those. So I was determined to figure out a way to reuse the Keurig K-cup.” An electrical engineer armed with a Dremel tool, David hand-carved a plastic cap allowing him to reuse his K-Cup Packs ten to twenty times each. Thinking he may be onto something, he put one up for sale on eBay and was astonished to see it go for $25. “There’s nothing like selling a piece of plastic for $25,” recalls David. “My immediate reaction was, ‘Hey, I’d better make some more of these.'”
With a little research into BPA-free plastics and some help with friends with manufacturing and injection-molding experience, David honed his reusable cap into a successful retail business. My-Cap has grown from that initial, hand-carved cap to a wide range of products designed to make the most out of single-cup brewers (including Keurig, Nespresso, Dolce Gusto, and Tassimo machines) with environmentally-friendly materials.
David’s success is a great example of a keen eye combined with an unwillingness to accept the status quo. “It really was a market just waiting for someone to do something with,” he says. “I wish I could say I planned it and did the market research, but I didn’t. I just fell into it. It was a problem that needed solving, and I recognized it as a great thing to continue to do, and I did it.”