Visit Stockton Graham Three Ways At SCAA Main Event

Stockton Graham at SCAA Main Event with Torani and Grounds for HealthWhen it comes to developing and promoting the specialty coffee industry, there are few organizations more respected than the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). And the SCAA Main Event is the most attended coffee event of the year. If you’re headed to Atlanta on April 13-17 for the event, there are three ways you can visit with Stockton Graham & Co. Raleigh coffee roasters, baristas, marketing guru and sales team during your time there.

Pathway Class: Golden Cup Brewing (CP 158)

Stockton Graham & Co.’s Brady Butler, who is Chair of the Brewing Pathway Committee for the Specialty Coffee Association of America, will lead the Brewing Pathway course on Friday, April 15.

Brady has been in the coffee business for over a decade. He started as a barista at Dilworth Coffeehouse in Matthews in 2006. He then joined his family in opening their own coffee shop called The Coffee Garden in Stallings, NC. He then started his own business called Carolina Espresso Services, where he advised coffee shop owners on how to brew the best coffee.

Stockton Graham SCAA Brewing Pathway“The class is a must for any coffee professional who is serious about their drip coffee, whether you use a commercial batch brewer, Chemex or Hario V60,” Brady Butler said. “It builds on great brewing fundamentals and gives everyone the tools and knowledge to make their coffees shine.”

The SCAA offers the Brewing Pathway because competence in brewing coffee is essential for industry professionals. CP158 is the third of four classes that make up the Golden Cup Technician Certificate.

Grounds for Health Booth 1524: Every Sip Can Save a Life

Stockton Graham will be showcasing our Grounds for Health Blend coffee in booth 1524 at the SCAA Main Event. Created in partnership with international non-profit Grounds for Health, every sip of this coffee helps provide vital health care for women in coffee growing communities.

Grounds for Health, formed in 1996, addresses the one of the most eye-opening disparities in women’s health globally: cervical cancer. Cervical cancer kills more women in coffee growing communities than any other cancer, and it is expected to kill six million women in the next 15 years alone. Yet, with simple screening and inexpensive treatment, cervical cancer doesn’t have to be deadly.

Grounds for Health Blend Coffee from Stockton Graham & Co.

Stockton Graham Coffees is donating $1 for every retail bag and $5 for every 5lb wholesale bag of Grounds for Health Blend to help fight cervical cancer on coffee farms in Nicaragua, Peru and Ethiopia. Drop by booth 1524 to learn about Grounds for Health Blend and how you can help by putting the coffee on your menu.

“The health of the coffee industry depends on the health of the people who plant, harvest and process coffee at its source,” said Lane Mitchell, marketing director for Stockton Graham & Co. “Through Grounds for Health Blend, we are helping coffee businesses of all sizes make meaningful contributions to the health and wellbeing of the people who work on coffee farms. Because it costs so little to prevent and treat cervical cancer at coffee’s source, we can truly say that every sip gives Grounds for Health the opportunity to reach more women and save more lives.”

Torani Booth 829: Bringing Flavor to Life

2015 Blender SpecialsIn the center of the room, Torani will be brining real flavor to life with the help of Stockton Graham & Co. baristas. Drop by booth 829 at the SCAA Main Event and try some traditional coffee house style drinks like a vanilla cappuccino and hazelnut latte, as well as more cutting edge offerings like coconut iced coffee, hibiscus margarita and white chocolate coconut frappe.

Our SCAA-certified baristas, Alex Jeans and Chris Bennett, will be manning the Nuova Simonelli espresso machine in the booth. While Debra Dolan will be discussing how to easily implement new menu ideas at your store.

Debra boasts several SCAA certifications including in Introduction to Espresso, Hands on Espresso, Brewing Fundamentals and Comparative Cupping; she is also a SCAA-Certified Level 1 Barista. Over her decades in the coffee business, Debra has earned a BGA Certificate and a Serve Safe Certification. A frequent volunteer at industry events including the SCAA Regional Barista Championships, Debra also served as a judge at the 2013 Coffeefest America’s Best Coffeehouse competition in New York City.

“Last year, Torani won the SCAA’s Best New Product award for its Ginger Lemongrass Syrup,” said Stockton Graham & Co.’s Debra Dolan. “We can’t wait to partner with Torani to share their newest innovation. We’re sure it’s going to spice up the Best New Product category again this year.”

 

Registration is Now Open: Don’t Delay

Anyone can attend the SCAA Main Event. One day passes start at $150 and full three-day passes run $275 for SCAA members and $345 for non-members. All expo passes include access to the exhibit hall, lectures, competitions and networking events. Visit https://www.scaaevent.org to register for the SCAA Main Event.

 

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.

httpss://youtu.be/W3Qx6P7FtBc

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.

March Coffee College – What to Expect

SGC-COFFEE-collegeOn Friday, March 20th, Stockton Graham & Co. will be holding our monthly Coffee College training. Registration is happening now!

Coffee College is becoming even more popular in 2015, as our customers and their employees look to improve productivity, sales and customer satisfaction.  Registrations for February’s Coffee College are brisk, and it could be sold out this week!

Coffee College is a collection of training sessions we offer customers and their employees. It covers a variety of coffee topics from bean selection to brewing fundamentals to cupping and equipment maintenance. In the most popular class, Coffee and Espresso Basics (also known as Coffee College 101), attendees not only get a first-hand look into roasting coffee, they learn the journey of the bean from seed to cup. Attendees will learn to cup coffees, as well as, how to be able to identify the characteristics and nuances of the coffee. The more you know about the coffees you serve, the better you can apply the knowledge to what and how you serve your customers.

Attending Coffee College at Stockton Graham can carry more benefits than just increasing your knowledge of coffee preparation. A well educated staff can lead to more consistent and higher quality drinks, an increase in customer satisfaction and returning patrons.

One of the main concerns in cafes is having each barista perform and create menu items consistently and proficiently. We offer courses that can help shop owners be relieved of these worries, and reap the benefits of pleased customers that knowing they will always get the perfect drink!

Stockton Graham believes in a well-trained staff. Employees can make or break a business, particularly in the coffee world where the baristas are making the final product. Keep your baristas happy and educated with good training, and you are sure to see more repeat and loyal customers

“All of our associates trained in Coffee College and Basic Barista Certification, from upper management to shipping and receiving. We feel our team members are strongest totally immersed in the culture of specialty coffee. We have invested in staff training and that is why we have been successful,” explains Jeff Vojta, President and co-founder of Stockton Graham & Co.

Been in the Coffee industry for years? Our Coffee College Instructors can assist you, and your staff in sparking a newfound passion for coffee that you can take back your shop! Everyone needs a refresher now and then, or the opportunity to learn something completely new like: Specialty Beverage construction or how to create your own blends.

Coffee College courses include: Coffee & Espresso Basics, Brewing Fundamentals, Cupping for Coffee Shop Owners, Cafe Equipment Cleaning & MaintenanceExploring BlendsSpecialty Beverage Basics and Basic Barista Certification. These courses cover key areas of your coffee & specialty beverage program with hands-on lessons. Coffee College will help you support your great drinks with the know-how to set you apart from your competition!

Most importantly your Coffee College session is based on your needs. Our staff is willing to give you the information your need to help your shop flourish for years to come. To learn more about Coffee College and other certification classes, click here or call 1-800-835-5943 today to register!

Stockton Graham & Co. Plans for Growth with Additions to Team

Jeff Vojta, co-founder and President of Stockton Graham & Co., has announced the promotion of Matthew Hogan to Customer Care Supervisor, as well as the addition of Joshua Hamilton and Katie Barnes as Customer Care Associates.

Matthew Hogan has been a Customer Care Associate for Stockton Graham & Co. since 2010, assisting coffeehouse owners in finding the right specialty coffees, beverage products and equipment to provide customers with a unique coffeehouse experience. In his new role as Customer Care Supervisor, Hogan will assist in coordinating, training and coaching the customer care group to help the company continue to deliver outstanding customer service to customers, as well as increase the company’s sales and profitability.

“Matthew has proven to be such a valued customer care team member, and I’m proud to be able to recognize him with these new duties,” said Vojta. “His strong business development and marketing background has helped strengthen our inside sales efforts, and we’re ready to take that to the next level. I’m looking forward to empowering him to take on the management responsibilities required in this new role.”

Joshua Hamilton has served as a manager in the beverage industry and barista since 2000, including roles at Bushiban Coffee Co. and Flying Saucer Draught Emporium. He holds an Associates in Science degree in Business from Louisburg College.

Katie Barnes was the owner of Leapin’ Lizards coffeehouse from 2009-2012. Previously, she worked there as a Barista and then Manager. Barnes holds a Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Management from East Carolina University.

As Customer Care Associates, Hamilton and Barnes will be responsible for assisting customers in finding the right specialty coffees, beverages, equipment and accessories to provide a unique coffeehouse experience to their guests.

According to Vojta, “Josh and Katie bring a variety of skills that will be of great value to our customers and enhance all of our skills as a team. I’m confident these new hires will position us for a prosperous 2013.”

For more information about Stockton Graham & Co.® and its products, or to place an order, call 800.835.5943.

Join us for Stockton Graham & Co. Coffee College!

Recently, Barista Magazine [i] featured an article by Tracy Allen on training for your coffee shop employees and the benefits of investing in education. The writer emphasized how training can improve your coffee shop in a multitude of ways, including: productivity, sales, CoffeeCollegeemployee happiness and customer satisfaction. Here at Stockton Graham & Co., we couldn’t agree more. Which is why we have offered our “Coffee College” program for over 10 years! The knowledge gained from our program will help you provide top-shelf service to your customers.

Coffee College is a collection of training sessions that we offer to our customers, covering a variety of coffee topics. In our most popular class, Coffee and Espresso Basics (also known as Coffee College 101), attendees not only get a first-hand look into roasting coffee, they learn the journey of the bean from seed to cup. Attendees will learn to cup coffees, as well as, how to be able to identify the characteristics and nuances of the coffee. The more you know about the coffees you serve, the better you can apply the knowledge to what and how you serve your customers. Attendees also learn espresso basics, different brewing techniques and other coffee brewing fundamentals that enable them to consistently prepare and serve coffee at the highest level, enabling a customer to experience the same tasting and quality beverage, no matter which of your staff hand crafts it.

The brewing standards that are the basis of our trainings, applied in the coffee brewing and extraction processes, come from The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). We teach you to uphold and exceed these standards to brew a perfect cup of coffee, or pull an expert espresso shot.  When exploring espresso preparation, the attendee will learn the best ways to pull a shot, and use it for preparing different types of drinks.

Your Coffee College session is based on your needs. Want to learn more on simple equipment maintenance and cleaning practices? Request our Café Equipment Cleaning & Maintenance session. Interested in leading your own cupping sessions with customers? Take our Cupping for Coffee Shop Owners course. Want to design your own blend of coffee for your coffee shop? Then, our Exploring Blends class is the perfect choice. If you have a specialty beverage need, try Frozen Beverage Preparation or Tea Basics. Our Coffee College courses are held on site at our facility, but options are available to travel to your location for cuppings or workshops for large groups/staff.

As with any training, Coffee College helps build confidence. Attendees will become quicker and more consistent in preparation of quality drinks and more focused on serving the customer. No one provides better customer service than an employee who is knowledgeable about their product and industry, and this holds true with baristas. Tracy Allen goes on to say, “A well-trained staff is happier and more likely to stay put because training improves self-esteem, which in turn improves morale and employer loyalty .”

Here at Stockton Graham & Co., we certainly see the value in a well-trained staff. Jeff Vojta, President and co-founder of Stockton Graham & Co. confirms this idea, “All of our associates trained in Coffee College and Basic Barista Certification, from upper management to shipping and receiving. We feel our team members are strongest totally immersed in the culture of specialty coffee. We have invested in staff training and that is why we have been successful.” Employees can make or break a business, particularly in the coffee world where the baristas are making the final product. Keep your baristas happy and educated with good training, and you are sure to see more repeat and loyal customers. We offer our Coffee College sessions at $250 for the first person and $200 for each additional attendee. To learn more about Coffee College with Stockton Graham & Co., or to register for the class, call your Customer Care Associate at 800.835.5943.

Upcoming dates for Coffee College:

January 18, 2013

February 15, 2013

March 15, 2013

 


[i]  Allen, Tracy. “Cashbox: Guaranteed Returns- Invest in training your staff to see exponential rewards.” December 2012 – January 2013: 70-71.

Stockton Graham & Co.® Announces New Team Member, Debra Dolan

Debra DolanWe are pleased to announce that Debra Dolan has joined the company as an Outside Sales Associate – NE. Dolan brings over ten years of specialty coffee sales and equipment experience to customers of Stockton Graham & Co., as well as a strong customer service record and proven success working with new cafés developing specialty beverage menus.

Dolan began her career as a specialty coffee business owner in Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Stockton Graham & Co., she worked as a Director of Specialty Coffee at Performance Food Centers and a Sales Representative at The Cappucino Connection. She is a Certified Level 1 Barista by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and an experienced trainer of espresso extraction and coffee brewing according to SCAA guidelines.

 “Adding Debra to our team will enable us to better serve clients in the Northeast and expand sales of our coffee brands in that territory,” says Stockton Graham & Co. ® President, Jeff Vojta. “It’s great that we’ve found such an experienced and knowledgeable person to help us continue to grow the business.

Coffee as an Education

Do you ever find that the passionate curiosity of your customers is difficult to match? Perhaps your guests want to know more about the origin of your top seller, or they may wish to know more about the flavor of their favorite coffee. Do your baristas even know how to describe your house blend? As a coffee shop owner or manager, it is important that you and your employees stay knowledgeable about your product. Customers can sense genuine knowledge and experience, and they will react to that knowledge with trust. In addition to selling great coffee, any good coffee shop needs to portray a sense of authority on all things coffee. This principle applies to all business, but it is often overlooked. You certainly wouldn’t trust a sommelier who did not know their way around a vineyard, and most consumers find comfort in the fact that their barista knows the difference between Indonesian and Central American coffee.

Hopefully the image of your café already includes expertise as an element, but learning in any form is a constant process, not a final destination. You and your baristas need to constantly update yourselves on the latest trends and information that your customers secretly desire. Even if your customers do not ask for a little history on their cappuccino, they would appreciate a morsel of knowledge to share with their friends.

This week, Stockton Graham & Co. has released updated information on all single origin coffee and we are working to bring you more information in an accessible manor. Although Stockton Graham & Co. offers hundreds of blends, espresso roasts and flavored coffee, each of these trace their roots to only sixteen single origin coffee varietals. These single origin coffees are blended and roasted at various levels to create different options that help your coffee shop stand out. The updated information regarding our single origin coffee varietals can be found here, and each description includes a printable flyer which can be used around your shop to help inform your customers. This sort of information is invaluable to your business, and your customers will build confidence in your expertise as your baristas exhibit their knowledge. Continue to explore and learn as much as possible in any way you can, and check our website periodically for more educational materials. Also, feel free to contact our customer care associates at (919) 881-8271 to find out information regarding specific blend and espresso details.

Reid Jackson
Stockton Graham & Co.