7 Ways to Market Valentine’s Day


Stockton Graham Coffee Roaster Valentines Day Dilworth Coffee RoasterValentine’s Day is perhaps the biggest coffee marketing opportunity between New Year’s and Memorial Day. Economist predict Valentine’s Day spending to reach $20 billion this year, with average spending topping 2015’s high of $142 per person, according to the National Retail Federation. Here are seven easy marketing ideas that will help your store get in on Valentine’s Day revenues this year.

Try a Few Love-Themed LTOs

STOCKTON GRAHAM & CO VALENTINES LTO IDEAS From a French Kiss Latte to a Love Potion Frapp, adding just one holiday LTO can boost sales. That’s because research finds that LTOs are a constant draw. Technomics reports that nearly half of all consumers try LTOs every month, and that percentage increases with Millennials and Pos-Millennials whose wallets are activated by adventure. Click here for a few LTO ideas from the baristas at Stockton Graham & Co.

Decorate Tactfully
Flameless votive candles. Fresh flowers. Classical music. Starlight mints. It doesn’t take much to add a hint of romance to your coffee shop. Draw hearts on your chalk board. Or better yet, put a few felt tip pens near the register and ask your staff to draw simple hearts on each customer’s paper coffee cup, Kraft bag or receipt.

Add Love to Your Lattes
A heart is perhaps the easiest-to-learn design in latte art. Taking two extra seconds to craft a heart on your lattes during Valentine’s Day is the barista’s equivalent to a chef’s artful plating—it not only demonstrates that a barista cares about the drink but it also signals that your store cares about the customer’s experience. This 2-minute video from Michael, the passionate coffee lover behind Barista Next Door, will have you and your baristas slinging hearts in no time.


Get the Word Out Early
Mid-January is not too early to start posting flyers and talking to customers about Valentine’s Day at your store. If you will have special LTOs, then definitely start announcing them by February 1. This will give you enough time to develop marketing momentum and word-of-mouth around your offers.

valentines day at stockton graham coffee roastersSample Your Valentines Menu
Offer 4oz samples of holiday-inspired menu items to customers who make purchases of non-holiday coffee, tea, chai or sweets. Then ask for their feedback. This will allow you to perfect the flavors on your Valentine’s Day menu and help you hone your marketing message and your recipe. It’ll also give staff and customers something exciting to look forward to!

Keep Prices in Check
Although customers view Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to splurge a bit on themselves and their loved ones, over-priced menu items are a turn off. Sure, you can probably get a 10% up-charge for holiday-themed beverages and desserts—just be sure to justify this with great taste, superb service and a warm, inviting atmosphere.

Stockton Graham Fresh Beverage for Valentine's DayThink Fresh
One of the biggest food trends in 2016 will be “clean” foods, which contain simple and unprocessed nutrition. Think about adding a whole fruit strawberry smoothie to your menu; add a few heart-shaped ice cubes to a cup of milk for the kids or to a My Fuzzy Valentine (pink grapefruit or blood orange and seltzer) beverage for health-conscious adults.


Feel free to reach out to our Customer Care Associates at 800 835 5943 for more information on making Valentine’s Day a success for your business.

Show Your Customers Some Love this Valentine’s Day!

Valentines day-imageThis year Valentine’s Day falls on Saturday, February 14, so your shop should have V-Day themed events and specials all week! Show your customers how much you care by giving them “Valentines”. Keep a few Valentines (aka coupons for discounted drinks) by the register to give out to regular and loyal customers all week.

Be sure to promote your Valentine’s day specials on your Social Media accounts, website and newsletters. You should also have posters, flyers, table toppers and chalk boards promoting any specials in your store. Make sure, as with any special event, your store is decorated to subtly remind your customers of the holiday and the specials they could take advantage of.

On Valentine’s Day, share the love by offering a special discounted  beverage all day! Or, have a small “treat” ready to show your appreciation like a small chocolate for each customer or a free flavor shot! You might also encourage those who have significant others to make visiting your shop part of their date night by offering a buy-one-get-one deal on drinks later in the evening!

Here are a few love-inspired drinks to try on this special holiday:

White Chocolate Raspberry Mocha

  • 1 Pump white chocolate sauce
  • 2 Pumps raspberry syrup
  • 2 shots espresso
  • Steamed milk

Pull the shots directly into a cup containing the sauce and syrup, stir gently and add the steamed milk!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie
  • 5 oz. water
  • 3 oz. Dr. Smoothie Strawberry Concentrate
  • 3/4 (70cc) scoop of Chocolate frappe or iced hot chocolate mix
  • 16 oz. cup of ice
Add the ingredients in the order listed above and blend. Optional: Top with whipped cream, shaved chocolate pieces and a small strawberry.
Hot Cinnamon Twist White Mocha
  • 3/4 oz. Monin Spicy Red Cinnamon Syrup
  • 1 oz.  White Chocolate Sauce
  • 2 shots of Espresso
  • 8 oz. milk
Tips: Garnish with a cinnamon stick and whipped cream.

Contact our Customer Care Department by calling 800.835.5943 for access to samples, POS Materials and more fun ideas.

See Past Valentine’s Day Blogs:
Roses are Red, Violets are Blue…
Valentine’s Day / Mardi Gras Coffee Drink Recipes!
Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras Promotions for your Coffee Shop!

Seasonal Planning For Your Coffee Shop

Sliders2While you are reading this blog, time is almost up on planning for any Valentine’s Day events your shop will be holding, even though the Christmas and New Year holidays have just passed! To properly market for an event, you should start planning well before a month in advance. This way you will get out the news with enough time for your customers to know what promotions to expect and look forward to!

First, you should sit down and plan a marketing strategy including events, emails, social media, in-store promotions, etc. Be sure to have social media posts going out every week the month before your seasonal promotion kicks in to remind your followers of what is coming. The week of the promotion, make sure you are posting pictures of customers taking advantage of the sale/discount/flavors and remind others to do so, as well! For example: if you are offering “Emerald Lattes” (Irish cream syrup flavored lattes) for half off on St. Patrick’s Day, post a picture of a fresh drink first thing on Facebook that day, then post a picture of the first customer to enjoy one on Instagram, etc.

Keep in mind for upcoming holidays to check your stock well in advance, and call your Customer Care Associate to place special orders if you are ordering a large amount of a product we may not carry in bulk year round. Also, allow time to get the product in order to avoid any mishaps causing you to not have the products you need for your event. In the St. Patrick’s Day example, if you are promoting half off “Emerald Lattes”, make sure you have more than enough Irish cream syrup for that day.

Special holidays are also a great time to check your equipment and give it a tune up. Proper and routine maintenance of equipment costs far less in the long-run than waiting to deal with the inevitable catastrophes that come along. Seasonal events are a great reminder to make sure your machines are working at their highest level, and show them a bit of love.

Call Stockton Graham & Co. at 800 835 5943 to speak with a Customer Care Associate if you need any help planning your seasonal menu, POS materials to support your holiday promotions, ordering products or have any other questions about how we can help build your business!

Also, check out this blog on seasonal trends for more ideas: Increase Sales Through Retail Coffee and Seasonal Drink Trends

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue…

The coffee is hot, and here’s a little something for you!

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and as the second largest retail holiday of the year, we have chosen three great products to celebrate the season.  So, whether you need to heat yourself up or cool your heels, any and all of these options are sure to be popular with your customers.

Chocolate covered cherries are a classic candy recipe usually reserved for special occasions; to be given to your special someone.  While the candy version is a tad messy, you can enjoy our Chocolate Cherry Kiss flavored coffee without the sticky mess!  Starting with our 100% Arabica beans, we then blend flavors of sweet, juicy cherries and creamy candy then surround it with sweet milk chocolate.  Chocolate and coffee go together naturally so well, and the added sweetness and fruit from the cherries makes for a delectable treat.  We suggest featuring this coffee as a daily brew and for take-home.  Remind your customers that their sweetie is probably expecting a thoughtful surprise, and what better way to wake up than with a coffee that reminds them that someone special was thinking of them. You can pack a few bags with your own label and have them ready for impulse purchases, or rely on us to pre-pack them for you.

Invite your customers to treat themselves this Valentine’s Day to a Red Velvet Frappe from Cappuccine.  It’s rich cocoa and cake batter flavor sets it apart from the norm, but the luscious red color really makes it shine.  Top each with whipped cream and red sprinkles for extra appeal.  Whether bought for themselves or someone else, your customers will love the great taste and festive colors.  If you’re in an area with exceptionally cold weather, you may want to offer this as a hot drink as well.

redespressoThis is the time of year that we see higher sales in teas as well, though not all cafés take great advantage of the opportunity.  Since only a little more than half of all adults drink coffee, having great, high quality alternatives is a must.  Rather than offering a hodge podge of low-end teas like those found in diners, consider a line of nice, full leaf teas, packed in silken sachets.  These teas offer a cleaner, clearer more satisfying liquor, and your customers are willing to pay more for them.  Contact us today to learn more about the options we have, including red espresso – a rooibos espresso product from South Africa.

Torani Peppermint BarkHolidays and other events are a great for a Limited Time Offer or LTO.  These promotions build anticipation and spur action from your customers to act now, or risk having to wait until next year.  A great LTO for this Valentine’s day are White Peppermint Mochas.  Peppermint remains popular well into the Valentine season, and this would be a great chance to clear out your inventory before warmer weather comes.  We have a very limited supply of the NEW Torani Peppermint Bark, which is perfectly formulated for just enough peppermint flavor to complement the rich, white chocolate.  Once these few cases are gone, we will all have to wait until next Fall to get more. Click here for some great Torani Peppermint Bark Sauce recipes!

rosesAs with any promotion you offer, make use of any free POS materials available so that your customers get the visual impact of these great drinks.  Be sure your staff are aware of the new items and how to properly prepare them.  They should suggestively sell featured items; it costs nothing to do so, and the rewards are pure profit.  Help your staff sell more by providing them sensual keywords, like “luscious, divine, silky, sweet etc.”

Contact our Customer Care Department by calling 800.835.5943 for access to samples, POS Materials and more fun ideas.

Valentine’s Day / Mardi Gras Coffee Drink Recipes!

valentinesdayFebruary is one of the most festive months of the year hosting both Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras! Consider adding these drinks to your seasonal menu to help celebrate these great holidays in your café!

White Chocolate Raspberry Mocha (12oz)
• 1 Pump white chocolate sauce
• 2 Pumps raspberry syrup
• 2 shots espresso
• Steamed milk
Pull the shots directly into a cup containing the sauce and syrup, stir gently and add the steamed milk!

Chocolate Covered Cherry Mocha (12oz)
• 1 Pump chocolate sauce
• 2 Pumps cherry syrup
• 2 shots espresso
• Steamed milk
Pull the shots into the cup containing the sauce and syrup mixture and stir gently before adding the steamed milk! For festive variation, substitute strawberry syrup instead and enjoy a chocolate covered strawberry concoction!

Sweet Strawberry Latte/Cappuccino
• 1 Pump vanilla syrup
• 2 Pumps strawberry syrup
• 2 shots espresso
• Steamed milk
Add the shots to a cup containing the syrup mixture and finish off with steamed milk!
*This beverages can all be made over ice or as a “steamer” that doesn’t contain coffee!

Bananas Foster latte
• ½ pump cinnamon syrup
• ½ pump vanilla syrup
• 2 pumps banana syrup
• 2 shots espresso
• Steamed milk
For a sweeter recipe, use 1 pump of white chocolate sauce, 1 pump cinnamon and 1 pump of banana syrup! Pull the espresso shots directly into syrup/sauce mixture and stir before adding the steamed milk! Top this drink with caramel drizzle and you’ve created a Mardi Gras favorite!
**Torani manufactures a ready-to-use Bananas Foster syrup! Simply add 3 pumps of this syrup to a cup, pull 2 shots of espresso and finally add the steamed milk!

The Big Easy Steamer
• 1 pump Bananas Foster Syrup
• 1 pump Butter Pecan Syrup
• 1 cup milk – steamed
Steam milk and syrup together. Pour into a tall glass and a stir gently.

Be sure to visit our blog on the best ways to promote Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras.

Perfect featured flavor for February & Valentine’s Day

Torani’s new LIMITED-TIME-ONLY flavor is Cinnamon Vanilla. If your customers love SGC’s Snicker-Dandy flavored coffee, this syrup will be a tremendous hit in your cafe when added to lattes, steamers and more! Torani Cinnamon Vanilla balances sweet bakery cinnamon with creamy vanilla in a taste reminiscent of freshly-baked snickerdoodle cookies.

Torani also has some really attractive point-of-sale material to help sell this beverage (and others) as a part of their Winter & Spring marketing kit. If you aren’t already registered to receive these directly from the manufacturer, head over to Torani.com & sign-up. This piece, which include recipes, promotional materials, latte art stencils, etc., is totally free of charge.

Sugar & Spice Mocha

1 oz. Torani Chocolate sauce
1/2 oz. Torani Cinnamon Vanilla syrup
8 oz. milk
2 shots Midnight Lotus Espresso

Add espresso to syrup & sauce in 16 oz. cup. Add steamed milk.
Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Serve.

Mike Adams
Stockton Graham & Co.


Great Valentine's Day Recipe: Cinnamon Twist White Mocha

Break some hearts with this treat!

3/4 oz. Monin Spicy Red Cinnamon syrup
2 shots Midnight Lotus Espresso
1 oz. Monin White Chocolate sauce
Whole milk, steamed

1. Combine Monin Spicy Red Cinnamon syrup, White Chocolate sauce and Midnight Lotus in cup.
2. Stir while filling with steamed milk
3. Garnish with cinnamon powder, cinnamon stick & whipped cream
4. Serve