Twenty Years Tells Us: Offer Bulk & Retail Coffee

SGC-historyYou have probably heard us talk about the profitability of a bulk & retail coffee program before, and we know from experience that it is a great idea! Twenty years ago this May, our CEO Jeff Vojta and his business partner started a little coffee shop in Raleigh, NC, called Classic Coffees which would later become Stockton Graham & Co. Back in 1994, there wasn’t much to go on in terms of how to run a coffee shop. Starbucks wasn’t yet a household name, and the specialty coffee industry was still in its infancy. Our founders had to experiment with what worked, what failed and what could be improved upon. One of the best revenue streams turned out to be Classic Coffee’s bulk and retail coffee offerings. They started small with only 5 or 6 offerings in their program, and within 2 years they had over 100 different coffees available.

SGC_RetailCoffeeInfographicChart_2014The bulk and retail coffee program in the original store is one of the key factors Jeff attributes to the store’s success. Jeff has said, “Shops that properly implement a robust bulk coffee program can expect a 40-50% increase in gross coffee and coffee beverage sales.” One of the ways that a bulk coffee program can help your store do this is by increasing customer loyalty. You see your best customers 3-5 times a week, but they drink coffee everyday. Is it your coffee? If they aren’t using beans bought from your store, they are buying them from somewhere else. Instead of losing the business to some other store or supermarket, offer customers the same great coffee you serve as a retail option! Selling take-home coffee adds to incremental sales, helps you rotate your stock more quickly, and keeps you relevant with your customers on a daily basis. They are more than likely to share it with friends and family and come back to you with future business! What a great way to market to new potential customers!

Thinking about starting your own bulk and retail coffee program? Here is what Jeff did at Classic Coffees to increase both sales and customer loyalty:SGC-Bulk-Coffee

 

What Jeff did:

  • Made the beans accessible to customers to see, smell and taste
  • Educated staff and customers about the coffees
  • He had a separate help line for those stopping in just to buy beans
  • Had over 100 selections of coffee
  • Offered shipping and gift baskets

For more information about bulk and retail coffee programs, give your Customer Care Associate a call at 800.835.5943.

Want to private label your retail coffees? Read more about our private label program here.

Need point-of-sale materials to support your retail or bulk team program? Read how we can help here.

Build Your Business: Go Green This Spring!

Green-cupOne of the perks of spring is spending more time outdoors. To say “Thanks” to Mother Nature, do the responsible thing and make an effort for your shop to be a little greener. Nowadays, an ecofriendly lifestyle can be found almost anywhere, even in your coffee shop. “Green cafes” are increasing in popularity all over the country, and it is a great way to attract customers by showing them that you are making an effort to help make the environment better for everyone.

For those who like the idea of going green but, think it will require a lot of extra time, effort and money, think again. Going green is not only beneficial to the environment, it can be done at little to no cost or extra effort to you. Here are some helpful tips on how to keep both the environment and your wallet green.

Offer Stockton Graham Coffees
Several of Stockton Graham & Co.’s coffees are roast-to-order sustainable coffees. Sustainable coffees are certified or verified by an accredited third party as organic, fair trade, rainforest alliance, shade grown and more. Our sustainable single-origin selection is a great way to start exploring green coffees to add to your menu. We also offer blends that meet sustainable certifications as well, including a great organic espresso blend: Organic San Remo. To learn more about Stockton Graham & Co.’s sustainable coffees or inquire about samples, call your Customer Care Associate at 800.835.5943 today!

Switch to Paperless Invoices
Stockton Graham & Co. has been offering paperless invoicing for several years now, and it is a great way to cut down on paper use. We can send you a digital copy of your invoice, at your preferred email, with one click of the mouse. If you are not already signed up to receive your invoices via email, be sure to ask your Customer Care Representative the next time you place your order. They will be happy to update your information, and help you reduce your paper usage!

Keep your Equipment Clean
It may not be in your budget to purchase new high-efficiency appliances, but there’s no reason you can’t make sure the appliances you have are operating at peak performance. Keeping your grinders, blenders, brewers & etc. clean is not only safer, but it will allow your equipment to run much more efficiently. This also helps secure the longevity of your equipment, and to cut down on your power bill each month.

Reuse your Coffee Grounds
As a coffee shop owner, you know how much coffee grounds are left over every day. The question is, what do you do with them? If you are just throwing them away, you can make them useful! Coffee grounds happen to be very acidic, so they make for a great fertilizer for acid-loving plants. If you have plants such as roses or azaleas in or outside of your shop, coffee grounds will help your plants look better than ever! Let your customers know about these gardening benefits and see if they wish to pick up grounds from your shop. You can also use the bulk bags that your coffee comes in, as means to give grounds away to gardening customers. Coffee grounds in your garden are also an organic way to deter some types of plant-eating bugs.

Offer Recycling
With the amount of plastic and paper that you and your customers go through, make sure there are designated recycling bins in your shop. If you only have trashcans, you haven’t allowed your customers an opportunity to separate their trash from recyclables. Setting up recycling is extremely easy, and one of the most recognizable ways to show your customers that you’re doing your part for the environment. Make sure your recycling bins are clearly labeled so customers know exactly where to place their recyclables.

Have Discounts for Reusable Mugs or Tumblers
To cut back on to-go cup trash, encourage your customers to bring in their own to-go mugs for filling with your coffee. Offer discounts on beverages for customers who re-use. This not only cuts down on your cup costs and water usage, it also helps reduce paper cups making their way into a landfill. Go further, and offer tumblers with your logo on them for refilling. Customers will be helping the environment and sporting your brand!

Save Electricity
Consider replacing the light bulbs in your shop with more energy efficient LED bulbs. While they may seem pricey at first, these bulbs prove to last 25 times longer. This reduces your shop’s energy usage and time spent replacing old bulbs! These bulbs also contain no mercury or lead, so they are all around better for the environment. To save more energy, look into programming the thermostat in your store to save on HVAC costs. There is no need for comfortable temperatures when the store is not occupied.

Purchase in Bulk
Buying products in bulk is a great way to reduce cost and your carbon footprint. Instead of having your delivery truck make two deliveries, save all your orders for once and reduce the carbon that is released from the trucks. Stockton Graham & Co. encourages this by offering Free Freight on large shipments. Cups, straws and other shelf stable products are great products to purchase in bulk and take advantage of this great deal.

These are just a few ways that you can make your café a little “greener”. To many people, a green business is a responsible business and those are often the establishments they choose to offer their loyalty to. With little effort and cost, you can really make an impressive change that will allow you to feel better about making a positive impact on the environment and your bottom line. We have implemented many of these practices and more at Stockton Graham & Co. to help reduce waste and our carbon footprint. Contact us at 800.835.5943 to learn more about cutting down on your normal costs, and bringing new customers in the door!

Check out our other blogs on being green:
Earth Day Promotions for Your Cafe
Energy-Efficient Espresso Equipment

Father’s Day Promotions

Father's Day MugWith Father’s day just around the corner, consider offering some promotions for Dads who visit your shop!  Here at a few offers that are sure to please fathers everywhere!

-Offer a free extra shot of espresso with any latte or signature drink purchase for dads

-Offer a buy one get one half off (equal or lesser value) drinks to customers who come in with Dad

-Offer discount mugs/tumblers to Dads to turn them into repeat customers!

-Utilize social media outlets such as Twitter or Foursquare for Father’s day specials.  (For example:  “Check-in with Dad and receive 15% off your order!”)

-Create a gift package for Dads that could include at mug/tumbler, some bulk coffee for home use, an instruction guide for premium brewing and perhaps a giftcard!

-Offer discounted bulk coffee!

Here’s to a very Happy (and Profitable) Father’s Day in your shop!