Prepare your shop for Fall!

Fall is just about here, and it’s a great time to be a coffee shop owner! Your regulars start to return from summer vacation, kids begin a new school year, and some of the most favored seasonal blends and drinks give people another reason to stop in your shop. There’s a lot going on, and a business owner can get overwhelmed quickly, so we have prepared a cheat sheet of preps that you should take into consideration in order to plan for a successful fall.

Revise your menu for fall drinks! As we move into fall, our industry shifts gears and we begin to prepare for coffee’s busiest season. It is time to consider promoting your seasonal drinks, beginning with pumpkin!

• Call Stockton Graham & Co. to pre-order seasonal syrups and sauces. Customers expect flavors like Pumpkin Spice and Caramel Apple to be on your fall menu. Pre-ordering these seasonal items ensures you are prepared to handle the demand. We highly suggest you order AT LEAST one case of pumpkin flavored syrup of your brand choice – it will sell. We offer it in DaVinci, Torani and Monin. To give you an extra boost with the fall transition Stockton Graham & Co. is offering a  promotion for pumpkin syrups and sauces pre-order! Click here to learn more.

• Determine what seasonal coffees you will offer. Here at Stockton Graham & Co., we have numerous fall-inspired flavors and blends to satisfy any customer. Click here for more details, and a list of our favorite fall-time coffees!

Apple cider is also a very common and popular drink for the colder months. Click here to learn great ways to incorporate cider into you menu!

• Don’t forget about Chai! Chai is always a big hit in fall and winter months, and it is a great way to pick up some of those smoothie and frappe sales that oftentimes slow down this time of the year. Check out this great chai recipe to get your chai program up and running!

• Just because the peak of frozen beverages has come and gone doesn’t mean you won’t continue to sell them now, and through the fourth quarter. Dr. Smoothie’s 100% Cherry Cranberry is always a fall-time favorite, and this year’s new fall smoothie hit is Torani’s real fruit Green Apple smoothie! This green apple smoothie mixed with caramel sauce makes an AWESOME caramel apple smoothie. To give it a try, check out a spectacular offer here.

• And finally, make sure you are well staffed. Remember, fall marks the beginning of the busiest time of the year, and you don’t want to be shorthanded when it comes to employees. If you do need to hire additional help, be sure to consider Stockton Graham and Co.’s Coffee College to make sure your baristas are the best that they can be, ultimately saving you money!

If this is your first season as a cafe owner, or if you’re a veteran looking for some new, spicy ideas, contact one of our customer care associates today at (800) 835-5943 for additional seasonal advice!

Our bestselling holiday coffee favorites (with a NEW edition)

At Stockton Graham, we have always had a wide variety of seasonal flavored coffees designed to appeal to even the most discriminating of guests. Over our 15 years in the business, we’ve seen flavor trends evolve, change, shift and move.  Our 2009 Holiday Flavored Coffee list is back and better than ever, refined and polished over the course of previous seasons.

We’re excited to introduce a new selection this year: Colonial Christmas!

Far from the frost-covered windows and settled ‘round a roaring fire, is where you might find a simmering pot of fresh mulled cider. In early American history during the colonial period, cider was often the main beverage of choice, consumed in lieu of water and for the warmth its spirits provided. Colonial Christmas coffee succeeds in accomplishing both of those reasons for drinking, while peppering the palate with a unique flavor combination of harvest ripe apples, sprinkled in a mélange of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Our holiday themed blends are always popular, too. If you haven’t tried our Winter’s Comfort, you are in for a treat! It continues to be my personal favorite SGC blend year after year. In fact, it was previously only offered seasonally until, after numerous customer requests, we made it a permanent offering.

All our holiday flavored coffees are available in 5 lb bulk, or 12 oz retail bags. Give us a call at 800.835.5943 and add five pounds to your order today! We can assist you with tips on how to ramp up your retail coffee sales.

Mike Adams
Stockton Graham & Co.

Apple Cider Options

One of the seasonal treats during the  fall is the sweet tartness of freshly harvested fall apples.  Whether Winesaps, Granny Smith or Red Delicious, apples have long been a mainstay of the fall season and staples of state fairs and harvest festivals for generations.  Out of this harvest, fresh-pressed apple cider is a treat that delights the senses, packing a wealth of flavor in each cup.  Whether its drank chilled or warmed, or with a cinnamon stick and a dash of nutmeg, apple cider is a treat for all.

Each fall our customers call to ask about cider options in their coffee shop and how they can offer this treat.  There are several options available to the coffee shop to offer cider.  Among these options are the dried powder mixes, fresh cider, and cider concentrates.  All these are a delightful beverages whether served chilled during the warm fall days for the Southern tier of states or warmed and spiced for chilly evenings and mornings.

While all the cider sources can produce quality, great tasting drinks, we usually recommend to our customers to go local on the cider.  This is a great time to visit local farmer’s markets to find great tasting cider.  Your local grocery may also carry it, as well.   This will help your local farmers, but also has several operational advantages. Trying to judge demand for a seasonal drink is always difficult and buying smaller amounts locally allows you to better balance inventories and demands.  You know your product will be fresh!

To warm cider, you can you use the frothing wand and pitcher on your espresso machine to warm it to the desired temperature and served. You can garnish with a cinnamon stick or other spices such as nutmeg.  Other common additions include caramel syrup or sauce in the cider for an extra buttery sweetness.  However, you should test your specific caramel flavorings and cider first.  Some caramel flavorings, especially sauces, are produced using dairy products.  This low acid base, when mixed in a highly acidic liquid like cider, may cause separation and discoloration of the drink.  Not the best presentation in the world.   Cinnamon flavoring syrup is another popular flavor to use.

Last, but not least, remember the in-store marketing for the cider.  You can add some simple signage near the register or on the doors announcing the cider, as well as being liberal with sampling the first week or two.  The smell of the cider warming is bound to whet the appetites of your guests and a small sample should hopefully seal the deal and generate a purchase.

Jeff Vojta
Co-founder and CEO
Stockton Graham & Co.