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!

Blended Frozen Drink Recipes for Summer!

smoothie-frappe-drinkAs discussed in our Summer Promotions and Building Business with Frozen Blended Drinks blogs, blended drinks such as frappés and smoothies are big sellers for Cafés in warmer summer months. To help you create some great menu items, the Stockton Graham & Co. team have chosen a few recipes to share. Our variety of allied products help create all these quick and easy drinks, so be sure to discuss all your options when talking to your Customer Care Associate.

According to the StudyLogic 2012 review, sales for frozen coffee beverages reached $4.3 billion, in the U.S. alone, in 2012. This is a huge and delicious market that you can easily take advantage of with a few products. It’s been reported* that the top 5 frappé flavors are: mocha, caramel, coffee, vanilla and chocolate. Offering at least one of these top 5 is a must, but explore more flavorings for a specialized option.

Torani has released their Real Cream Frappé Base for the summer of 2013, that makes a real easy and quick variety of frappé drinks. All you need to create a 16 oz. drink is 2 cups of ice, 5 oz. of Torani’s Real Cream Base, 1 shot of chilled espresso and 1 oz. of any syrup or sauce. Blend it well and you have a delicious and savory frozen coffee drink. We suggest Raspberry syrup with the Vanilla Real Cream Base. This creates a creamy raspberry milkshake flavor with the hint of espresso.

If your choice of frappé mix is powders, we have a variety of options there as well, from Caffe D’Amore, Big Train and Café Essentials. Consider making a “Peanut Butter Bliss” with 3 oz. of a vanilla frappe powder, 5 oz. of milk, 2 oz. peanut butter syrup, 1 oz. of caramel sauce and ice. You can adjust this recipe with a shot of chilled espresso or 1 oz. of chocolate sauce as well.

Entice customers looking to indulge, with a “Mocha Cookies and Crème Frappe”. Just take 5 oz. of milk, 2 scoops of a Mocha Frappe Powder, 16 oz. of ice, 1 chilled shot of espresso and blend, then add 1 scoop (70cc) of cookie pieces and pulse in until well blended. This rich and creamy mocha concoction will have customers begging for more.

Smoothies are very popular now as meal replacements, protein suppliers, tasty snacks or just a healthy specialty beverage to enjoy. The top 5 smoothie flavors are strawberry, strawberry banana, mango, peach and wildberry, so any of these options will satisfy your customers. Branch out by pouring different flavors into the same cup as a smoothie “mix-n-match”, it’s a 2 for 1 deal for your customers! Stockton Graham & Co. offers a variety of real fruit smoothie options for our customers, from industry leaders Torani, Jet, Big Train, Monin, Teawave and Dr. Smoothie.

Give your customers a taste of the islands with a delicious “Mango Pineapple Smoothie”. Put 3 oz. of Mango smoothie mix, 3 oz. of pineapple juice and 2 cups of ice in a blender and blend till smooth.

Dr. Smoothie has a great recipe called “Indigo Isle” where you mix 2 oz. of water, 3 oz. of strawberry banana concentrate, 2 oz. of blueberry banana concentrate and 16 oz. of ice in a blender. Then pulse in 1 strawberry and 5 blueberries afterwards for a great fruit texture.

Adding supplements or frappe mixes to your smoothie mix can make for a creamier, fruity drink. Blend together 2 oz. of a cream base, 6 oz. of peach smoothie mix and 16 oz. of ice for a delightful “Peaches N’ Crème” drink. Customers will enjoy how sweet and subtle the tart of the fruit is.

To help you get your blended frozen beverage program on the right track or for a minor tune-up, Stockton Graham & Co. has set-up a blender equipment special. If you purchase one of our Blendtec or Vitamix blender options, you can receive FREE cases of assorted product from Jet, Torani, Caffe D’Amore or Dr.Smoothie! Programs for Mocafe and Cappuccine products will be coming soon! We also have promotions going on from Dr. Smoothie (Whey Protein Promotion) and Jet (Flavored Lemonade Promotion) that can get you FREE product with your purchase of blending concentrates, click the links above to learn more.

Don’t forget to decorate your frozen blended drinks. Top them off with whipped cream, pieces of fruit, a drizzle of sauce or nuts to really impress your customers. These sweet and tasty specialty beverages will sell themselves, and have customers coming to your café all summer long. Give us a call at 800.835.5943 today to order some beverage mixes, or to discuss more recipe options with our sales team!

* Mintel , All Segments Report from 2012

Your New Blender Could Be Free!

Smoothie season is on the horizon, and there is a wide variety of new products. The current trend indicates that customers are looking for more healthy versions of the products they already buy. Tofu smoothies aren’t in style just yet, but low-fat and all-natural products are thriving. Jet has recently introduced a Non-Fat Yogurt Smoothie program and Torani has produced their brand new Real Fruit Smoothies. Manufacturers are becoming more adept at maximizing nutrition without sacrificing taste, and the result is an increase in sales. This sales jump can be very profitable, but many cafes are already maxing out their blenders. Smoothies often play second fiddle to coffee in the café, but that doesn’t mean that your old blender can’t have an upgrade.

Stockton Graham & Co. and smoothie vendors have partnered with equipment companies in order to bring you a complete listing of blender rebate programs. The chart below provides insight on the discounts and free product available with blenders. If these rebates are employed properly, many of the blenders available at Stockton Graham & Co. are practically free. Take for example the Dr. Smoothie rebate program. It states that any new blender purchase will be accompanied by two free cases of smoothie. If you figure that each case of Dr. Smoothie contains 48 – 16 oz. drinks, and those drinks are sold for $4.00 each, then those free cases will yield $384 of profit. If you consider that the Vitamix Drink Machine Advance costs $425, then a brand new blender will cost you only $41. To access our rebate program guide or our blender catalog, please visit our link library and choose from the appropriate brands.

Reid Jackson
Stockton Graham & Co.

Blended Drink Solutions from Stockton Graham & Co.

Stockton Graham & Co.® and Vitamix® present the New 2011 Blender Series for specialty coffee retailers: the Drink Machine Advance, T&G 2 Blending Station and The Quiet One.

These commercial Vita-Mix® blenders have been designed to blend luscious, mouthwatering frappes and delectable smoothies consistently drink after drink and customer after customer. Using our retail experience, Stockton Graham & Co. ® offers these blenders to provide the retailer the ability to handle one or many customer orders with speed, consistency and reliability for many seasons to come.

VITAMIX® DRINK MACHINE ADVANCE #05086

List $940

$425

The Drink Machine Advance has the power and performance to produce perfectly smooth beverages that’ll get your customers asking for more! The Drink Machine Advance has 6 programs using just the dial switch! Each program combines the right speed and timing to eliminate the guesswork, allowing operators to have consistency from location to location, and drink to drink.

VITAMIX® T&G 2 BLENDING STATION #34013

List $1705

$725

The noise-reducing cover of the Vita-Mix Touch & Go 2 makes this one of the quietest blenders on the market, allowing you to blend virtually any drink while preserving your shop’s soothing atmosphere. As powerful as the Vita-Mix Drink Machine Advance, but adding 34 programmable blending programs, variable speed control, low and high pulsing, and a much quieter operation.

VITAMIX® THE QUIET ONE #36019

List $2095

$1025

Operating at an amazing 18 decibels below its closest competitor on one of the most demanding recipes (milkshake), according to independent third party testing, The Quiet One would be perceived as being four times quieter. It was specifically designed to create a more enjoyable customer environment while offering operators the ability to deliver a wide variety of superior blended beverages.

Smoothie brands available: Dr. Smoothie, Jet, Big Train, Monin, Torani, Caffe D’Amore.

Why Barista Fria?

We are pleased to introduce and offer a new smoothie and frappe alternative to our customers, Barista Fria. It is a product line that we have evaluated extensively, tested with our customers and had numerous meetings with the company representatives. As with any new product, our customers and our other vendors are always curious why, what it is and what is going to happen to our current products.

First, we are not discontinuing any of our other smoothie and frappe lines! We believe that each of them has their own unique qualities and fulfills specific needs for our retail customers and the consumer. One of the unique aspects of the specialty coffee and beverage retailer is to be able to offer the customer an individually made-to-order, customized drink that is as unique as the customer.

We believe that the Barista Fria line will help to fill a niche in the market place and offer our customers additional ways to increase their business and profits.

What is Barista Fria?

Barista Fria is a shelf-stable fruit smoothie and frappe mix developed by Island Oasis. Island Oasis, utilizing over 25 years of frozen beverage products and blending technology, have developed Barista Fria for the specialty coffee and beverage industry. Like Island Oasis, Barista Fria is a complete program of a Blending Shaver system and product enhanced by an array of point-of-sale materials and recipe ideas.

Unlike Island Oasis, Barista Fria is utilizing specialty coffee roasters and distributors to work with the specialty coffee retailer and other specialty stores offering hand crafted beverages. Stockton Graham & Co. is proud to be among their launch distributors.

• Barista Fria is packaged in aseptic ready-to-use cartons, with no corn syrups, trans fats, or preservatives and has a one year shelf life.

• Barista Fria is available in a variety of flavors: strawberry, banana, mango, wild berry, pina colada, caramel latte, mocha latte, ice cream base and chocolate ice cream base. A few additional flavors are on the way.

• Barista Fria has a cutting edge equipment program for retailers. With NO MONEY DOWN, based on certain annual purchase commitments, the specialty retailer can have a Barista Fria Ice Shaver system that makes up to three 16 oz drinks per batch in about eight seconds. In addition the Shaver and Blending Station, Barista Fria has Tempest Blender, from Hamilton Beach! It comes with two jars and is perfect for the lighter volume café.

How Do You Get Started?

Call your Stockton Graham & Co. customer care or sales associate (800.835.5943) to learn how you can get started on serving up Barista Fria in your coffeehouse, café and specialty retailer location.

 

Let SGC REHAB Your Blender!

If you need to add a new blender to your shop to keep up with your blended drink sales, Stockton Graham & Co.® and Vita-Mix® have put together two cost effective packages specially created for the you! These commercial Vita-Mix® blenders have been designed to blend luscious, mouthwatering frappes and delectable smoothies, consistently drink after drink, and customer after customer.

Stockton Graham & Co. ® has assembled these blended drink packages to provide the retailer the ability to handle one or many customer orders with speed, consistency and reliability for many seasons to come. With these specials, you can RECEIVE ENOUGH FREE PRODUCT TO PAY FOR THE BLENDER!

Vita-Mix T&G 2 Blending Station PackageThe noise-reducing cover of the Vita-Mix Touch & Go 2 makes this one of the quietest blenders on the market, allowing you to blend virtually any drink while preserving your shop’s soothing atmosphere. As powerful as the Vita-Mix Drink Machine Advance, but adding 34 programmable blending programs, variable speed control, low and high pulsing, and a much quieter operation. Package includes *two FREE cases of smoothie or frappe mix.

ORDER BY 5/21 AND RECEIVE *THREE FREE CASES!

List Price: $1,705

SGC Price: $749

REHAB PROMO: $695

OR

Vita-Mix Drink Machine Advance Package: The Drink Machine Advance has the power and performance to produce perfectly smooth beverages that’ll get your customers asking for more! The Drink Machine Advance has 6 programs using just the dial switch. Each program combines the right speed and timing to eliminate the guesswork, allowing operators to have consistency from location to location, and drink to drink. Because of its patented long steel blades and XP Container, the Advance creates the smoothest blended beverages in less time and with less effort! Package includes *one free case of smoothie or frappe mix.

ORDER BY 5/21 AND RECEIVE *TWO FREE CASES!

List price: $940

REHAB PROMO: $425

*Choose from Dr. Smoothie or Caffe D’Amore. Manufacturer rebates MAY be available for Monin, Big Train, Jet and Torani.  Packages do not include freight.