St. Patrick’s Day Coffees

There are few better ways to prepare your St. Patrick’s Day menu than sitting down with a freshly prepared Classic Irish Coffee. Whiskey-doused beverages like Irish Coffee, or even modern twists like this sexy Cold Brewed Coffee-Tini, are always good choices for your March menu.St. Patrick's Day Menu Stockton Graham & Co. Coffee Roaster

But if you don’t have a liquor license or prefer to keep your store more family friendly, a great option is coffee that is flavored to taste like your favorite St. Patrick’s Day liqueur. Here are a few of Stockton Graham & Co.’s favorite St. Patrick’s Day-inspired options straight from our Raleigh, North Carolina coffee roaster:

Flavored Coffee

Highlander Cream
“The essence of the Highlands” is what we call this creamy, dreamy coffee. It is based on a popular liqueur made with high-end Scotch whisky, double cream and a secret blend of wild and puckish herbs. Your customers will find Highlander Cream notable for its light spice and remarkably smooth flavor.

Irish Cream
Everyone knows Irish Cream. It is a liqueur made from cream and Irish whiskey that became the go-to after-dinner cordial in the mid-1970s. This straight-forward version is great as a standalone drink with a splash of fresh cream or blended with Irish Cream syrup for an indulgent St. Patrick’s Day pick-me-up.

Irish Mint
This is Irish Cream coffee laced with the cool, refreshing flavor of Crème de Menthe. As an after-dinner option, it’s the closest thing you’ll get to a good luck charm, unless you have a four-leaf-clover handy.

Luck of the Irish
Everyone should feel a little nutty for St. Patrick’s Day. Our Luck of the Irish flavor complements the rich, sweet taste of Irish Cream with caramel and nuts. It is a creamy and light with coffee with luxurious, silky undertones.

Peppermint Paddy
Bold dark chocolate coats refreshing, glacial mint nuances in this peppermint patty-inspired coffee. Most customers comment on its sensational, refreshing mouth feel and rich chocolate aftertaste.

Scottish Grog
Another option inspired by the highlands of Scotland, this coffee has creamy, sweet caramel notes in a full, creamy body. A splash of honey-tinged bourbon flows across the palate like the boisterous sound of bagpipes rolling down a lush, green Scottish hillside.

White Chocolate Chunk
It’s not a traditional St. Patrick’s Day flavor; yet we find it pairs well with many Irish desserts like Tea Cake and Soda Bread Cookies. That’s because white chocolate isn’t as forward as dark chocolate and milk chocolate, so customers get a hint of indulgent flavor without overwhelming the palate.

Non-Coffee Options

Organic Assam Breakfast Tea
Irish Breakfast Tea is really a mix of several black teas, most of them Assam. These big, black organic tea leaves are the real thing, grown in Assam, India, where hot days and cool nights bring out the rich, full flavor.

Green Tea Smoothie
Smoothies made with authentic Japanese green tea are a healthful way to get in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit. We offer several brands of including Dragonfly Green Tea Powder and Matcha Green Tea Smoothie Base from Big Train.

Green Tea Chai
We love David Rio Tortoise Green Tea Chai mix for its rich and creamy mixture of green tea and exotic spices. What’s better, it can be served hot or blended with ice for a cool drink of green.

Leprechaun-endorsed LTOs

As always, the taste experts at Stockton Graham & Co. have put together a wide variety of St. Patrick’s Day LTO ideas for your business. Click here for a few ideas. Most can be crafted with the products you already use. Feel free to call us at 800 835 5943 if you need to refresh your stock or are looking for something else.

FaLaLaLaLa for Flavored Coffees

Stockton Graham & Co. Winter Flavored CoffeesThis season, flavored coffees are back with a vengeance. Winter warmers are firing up coffee sales especially among dessert-flavored coffees like Tiramisu, Red Velvet Cake, Gingerbread and Pumpkin Cheesecake.

Flavored coffees are different than coffee beverages flavored with syrups from MONIN, DaVinci or Torani. Stockton Graham & Co. makes our flavored coffees to order with fresh-roasted beans that are tumbled in large bins with small amounts of flavoring. The result is a cleaner tasting flavored beverage with, of course, less sugar and calories than coffees that include flavored syrups or sauces.

Mintel Research tells us that flavored coffee sales are up 15%, with dessert flavored coffees leading the way. Put all the dessert-flavored coffees into a bucket, and sales are up a whopping 800% since 2010, according to Mintel. Yes, that’s right. 800%.

Big changes in flavored coffees are being pushed by Millennials who are more adventurous and like to experiment with different taste combinations.

Millennial coffee consumers are the coffeehouse generation, having grown up with choices, flavors and variety. These flavor-friendly flavored coffee drinkers are rapidly replacing Baby Boomers and black coffee. That’s why flavored coffee sales are indexing at a considerably faster rate than non-flavored coffee, according to Mintel Research.

According to research company NPD Group, customers will continue to be more adventurous in 2016. And brands that fare best will be the ones that strive for menu innovation, according to NPD Analyst Bonnie Riggs: “It’s about the food, the innovation.”

Now’s the time to think about flavored coffee for your store. Here are some of our new and popular dessert-flavored options:

Tiramisu – Our tiramisu coffee is made like the famous Italian dessert with light and moist flavors of ladyfinger cookies soaked in Marsala wine and espresso. We layer those flavors with the taste of creamy mascarpone cheese and fresh grated chocolate. Served with a splash of fresh cream, it’s like indulging in Little Italy without worrying about your waistline.

Red Velvet Cake – Red Velvet cupcakes may be one of the hottest dessert menu trends today, and so we did our our version with this flavored coffee. We blended deep cocoa and tangy cream cheese into bath of buttermilk and added a vanilla accent at the end. It’s a masterpiece of flavor in a cup!

Pumpkin Cheesecake – Pumpkin gets even more decadent with the addition of cream cheese in this new favorite. We prefer our pumpkin cheesecake with a graham cracker crust and so we crafted a foundation of honey cinnamon graham flavors to accent this coffee’s bold and round body.

Winter Wonderland – Four popular flavors come together in a snow globe of deliciousness: a winter wonderland of caramel and hazelnut powdered with a fresh snow of coconut and vanilla. Fans of our summertime favorite Jamaican Me Crazy® flock to Winter Wonderland for its complementary flavor profile. It’s guaranteed to warm your spirit with holiday happiness!

Yule Nog – This perfect after-dinner coffee features the flavors of rich, custardy egg nog like grandma used to make with fresh eggs and cream. Then we topped it off with a spike of cinnamon and nutmeg. Combined with a slightly sweet finish, this coffee is sure to delight your family and guests this holiday season.

Chocolate Peppermint –When you take one sip of this flavored coffee, you experience the sensation of skiing down a hill into a pile of glacial mint. It’s a great specialty coffee to enjoy in your snow boots or pajamas and makes a perfect companion to the holidays.

Cozy Fire – Bourbon, southern pecan and a touch of cinnamon flavor waltz together in a cup of 100% Arabica coffee. A sip warms the tongue and fires up the palate, keeping you toasty and full of energy for the long, cold nights.

Toasted Praline – A nutty and buttery pecan flavor, lightly toasted, is the centerpiece of our toasted praline coffee. Deeper on the palate, there’s a hint of dark brown sugar and cream. Imagine fresh-from-the-oven candy-coated pecans with far fewer calories per cup.

Gingerbread – This coffee is spicy sweet like the little gingerbread guys that are so hot this season. We’ve captured the scent and flavor of warm cookies fresh from the oven, complementing the ginger flavor with our own blend of cinnamon and hazelnut for a uniquely snappy taste!

CinnaGraham – Our most popular fall flavor continues to sell well this winter. Folks enjoy the fresh taste of honeycombs kissed with a sprinkle of cinnamon. The cinnamon is not as forward as some of our other related flavors, which leaves room for the honey sweetness to tantalize the tongue.

View a wider selection of flavored coffees here. To order coffee, email or call 800 835 5943.



Twenty Years Tells Us… Keep It Fresh!

Spring CleaningIt’s that time of year again when we start our Spring cleaning and begin looking ahead at the warmer months. While keeping a neat and tidy business is important, so is changing things up a little. This can be done a number of easy and inexpensive ways.

Start by moving furniture and fixtures around. This can change the vibe of the store and can even highlight certain products. When we owned retail outlets this technique was especially helpful when certain retail items weren’t moving as quickly we liked. Older items began to sell better, and we didn’t even have to mark them down!

Spring CleaningYou can keep it fresh by adding new items to your menu. Offer seasonal or limited time only options. Customers really respond to new and interesting choices and will often spend more for them.  One of our customer’s introduced a cupcake latte once and sold more of those than mochas during the promotion period.

We’re keeping it fresh too. You can expect to see several new products this Spring (like Sweet Heat from Torani). So, be sure to call us at 800-835-5943 and ask our Customer Care Associates for ideas on what’s new, and what’s old that can be made new again.

Soda Fountain Inspired Shakes: Re-creating a Time Honored Tradition

Caramel Milkshake_0Do you ever reminisce back to a slower time, before all the hustle and bustle became normal? Chances are that many of your customers do, too. Some of your more mature guests may recall times sitting at the local soda fountain or malt shop with friends, spending the afternoon sipping on hand-crafted shakes. These shops were a fixture on Main Street throughout America. As many of them are closing to make way for the mega pharmacy and cookie cutter national brand stores, their passing allows for your shop to become the new go-to place to create memories and experiences. As a shop owner, you have the ability to create a homey, small town atmosphere through the exceptional service and products you’re serving.

Today in a world of global brands and global mass culture, you can share a similar experience with customers of all ages by providing a soda fountain inspired menu. A simple, yet indulgent drink offering can be added to your menu using products you already carry. You will need ice, choice of syrup and a base, such as Torani Real Cream. We can provide you with recipes, POS materials and ideas from our own experiences as shop owners and operators.

You can use feature flavors that can transport you back in time like a Root Beer Float or Orange Cream, which will invite customers to take a seat and enjoy an afternoon treat.  Along with these traditional flavors, you can create something a little more exotic such as a Magnificent Mango, Pomegranate Cherry or Blue Raspberry Swirl. The flavor combinations are limitless and can be hand-crafted to satisfy any customer’s taste buds. There are virtually no limits to theworld of flavors and memories you can create with a few simple ingredients and your imagination!

16oz Basic Frappe Recipe
2 cups of ice
5 oz. Torani Real Cream Frappe Base
1 oz. of Torani sauce or syrup

Fill blender with ice and add Frappe Base.  Add syrup or sauce.  Blend until smooth. Pour into drink cup, garnish and serve.

16oz Orange Dream
2 cups of ice
5 oz. of Torani Real Cream Frappe Base
1 oz. of Torani Dairy Friendly Orange

Fill blender with ice and add Frappe Base.  Add syrup or sauce.  Blend until smooth. Pour into drink cup, garnish and serve.

16oz Blue Raspberry Swirl
2 cups of ice
5 oz. of Torani Real Cream Frappe Base
1 oz. of Torani Blue Raspberry syrup

Fill blender with ice and add Frappe Base.  Add syrup or sauce.  Blend until smooth. Pour into drink cup, garnish and serve.

Helpful Tip: You make need to add ½ to 1 oz. of milk to create the right consistency depending on your ice.

For more great ideas and recipes, contact your Stockton Graham & Co. Customer Care Associate at 800-835-5943 today!

Blend This! Blended Beverage Workshops

Join us for “Blend This!”, a blended beverage workshop and promotions event! Top brands DaVinci Gourmet, Jet, Big Train, Caffe D’Amore and Oregon Chai are sending their beverage experts to demonstrate how you can utilize their products in your cafe to blend bigger profits. The blended beverage industry is worth $4 billion and growing every year!

Kerry will be giving away 2 iPads (one for each event) via drawings. Your name will automatically be entered to win if registered for the event, and upon attending you will receive another entry! There will be extra ways to enter the drawing at the event itself as well.

Presented by: Jill Zimmerman of Kerry Foodservice and Thom Swain of Stockton Graham & Co. They will blend you through achieving higher revenues, industry know how, creative beverage programs that will attract new customers and suggestive selling for blended iced beverages! Be sure to register today to obtain some of this valuable information!

*June 26, 2013 – Thank you so much for attending these successful events!

Build Your Business: Mid-Year Checklist!

ChecklistAs hard as it is to believe, we’ve just about reached the halfway mark of 2013!  So far we’ve made it past the “New Year’s resolutions” in January, a few of the early-year holidays such as Valentine’s day, St. Patty’s day and Earth Day, spring has sprung and now summer is here. Though summer is a time for relaxing, 2014 will be here quicker than you think, so 3rd and 4th quarter preparation can never start too early. Here is a mid-year checklist, to get you and your staff ready for the next 6 months.

Hiring– With school out for summer, part-time opportunities in your shop may open up.  This can be a great way to grab some extra help while other staff members are out on vacation, but often times, younger employees are only available during the summer.  September is just around the corner, so when your temporary summer-employees return to school, make sure your shop is well staffed for the busy season to come.

Training– It is imperative that your entire staff is properly trained. The last thing you want is an unqualified barista in the middle of busy season, so take advantage of the summer and have your staff trained and ready to go before fall arrives.  Stockton Graham & Co. offers all the training you and your staff will need in our Coffee College courses. Taught by certified instructors, your staff will learn everything from pulling the perfect shot, to properly steaming milk, to preventative maintenance and more.  Call today to find out when our next coffee college is available!

Menu Cleanup– Now is the perfect time to revisit your menu and see what changes and/or additions need to be made.  If items such as iced teas, smoothies or frappes are not updated on your menu for the warmer months, they should be, or offered as a “Limited Time Offer”.  It’s also the perfect time to sample new products and add new items to your store.  From coffee to smoothies, Stockton Graham & Co. has dozens upon dozens of samples available for you! When things really pick up in the second half of the year, the time you have to sample and consider new products, will be harder to come by. Summer is also a good time to do a “Costs Benefits Analysis” to make sure you are making a profit on your drinks. Many times vendor prices rise a bit, and you can forget to update your menu pricing accordingly. Summer is a great time to make these menu adjustments.

Equipment Check– Just like your car, the equipment in your shop needs to be kept up and maintained. Coffee brewers, grinders, blenders and especially espresso machines all need to be operating correctly in order to produce quality product.  Here at Stockton Graham, we would be happy to recommend a technician for your area, or provide you with new equipment if it’s time for yours to be replaced. Right now we are offering several special offers on select Vitamix & Blendtec blenders, which includes free smoothie and/or frappe products. Use this blender promotion to re-vamp your blended drinks options this summer for bigger profits!

Marketing– By now, your shop probably has its own Facebook, Twitter or other forms of social media platforms. These are great tools to advertise and promote your business, but they are only as effective as you make them. It’s important to keep them up-to-date with current announcements, specials and new features. They’re easy to manage and can even be updated right from your phone. If you don’t consider yourself to be “social media-savvy”, have one of your trusted employees take the reins. Chances are, one of them is a “pro”.

Back to School– Come fall, everyone will return to their normal routine of school or work, both of which should result in more frequented visits to your shop. Student discounts and happy hour specials are great ways to get your customer base back into the swing of things. This is a perfect time to promote your menu with specials and other offerings, but in order for any promotion to be a success, preparation is required. Leave the procrastinating to the returning students, and start planning now! Check back with Stockton Graham & Co. blogs to get more ideas for back to school.

It may seem unnecessary to begin acting on these things now, but realistically, “pumpkin season” is just around the corner, and right behind that are the holidays. The 3rd and 4th quarters are traditionally the busiest, but also the most profitable, so ensuring that you and your staff are well prepared is essential. Call us today at 800.835.5943 to ask more about your mid-year checklist, and other ways to plan for a successful second half of the year!

Spring Recipes For Your Cafe’s Menu!

smoothiesSpring is rapidly approaching, so it’s time to liven up that menu with some cool and refreshing beverages to prepare for warmer weather!

Lemonade is a perfect seasonal drink and a profitable seller to add to your menu for spring! You can liven it up by adding a shot of flavored syrup, and also charge a little more while doing so. Add flavors like raspberry, strawberry, blackberry or blueberry to create a specialty lemonade with higher profit margins. Add a fruit garnish to really showcase the drink and draw more attention from customers. For a 16oz modified lemonade add 4 pumps of the flavored syrup of your choice and mix with lemonade and ice!

Frozen lemonade is another top pick to add to your menu! As mentioned above, you can add a shot of flavor to create an even tastier specialty beverage. Stockton Graham & Co. is currently promoting a flavored frozen lemonade combo from Jet until March 31,2013. If you buy one case of Jet Arctic Lemonade smoothie mix at $76.80 you will receive 1 bottle each of DaVinci Gourmet Fruit Innovation Raspberry, Strawberry and Blackberry Blood Orange and a 3 tier syrup rack with 3 syrup pumps for no charge! For a 16oz frozen lemonade using these products use 7oz of the Jet Arctic Lemonade, 4 pumps of syrup and blend with a 16oz cup of ice!

Another simple beverage to add to your spring menu is iced tea and flavored iced tea. Tea is always good to offer, especially in warmer weather. Add shots of syrup to be able to charge more and create a drink that is not offered at competing locations! Raspberry and Peach iced tea are a great way to refresh your customers in the upcoming warmer weather! Feel free to experiment with any fruit flavor to build a tea special to your cafe!

With higher temperatures also comes a higher demand for Frappes, so be sure to have a few variations available! These are some Frappe recipes that we recommend to start your spring menu:
16oz Irish Cream Mocha – 1 pump chocolate sauce, 3 pumps Irish cream syrup, 2 shots of espresso, 4oz base, 16oz cup of ice and blend
16oz Brown Sugar Cinnamon – 4 pumps brown sugar cinnamon syrup, 2 shots of espresso, 4oz base, 16oz cup of ice and blend.
16oz Caramel – 2 pumps caramel sauce, 2 shots of espresso, 4oz base, 16oz cup of ice and blend.
16oz White Chocolate – 2 pumps of white chocolate sauce, 2 shots of espresso, 4oz base, 16oz cup of and blend.
16oz Chocolate Covered Cherry – 1 pump chocolate sauce, 3 pumps cherry syrup, 2 shots of espresso, 4oz base, 16oz cup of ice and blend!

Last but not least, don’t forget to have fruit smoothies available! Fruit smoothies offer a nice non-caffeinated and healthy option to your customers. Stockton Graham & Co. carries smoothie mixes from several different vendors so make sure to check out the product catalog on the web or call a Customer Care Associate at 800.835.5943 to find out which product is best for your shop! Don’t be afraid to get adventurous, mix and match flavors or allow customers to request their very own fruit smoothie concoction! We have some rebates on certain smoothies brands that can be found here.

If you are looking for other great drink ideas be sure to give us a call at 800.835.5943 and our Customer Care Associates will be glad to collaborate with you on recipe ideas! Spring is a great time to bring back your frozen beverage menu, and boost your summer sales. Make sure you are offering everything you can, to keep your customers cool in the warm months.