Whole Beans at your Coffee Shop

Whole Beans at your Coffee ShopAre you selling coffee as whole beans in your café? You should be.

Whole bean sales have the potential to dramatically increase your total sales, yet ironically it remains one of the most underrated and missed opportunities by many specialty coffee retailers.

 

One of the most common misconceptions, when it comes to selling retail coffee, is that it is encouraging customers to stay at home and not come into your shop. The reality is this: of the 300 million cups of coffee Americans drink each day, about three quarters are brewed at home. This means that if customers are inevitably going to drink someone’s coffee at home, it might as well be yours. This also does not replace the fact that customers will still need to come to your shop for espresso-based and other specialty drinks, which they are typically unable to make at home. A successful retail program does not require a lot of extra time, work or marketing. A simple countertop or shelf display will draw the attention of your customers and have them asking questions in no time!

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So, what type of revenue can a retail program bring in? The Specialty Coffee Association found in a study that 54% of the adult population of the United States drinks coffee daily (typically in the morning). So, if you have 150 customers a day, then about 75 of them drink a minimum of seven cups of coffee a week and it could very well be at home. This statistic really gives you an idea of the amount of sales you can acquire, even when the customer is at home.

A weaker whole beans program probably sells around 15 pounds per week (with an average retail sales price of $15.00 per pound), which translates to about $225 per week and about $900 per month in whole bean sales alone. A stronger retail program has the potential to bring in upwards of $4,000 a month.

Loyalty equals guaranteed sales

Apart from an increase in your bottom line, another major aspect that a successful retail program can bring is customer loyalty. It’s no secret that there are a lot of choices when it comes to coffee. So anytime one of your customers is not invested in your coffee, you are at risk of your customer being poached by a competitor.

The best way to avoid this is to keep them invested in you, even when they walk out of your door. A simple way to think of it is; each time they drink a cup of your coffee at home, that’s one less cup of someone else’s coffee that they’re drinking. Like any product, the more and more a customer gets comfortable with it, the more likely they will continue to purchase it.

What’s the best way to set up a retail coffee program in your shop? As mentioned before, it does not take much. Start small, with a few choices (perhaps your house blend, a popular flavor and a favorable single origin) — there’s no need to overwhelm or confuse your customers right from the get-go.

Once you notice trends or your customers start making requests, feel free to make additions to your selection. Display your beans in a noticeable area, but make sure it’s not too obnoxious – the goal is to use your whole beans program as an up sell. You don’t want it to distract your customer from the rest of your menu. Most importantly, educate your staff. It is likely your customers will ask questions or recommendations before they pull the trigger on a purchase, so make sure your employees are knowledgeable about all the blend components, origins, taste profiles, etc.

Stockton Graham & Co. recommends our specialty coffee brand Dilworth Coffee for customers looking to add a whole bean program. Started in 1989 in Charlotte NC, Dilworth Coffee is one of the leading independent coffee brands in North Carolina, according to a 2016 study by Mintel.

To learn more about ways to succeed in your store or coffee shop, call 800 835 5943 or email orders@stocktongraham.com.

Bucknell University now Serving Pour-over and Organic Coffees

organic coffees at bucknell universityAs part of a upgrade in dining hall options for the spring semester, Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania has begin offering high-quality specialty organic coffees from Stockton Graham & Co. The 3600 students at the prestigious liberal arts college will now be able to enjoy freshly roasted Stockton Graham coffee as well fine Two Leaves and Bud Matcha green tea.

At the school’s 7th Street Café, Stockton Graham & Co., based in Raleigh, North Carolina, will be supplying Colombia Supremo Pitalito, Organic Sumatra Tunas Indah and Organic Mexico Chiapas. These high end organic coffees represent some of the finest from around the world. In addition, the café will also be offering the option of pour-overs featuring organic Ethiopia Limmu coffee.

“We have found this to be a growing trend,” say Lane Mitchell, Stockton Graham & Co. Marketing Director. “It is exciting that millennials are more interested in the artistry and science behind brewing and extraction to make a good cup of coffee instead of just relying on the traditional drip machine. The Limmu is a perfect coffee for this. It is always one of our favorites and the pour-over method really allows its unique characteristics to stand out.”

The company’s organic coffees are also highly desirable because to the growers’ commitments to sustainability and the environment. Says Mitchell, “The company is passionate about sourcing organic coffee that bear the USDA seal of approval. Those coffees that carry it–less than 10% of all those produced–follow strict regulations regarding how the coffee is grown and processed.”

Bucknell's 7th Street CaféLocated near the corner of 7th St. and Moore Ave in Lewisburg not far from the Samek Art Museum, the café is open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. In addition to the freshly-roasted Stockton Graham coffees, the 7th Street Café offers a wide range of sandwiches, wraps and other breakfast and snack items to hungry students at the central Pennsylvania university.

You can read the article from Bucknell here.

Call 800 835 5943 to talk to a Customer Care Associate to learn more about our organic coffees.

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.

2011 Stockton Graham & Co. Year in Review

With 2012 just days away, we reflect back on what has occurred in the world over the last year. We have seen our world change forever; from an opulent royal wedding to a devastating earthquake in Japan, from the introduction of the newest iPad to the loss of Steve Jobs and from the fall dictators and despots to our official withdrawal from a warzone. While these headlines certainly captured all of our attention, things have been busy here at Stockton Graham & Co., as well.

2011 was a year of growth and change for Stockton Graham & Co, and we would like to share some of our 2011 news with you in case you missed anything.

We announced officially that we acquired the wholesale division of Dilworth Coffee. Dilworth Coffee is Charlotte’s oldest coffee roaster and coffeehouse brand. Founded in 1989, Dilworth Coffeehouse is Charlotte’s oldest gourmet coffee roaster and coffee house supplier. Dilworth serves coffeehouses, espresso bars, specialty retailers and cafes throughout the Southeast. The company also has licensed stores throughout the greater Charlotte area.

Through a partnership with Red Espresso, we became the master distributor for the product for North America. We now directly import their rooibos tea, which is prepared and served much like espresso, but without the caffeine and five times the antioxidants of green tea.

We have also officially unveiled our new coffee branding. Stockton Graham Coffees is our flagship brand; these are the great, same-day, custom-roasted coffees that our customers have loved since our beginnings nearly 18 years ago. In addition to Stockton Graham Coffees, we also now offer NCompass, Stockton’s Reserve and Dilworth Coffee brands. NCompass is our line of sustainable coffees which includes organic, fair trade, rainforest alliance and shade grown coffees. Stockton’s Reserve is our new line of limited edition coffees, including very special finds that our roastmaster has decided to bring in. Stockton’s Reserve coffees can help differentiate your shop from your competition and are great for special in-store events. And, we’re pleased to uphold the longstanding tradition of Dilworth Coffee, Charlotte’s oldest specialty coffee brand. All of our coffees are now kosher certified, as well.

Be sure to ask for Point-of-Sale materials to help highlight your coffee offerings. We now offer counter cards and shelf-talkers for Stockton Graham Coffees, NCompass, Stockton’s Reserve, Dilworth Coffee and seasonal promotions. These colorful and simple displays are a great way to draw attention and help promote bulk or retail coffee sales.

It certainly was an exciting year here at Stockton Graham & Co. Please be sure to let us know if you missed out and need to know more, or if you wish to try any of our great new products.