Toasted Graham LTOs for your store

Folks call it a preschooler’s breakfast in a cup. It’s that big chain’s Toasted Graham Latte, or #TGL as the Twittersphere likes to call it. Besides tasting like milk left over in your kid’s cereal bowl after she’s slurped up all the soggy Cinnamon Toasted Crunch, what does a Toasted Graham Latte really taste like? And better yet, how do you make it taste better in your store?Toasted Graham Latte from Stockton Graham

We put Stockton Graham & Co.’s master taste testers to the task of describing the mermaid chain’s drink, and then we asked them to come up with something better. And since most of the latte and frappe recipes involved two shots of expertly pulled espresso made from beans just roasted in the back of our Raleigh facility, our taste masters where all too eager to oblige.

Based on actual sales of the other hot fall beverage — pumpkin spice lattes — provided by market research firm NPD Group, it is reasonable to expect 20% of your store’s customers will try a graham flavored beverage this season. And those customers’ average ticket will be slightly higher than your normal ticket in the critical fourth quarter. So let’s get your shop started selling your own custom version of a toasted graham beverage.

Describing A Toasted Graham Latte

When it comes to describing Starbuck’s Toasted Graham Latte, our taste testers identified cream, honey and graham crackers. Some of the more poetic descriptions include:

“Warm vanilla with hints of honey and chocolate, like if you dipped a s’more into warm frothed milk.” — Bennett

 

“I think of graham cracker pie crust…mmmm… now i’m hungry for pie and s’mores!” — Melissa

 

“A box of Teddy Grahams blended into a can of sweetened condensed milk.” — Mitchell

 

“Tastes like a bowl of cinnamon toast crunch.” — Blair

 

“Sugary cardboard dissolved in lukewarm water with hints of cinnamon and sadness.” — Sim

Hyperbole aside, all our taste testers commented that the Starbucks Toasted Graham Latte was okay. But overall, they all thought there was something important missing: the rich, deliciousness of just-roasted high quality coffee. So we set out to craft our own coffee-based toasted graham recipes.

Making a Better Toasted Graham Latte

Our taste makers tried to create a better version of the drink using syrups, sauces and mixes from our partners like Torani, MONIN and Big Train plus freshly roasted beans from our own roasting facility. Some of their more delicious options included a simple Honey Graham Latte featuring MONIN cinnamon and vanilla syrup and their natural honey sweetener.

“I like that you can really taste the espresso in this version,” Mitchell commented after sipping the new Honey Graham Latte. “There are two shots of espresso for a smaller latte, which makes it coffee-forward. The espresso’s dark chocolate flavors contrast nicely with the creamy sweetness of the milk, cinnamon, honey and vanilla in the drink.” Click here for the recipe.

Teddy Graham Latte from Stockton Graham & Co.The most delicious cold beverage option that our taste testers created was our Toasted Graham Frappe featuring Torani Real Cream Frappe Base, Torani Brown Sugar and Vanilla Syrup, Stockton Graham Coffee and Honey flavored Teddy Grahams.

“The Teddy Grahams have a subtle honey flavor that don’t overwhelm the coffee,” said Melissa. “The Torani Brown Sugar Syrup adds a deeper, richer flavor than the version with their Cane Sugar Syrup.” Check here for the recipe.

Nutter Butter Latte from Stockton GrahamThe most surprising recipe created by our taste testers was the Nutter Butter Latte featuring MONIN Peanut Butter and Cinnamon syrups and a freshly made latte using Stockton Graham Coffee. The combination of peanut butter, cinnamon and honey created a pleasing, rich backdrop for the baker’s chocolate flavor of the espresso. Check the recipe here.

Just the Coffee, Please

Some of our taste testers wanted to enjoy the creamy honey, cinnamon and vanilla flavors of a Toasted Graham Latte without adding extra syrups, sweeteners and creams to their coffee. That group gravitated toward some of Stockton Graham Coffee’s custom blended flavored options, which they enjoyed with a splash of half and half. Here’s a list of their favorites:

Stockton Graham CoffeesSnicker-Dandy: This coffee features the flavors of vanilla, hazelnut and cinnamon paired with a creamy butter flavor and hint of spice.

Winter Wonderland: Hazelnut and caramel sit lightly on a powdery snow of vanilla and and light coconut.

Crème Brûlée: The elegant flavors of sweetened cream, caramelized sugar and hints of vanilla taste like dessert without all the calories.

Danish Pastry: The coffee tastes like a sweet, buttery pastry from the corner bakery topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

To get started with your own Toasted Graham Lattee, contact our Customer Care Associates at 800 835 5943.

It’s Pumpkin Palooza – Fall Coffee Review

Fall officially arrives September 23, but the pumpkin lovers got a head start!

The flavor is already showing up in coffees, chai teas, lattes, smoothies, muffins, yogurt and cookies in coffee shops, restaurants and cafes across the country. In fact, the flavor is so popular this year that industry observers expect U.S. sales to reach $400 million in 2015, with a 15%+ increase over 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.Stockton Graham & Co. Pumpkin

At Stockton Graham & Co., orders of pumpkin spice and pumpkin pie flavored coffee, syrup, sauces and latte mixes are flying out of the warehouse at a record pace.

Part of the allure of the flavor is that it is both comfortable and comforting so it appeals to Millennial and Boomers alike. “It’s a flavor line that’s appealing across all age groups,” says MaryAnne Drake, a professor of sensory analysis and flavor chemistry at North Carolina State University. “It transcends demographics.”

So whether you operate a small coffee kiosk or a multi-unit specialty retailer, offering pumpkin spiced anything will help sweeten your fall profits.

For the Love of …

Our combined love for everything flavored with pumpkin go back to Medieval times. That’s when cooks and primeval culinary luminaries waxed poetics about cinnamon spiced and sweetened pumpkin slices baked in pastry like a calzone.

Le Vrai Cuisinier FranciosThe first-ever recipe for pumpkin pie can be found in 1651. Francois Pierre la Vareene, a famous French chef and author of one of the first celebrity cookbook authors, included a recipe for Tourte of Pumpkin in his quintessential French recipe book Le Vrai Cuisinier Francios (The True French Cook).

La Varenne, the foremost member of a group of chefs who codified French cuisine for the court of Louis XIV, published a pie recipe that started with boiling pumpkin fruit with milk. The fruit was then passed through a strainer and mixed with an abundance of sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and butter and baked in a pastry shell.

Pumpkin Pie Comes to America

Across the pond, settlers in the early American colonies relied on the fruit’s long shelf life to keep them alive during the brutal northeastern winters. It was such an important element of the pilgrims’ diet that several Odes to Pumpkin Pies were written such as this:

“For pottage and puddings and custards and pies
Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies,
We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon,
If it were not for pumpkins we should be undoon.”
Pilgrim verse, circa 1633

The early American settlers were also known to make a thick pumpkin beer. In large barrels, they fermented pumpkin, hops, maple sugar and persimmons to make this early colonial brew that provided some of the requisite calories and revelry needed to survive some mighty bitter winters.

The Accomplisht CookA generation later, in 1685, chef Robert May published his more-savory version of pumpkin pie that resembles something you might find on the menu at IHOP. His best known cookbook, The Accomplisht Cook (sic), published in 1660 featured this pie recipe:

“To make a Pumpion Pie.
Take a pound of pumpion and slice it, a handful of thyme, a little rosemary, and sweet marjoram stripped off the stalks, chop them small, then take cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, and a few cloves all beaten, also ten eggs, and beat them, them mix and beat them all together, with as much sugar as you think fit, then fry them like a froise … Take sliced apples sliced thin round ways, and lay a layer of the froise, and a layer of apples with currants betwixt the layers. While your pie is sitted, put in a good deal of sweet butter before your close it. When the pie is baked, take six yolks of eggs, some white-wine or verjuyce, and make a caudle of this, but not too thick, … stir them well together whilst the eggs and pumpion be not perceived, and so serve.”

POMPKIN PIE

Over a century later, American Cookery, the first known cookbook written by a chef born in America, featured two recipes for Pompkin Pudding baked in a crust. Each of Chef Amelia Simmons pudding recipes were resplendent with artery clogging and waist bulging butter, sugar and molasses, poured over dough and baked in an oven until set.

Pumpkin Pie Becomes Big Business

Pumpkin-flavored beverages have become the American consumers’ most sought-after fall indulgence. According to DataSsential Menu Trends, sales of pumpkin-inspired limited-time offers (LTOs) were up 234 percent from 2008 to 2012.

Market Research company, NPD Group, tracked the pumpkin-inspired beverage purchases at an undisclosed major chain last fall and winter. NPD found that a vast majority of consumers — about 72 percent — purchased the beverages at least once during the offer period. About 20 percent of customers purchased the item twice, and about 8 percent made three or more purchases during the offer period.

NPD Group reported that customers who purchased a pumpkin spice latte spent an average of $7.81, compared with an average check of $6.67 for those who ordered non-pumpkin items.

According to several analysts in the food industry, the flavor’s staying power should be attributed to its association with comfort food in the minds of consumers. And what’s more, there is no evidence of it losing steam.

“In our current culture, in which there’s been a loss of traditions, people are seeking out forms of comfort and security that they had as children,” writes Beth Kowitt of Fortune Magazine who reported a spicy hypothesis of Alan Hirsch, founder and director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. The smell of pumpkin spice brings them back to those moments.

Pumpkin Options for Your Business

Stockton Graham & Co. offers the following options:

STOCKTON GRAHAM & CO. COFFEE

Stockton Graham Pumpkin Spice CoffeePumpkin Spice: With spices like nutmeg, clove and cinnamon, this 100% Arabica coffee is the perfect pairing for chilly evenings and crisp autumn air

Pumpkin Cream: This 100% Arabica coffee features the traditional spicy sweetness of pumpkin pie enveloped in a thick French vanilla

Pumpkin Cheesecake: Cream cheese, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and cloves combine with sweet pumpkin in this 100% Arabica coffee

Pumpkin Hazelnut: Like the name implies, this 100% Arabica coffee combines spicy pumpkin with rich hazelnut flavors

Monin Torani DaVinci Pumpkin

MONIN

Pumpkin Spice Syrup: Authentic pumpkin pie aroma and taste with a spiced touch – predominant nutmeg

Pumpkin Pie Syrup: A scrumptious combination of pumpkin and baked pie crust flavors accented with nutmeg and cinnamon

TORANI

Pumpkin Pie Sauce: Cinnamon and nutmeg spiced, creamy pumpkin wonderland

Pumpkin Pie Syrup: Nutmeg, cinnamon and other spices murmur softly in the background of a creamy pumpkin pie

Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie Syrup: The same flavors as the regular syrup, but sweetened with Splenda®

Pumpkin Spice Syrup: A version of pie with more spice like ginger and cloves in a robust pumpkin-flavored syrup

DAVINCI

Pumpkin Pie Syrup: Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger and is reminiscent of the popular holiday dessert.

Pumpkin Pie Sauce: Delicious blend of pumpkin and spices, tastes just like a slice of pie

BIG TRAIN

Pumpkin Pie Chai Tea Latte Mix: Delightfully delicious blend of honey, creamy pumpkin, black tea and exotic spices

Pumpkin Spice Blended Iced Coffee: Artfully blended mix of Arabica coffee, pumpkin and spices
For recipes featuring pumpkin sauces, syrups and coffee, visit our recipes center. To order, call a Customer Care Associate at 800 835 5943.

Watermelon LTOs for Labor Day Weekend

Watermelon Limited Time Only Drink SpecialsWith the Unofficial End of Summer just around the corner, we’re all looking for ways to prolong the laid back feeling of the season. Watermelons are at their most flavorful this time of year, and the upcoming Labor Day weekend is a perfect opportunity for customers to chill in your coffee shop or smoothie store with a watermelon flavored beverage.

That’s because few other fruits scream “Summer!” like the thirst-quenching watermelon. Although watermelons can now be sourced throughout the year, in North Carolina where Stockton Graham & Co. is located, the season for watermelon starts in July and ends in September when the fruit is sweet and of the best quality.

From watermelon soda to watermelon sangria and watermelon smoothies, there are many options to consider as a Limited Time Offer over the Labor Day holiday. Some of our favorite come from Food&Wine magazine, including celebrity chef Bobby Flay’s Watermelon-Tequila Cocktail and a refreshing non-alcoholic Watermelon-Strawberry Agua Fresca.

“Late summer and early fall are great times to add creative Watermelon drinks to your menu,” said Customer Care Associate Chris Bennett. “Some of my favorite drink ideas are Watermelon Italian Sodas, Watermelon Milk Shakes and Watermelon Lemonades; all of which can be made by simply adding Watermelon syrup to drinks you may already make in your shop.”

Watermelon Limited Time Only Specials

There’s a psychology involved in Limited Time Only or Limited Time Offers (LTO) specials called Reactance Theory, which causes customers to make purchases they might not usually make to avoid the fear of “missing out.” As a store owner, you can use this customer tendency to drive sales over the often-slow Labor Day weekend by offering LTO watermelon specials.

That’s because LTO offers build excitement and create a sense of urgency, even if prices are not reduced. They tend to work on both new and current customers, and they are one of the few marketing offers that actually help BUILD customer loyalty rather than erode it.

Watermelon LTOs can work well for both your customers and your business because:

  • Customers are interested in trying new things, especially if they are staying close to home on a holiday weekend. They will tend to replace the adventure of travel with the adventure of treating themselves to a new restaurant or menu item.
  • It’s simple and inexpensive to add a splash of watermelon syrup to current menu items like iced tea or a berry smoothie to transform it into an LTO.
  • LTOs don’t need to be discounted. When customers get something that’s in limited supply, they feel special and walk away happy.
  • Limited time offers help create a sense of urgency. A three-day weekend is a perfect window to get consumers to act, rather than waffle and decide to go elsewhere.
  • When staff is excited and engaged with something new, sales generally increase. This is even more true for LTOs.

MONIN Watermelon DrinkA Bounty of Watermelon Options

Stockton Graham & Co. offers watermelon syrup options from both MONIN and Torani. Torani also offers a Sugar Free Watermelon Syrup sweetened with Splenda® brand sweetener. Both feature natural watermelon flavor, and the MONIN syrup is labeled Kosher, Halal, GMO free, Dairy free, Gluten free and Vegan.

Big Train also offers a Watermelon Blended Crème Frappé Mix that makes a delicious creamy drink when blended with ice. This coffee-free gourmet mix powder produces a delicious and fruity beverage works well on its own or with additional fruit. It makes a terrific option on a kid’s menu.

To learn more about how LTOs can drive sales or to order Torani, MONIN or Big Train, call a Customer Care Associate at 800 835 5943.

Frappes for Kidz

When many parents are deciding on which coffee shop to visit, they are often looking for a place that will keep their kids entertained while they catch up with friends, get some work done or have a few quiet moments to themselves. Transforming your coffee shop into the family-friendly hangout complete with frappes for kids will make it that much more approachable to a wider universe of customers this summer.
Frappes for Kidz

 

We recently posted a blog article on how to make your store more kid-friendly. We covered everything from modernizing your menu to creating a happy store atmosphere and kid-proofing your service.

Some of the more popular ideas included a designated kids area for scheduled activities like a balloon artist or coloring class. Hosting a Saturday morning story time, a sing-a-long or other weekly kids entertainment is a great way to get the community involved; and the more local families that participate, the more word of mouth will help boost your sales.

Be sure to tweet your Saturday schedule as early as Thursday and Friday nights so parents can make plans, and post pictures of the play space and kid-friendly activities on your Facebook page (secure parent’s permissions for posting children’s photos) to get the word out.

And if you are really interested in building your business in the family-friendly niche, try listing your store on mommaps.com or carolinaparent.com.

Expanded Menu Ideas Featuring Big Train
When deciding what to serve to your pint-sized patrons there are many options to consider from milk shakes to frappes and smoothies. If you are considering adding more kid friendly options to your menu why not try a line that is made specifically for younger palates?

Big Train has with a child friendly drink mix that is marketed directly to kids. The Kidz Kreamz® line offers frappe mixes with nostalgic flavors that will appeal to tiny tots and tweenies alike. These make creamy, light drinks that are full of flavor and are also caffeine free.

Available in several fun and fancy flavors such as Bubblegum, Cotton Candy and Orange Cream—or new flavors or Wild Berry Burst and Banana Splitastic—these gotta-have-it beverages couldn’t be easier. They’re shelf-stable so there’s no need to waste valuable space in your refrigerator. They’re Gluten-free, Certified Kosher and contain no hydrogenated oil.

What’s best, they’re simple to prepare: Just pour over ice and either milk or water and blend.

Here’s a summary of some Big Train kid-friendly options:Kids Creams from Big Train

Cotton Candy Kidz Kreamz: Imagine a State Fair in a cup. The sweet, sugary cotton candy taste may remind you of that airy bagged confection, but it won’t turn to sugar on the tongue.

Orange Cream Kidz Kream: Orange creamsicles, just like the ones you got from that wacky, beat up ice cream truck that drove through the neighborhood after dinner; that’s the orange cream flavor the kids crave!

Bubble Gum Kidz Kreamz: Just like you remember: Classic pink bubble gum flavor blended into sippable and frozen fun. Unlike the gum, this flavor will stay with you as long as you drink.

Wild Berry Burst Kidz Kreamz: Make with yogurt, this is a healthy fruitful sin. Ripe raspberries tangle with sweet blueberries and tangy strawberries for a menage à trois that you’ll always remember.

Banana Splitastic Kidz Kreamz: Another option made with yogurt, Banana Splitastic is like throwing ice cream, whipped cream, caramel and fresh bananas into a blender and pressing START.

Cookies ‘N Cream Blended Crème Frappe: Award-winning chocolate Oreo flavor meets a vanilla milk shake without the ice cream. Kids and parents alike love it.

Cake Batter Blended Crème Frappe: Almost as hot as S’Mores this summer, cake batter gives your customers to indulge in the delight of birthday cake without all the calories.

Health it Up!
These Big Train options are great on their own. But you can easily wipe away any of the guilt of drinking a dessert by mixing in a few healthy ingredients. Two tablespoons of yogurt blended into Orange Cream, Cake Batter or Cookies ‘N Cream will be virtually undetectable, but add some healthy pre- and pro-biotics, calcium and protein.

Another option would be to ramp up the fruit. Add some strawberry fruit smoothie mix to flavors such as Cotton Candy or Bubble Gum to create fruity versions of the originals, adding vitamins and tons of flavor. A tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter compliments a wall of Banana Splitastic or Cake Batter flavor while adding healthy proteins.

These Big Train Kidz Kreamz mixes are not just for children either. These nostalgic flavors are great for anyone who would like to take a time out and travel back to their childhood summers. The flavors are attractive to children and adult alike.

Here are some recipes to try:

Strawberry Bubble Gum Milkshake
2 oz Dr Smoothie Strawberry 100% Crushed
4 oz milk
11 oz ice cream
2 scoops (80 g) Big Train Kidz Kreamz Bubble Gum
Directions: Combine ingredients. Spindle or blend together.

Cotton Candy Blended Frappe Recipe
1 Packet or 2 scoops (80 g) Big Train Kidz Kreamz Cotton Candy
12 oz Ice
5 oz water
Whipped Cream (optional)
Sprinkles for garnish

Directions: Combine ingredients and blend. Pour mixture into a cup or glass and garnish with whipped cream and sprinkles. 

Cookie Covered Matcha TeaCookie Covered Matcha
2 scoops (8 tbs) Big Train Cookies ‘N Crème Frappe
1 tbs matcha green tea
12 oz Ice
5 oz milk
Whipped Cream (optional)
Crushed cookies for garnish

Directions: Combine ingredients and blend. Pour mixture into a cup or glass and garnish with whipped cream and top with crushed cookies.

For more ideas, more frappes for kidz recipes or to order Big Train Kids Kreamz, call a Customer Care Associate at 800 835 5943.

Mix It Up This Spring

A business suit and flip flops? Short-shorts and high heels? A military-style jacket with nautical accents? Spring’s the time to start mixing it up. And when it comes to beverages at your store, spring’s the best time to plan for cold blended beverage sales.2015_Blender Specials

Last year alone, sales of cold blended beverages increased more than 166%, with fruit smoothies leading the pack. Adding cold blended beverages to your menu can help your business grow. Selling just 10 frozen drinks a day can increase store profits by $1000 a month!

Save up to 55% on Commercial Blenders from and VitaMix.

Stockton Graham & Co.® has partnered with VitaMix® and BlendTec® to help your store get ready for warm weather with savings of up to 55% on popular blender packages.

From the Vitamix Drink Machine Advanced to the Vitamix Quiet One, Stockton Graham & Co. has assembled these blender packages to provide the ability to handle customer orders with speed, consistency and reliability for many seasons to come.

If maintaining a calm and relaxing atmosphere is important at your store, Stockton Graham & Co. offers several low-noise blender options, such as the Quiet One from Vitamix and the Q-Series from BlendTec.

All of our blender packages come backed by the resource and expertise of over 100 years of specialty beverage experience to help your business succeed.

Bonus: Receive Enough Free Product to Pay for the Blender!

For a limited time, Stockton Graham & Co. is offering up to three FREE cases of blended beverage mix and powders with the purchase of a commercial blender package.* Mix and match select products from some of your favorite brands: Dr. Smoothie, DaVinci, Jet, Caffe D’Amore, Big Train, Monin, MoCafe and Torani.

The free cases will allow you to significantly offset the price of a new commercial blender. For instance, a single case of Dr. Smoothie can generate sales of at least $200 when you sell smoothies at a very modest price of $4.00 for 12 oz. Three cases can lead to $600 in sales—more than covering the cost of a new blender.

Contact a Stockton Graham & Co. Customer Care Associate at 800 835 5943 to discuss your blender needs and free product options. 

* Receive three free cases of select product from brands listed above with purchase of blender package from Stockton Graham & Co. For Dr. Smoothie only, receive two free cases with purchase of blender package under $500 and three free cases with purchase of blender package over $500. Not all products are available for free case promotion. Discuss available options with a Customer Care Associate. Purchaser pays all shipping on blender and free cases. Offer valid until 8/31/2015.

 

PLEASE NOTE: As of June 1, 2015, Stockton Graham & Co. is no longer taking orders for BlendTec blenders.

Seasonal Savings with Big Train!

2014_BigTrain_Holiday_RebateBig Train’s classic fall and winter flavors are back as well as their seasonal rebate program! Until December 31st, 2014 you can receive $5 off a case of the seasonal products listed below.

Manufacturer’s Rebate Form

To reduce supply issues and prepare your store for the busy season, get your holiday pre-order in today! Our Customer Care Associates can work with you to ensure you have the products you need, when you need them to have a successful holiday.

Give us a call at 800 835 5943 to place your holiday pre-order today!

Pumpkin Pie Chai – Combing Chai tea latte with all of your favorite pumpkin flavors— pumpkin, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and allspice to make the perfect fall treat.

Gingerbread Chai – A perfect blend of Big Train’s chai tea latte infused with
ginger and spices.

Pumpkin Spice Blended Ice Coffee** – Item # BT.610890 Creamy pumpkin and spices combined with Arabica Coffee make a rich and satisfying Pumpkin Spice Latte or Frappe beverage. A returning cutomer favorite!

Egg Nog Blended Crème** – Classic holiday egg nog flavors make a soothing and rich, hot, cold or frozen beverage. Add a shot of espresso to make a latte.

Peppermint Mocha Blended Ice Coffee** – Cool, creamy peppermint with chocolate and Arabica Coffee, give your mocha a new seasonal twist!

**These items are special order.

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!