From Stockton Graham Coffees to Dilworth Coffee

New Dilworth Coffee bagsThis is an exciting time in the world of specialty coffee. Starting in late May, Stockton Graham Coffees will be sold under the brand name Dilworth Coffee.

Those who know Dilworth Coffee, know that it is Charlotte’s Original Specialty Coffee brand and a leader in specialty coffee in North Carolina.

Why the change?

Stockton Graham & Co. previously sourced, roasted, blend and packaged specialty coffee under two brands: Stockton Graham Coffees and Dilworth Coffee. After extensive market research and customer feedback, we have decided to consolidate our specialty coffee under our single strongest brand: Dilworth Coffee. This will allow us to streamline our business and improve our customer experience. Customers will receive the same high-quality coffees and outstanding service they have come to expect from Stockton Graham & Co. Plus, wholesale customer get the added benefit of offering a Top 3 coffee brand with a growing retail presence.*

In addition to an entirely new look and packaging, all of our coffees, both wholesale and retail, will soon carry the prestigious Dilworth Coffee name. Retail coffee orders will now be handled exclusively through the Dilworth Coffee website. There will be no change to how wholesale coffee orders are handled.

What does this change mean for me, a wholesale customer of Stockton Graham & Co. Coffees and allied products?
All our wholesale coffee buyers now have access to a leading specialty coffee brand with a strong retail presence. Our new curated coffee list includes 60+ coffees, including USDA-Certified Organic, Rainforest Alliance Certified, single-farm microlots, rare harvests, Swiss Water® Processed decaffeinated and flavored coffees. The coffees are designed to appeal to a broad array of consumer palates from casual coffee drinkers to coffee connoisseurs.

What’s the history of Dilworth Coffee?Dilworth Coffee
While visiting Italy in 1989, Charlotte NC resident and Dilworth Coffee founder Don Keen had a memorable coffee experience. He wanted to share that wonderful coffee and outstanding service with the residents of his hometown so he returned home to Charlotte and opened the first Dilworth Coffee. Stockton Graham & Co. began a relationship with Dilworth Coffee in the 1990s and eventually became the exclusive roaster for the company in 2010; in 2016 Dilworth fully became a part of Stockton Graham & Co.

As we’ve mentioned, the brand refresh includes a new logo but if you really want to get a feel for all the changes, visit the new Dilworth Coffee in Charlotte’s Fifth Third Center or one of our other locations. You’ll find a new menu focused on espresso and other hand-crafted coffee preparations, a new in-store design and, of course, personalized service based on old-fashioned Southern hospitality. For one of the changes we are most excited about, check out the Shop section of the site to see our new retail packaging. Our coffee already sets us apart from the competition but now our look will do the same. In addition, we are expanding our licensed store program to help spread the Dilworth Coffee name and experience to new markets.

“The new Dilworth Coffee is a modern interpretation of the brand’s original mission of providing exceptional quality and service in a comfortable neighborhood coffee shop,” said Lane Mitchell, Director of Creative, Brand & Marketing at Dilworth Coffee.

“In creating the new logo, we wanted to retain the equities of the old logo, especially in the representation of the coffee bean; but we also wanted to bring it into today’s 4D world by making the logo more iconographic,” Ms. Mitchell said. “In fact, the entire logo centers around the iconic coffee bean, which reinforces the bean as the company’s focus: its heart and soul.”

The new brand visuals include a signature pattern rooted in the natural colors and textures of the Piedmont region of North Carolina. This pattern is integrated into the new store through signage, menus and wearables. It is also now appearing throughout the company’s brand assets.

For more information about the Dilworth Coffee brand or how Stockton Graham & Co. can make your coffee experiences better, please call 800 835 5943 or email info@stocktongraham.com.

Coffee Roasting Re-org Brings More Customer Focus

June is an exciting month in our Raleigh coffee roasting facilities with the addition of several new coffee production staff and the promotion of Head Roaster Brad Kirby to Director of Coffee & Coffee Operations.Raleigh Coffee Roasting

Beginning June 17, Brad takes over leadership of the coffee roasting operations for both Stockton Graham Coffees and Dilworth Coffee. He’ll lead green coffee buying, serve as our roastmaster and manage day-to-day coffee production for our customers.

In addition, Brad will manage the equipment and facility maintenance, manage coffee related inventories, assist with purchases, manage daily roast batch quality control, and coordinate shipping and receiving functions.

polaroid-bradBrad Kirby started as Head Roaster at Stockton Graham & Co. in 2003. He has proven himself as an exceptional roaster and leader of cuppings both internally and with customers to ensure that the coffee product meets the highest standards. He is a Roaster’s Guild member who has passed both the beginner and intermediate barista training and has passed the Sensory Skills Test administered by the Specialty Coffee Association of America. (Click ­here for Brad’s bio.)

Brandon Riggs, who served as roastmaster from 2002, will be leaving Stockton Graham & Co. to pursue other opportunities in the coffee industry.

“This is all part of a long-term strategic initiative we started several months ago to envision how to grow our roasting department to enable us to continue growing as the company grows,” said Jeff Vojta, President and CEO of Stockton Graham & Co. “To enable this to happen, we realized that we needed to add to our group of talented roasting team members and have our coffee team work more closely with our sales and customer-focused teams.”

poleroid-bennettAs part of this re-alignment, a former Customer Care Associate Chris Bennett has moved to the roasting team as a Coffee Roasting Associate. A former barista and graduate of North Carolina State University, Chris will supplement the customer-centric approach that our roasting team is known for. He will also put his Specialty Coffee Association of America training to work by participating in roasting production, production QC and blending/packaging.

Rob SchuetzChris is joined by a second new hire in roasting, Rob Schuetz. Rob has been working with us on a temporary basis over several months as he finished his B.S. in Food Science from North Carolina State University. As a Coffee Production Associate, Rob’s will have additional duties of regulatory compliance, record keeping and standards. This will help ensure that our coffee product complies with the FDA’S Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), as well as all other regulatory requirements.

Steele PompilioSteele Pompilio, a Coffee Production Associate who joined Stockton Graham & Co. in 2015, will assume additional coffee roasting duties; in addition to blending and packaging, he will be involved in equipment and facilities maintenance and assisting with QC and coffee training. These new responsibilities provide Steele the opportunity to grow his love for coffee; on the weekends, you’ll also find him donning is barista hat at Raleigh’s Cafe Helios in downtown Raleigh.

Brad Kirby looks forward to the coffee opportunities for both customers and the entire Stockton Graham & Co. team as a result of these changes.

“The re-alignment of our coffee roasting staff will also allow us to develop a more robust coffee training, certifications, content, delivery systems and work with our coffee programs, including growing our distribution channels for coffee,” said Brad Kirby, Director of Coffee & Coffee Operations. “These efforts require an increased level of knowledge and commitment from our coffee roasting team. I’m excited by the team we have in place today and a commitment to helping us attain these goals.”

For more information about our coffee roasting capabilities, please contact us at 800 835 5943.

Introducing our new Colombia Supremo Pitalito

Colombia, the second largest producer of coffee in the world, is perhaps the best recognized source of specialty coffee. The town of Pitalito, which lies in the Valley of Laboyos in the Huila region, produces superior graded Supremo. The Colombia Supremo Pitalito shows off one of Colombia’s richest coffee micro-regions—its perfect blend of weather, altitude and soil producing some of the best coffee in the country.Colombia Supremo Pitalito Stockton Graham & Co craft roasted coffee

Our new single-origin Colombia Supremo Pitalito is a blend of beans from several farms, each averaging about 6 hectares and 5,000 trees per hectares. Because the farms are so small, the coffee is blended together at the source and exported as one type. The quality control at source is outstanding. These smallholder farms are known for their commitment and dedication to the craft of growing great coffee. Beans are hand-picked at the peak of ripeness, wet processed using traditional fermentation and sun-dried on patios.

Roastmaster Brandon Riggs and Head Roaster Brad Kirby cupped six Colombian offerings this season before choosing the Pitalito Colombia Supremo. “They were all very good Colombians,” Brad Kirby said. “But the Pitalito shined through more. The entire roasting team decided pretty quickly that this would be our new single-origin Colombian.”

The Colombia Supremo Pitalito had both the flavor and the balance that the roasting team was seeking. “Of all the Colombians we cupped this season, this one was a bit more balanced,” Brandon Riggs said. “I like the fruitiness, sweetness. It is a good, solid Colombian that could stand on its own as a single origin or could work well as a blend with other varietals.”Colombia Supremo Pitalito Cupping Attributes Stockton Graham

The flavor is complex, Brandon noted. “It has a sweet, caramel flavor upfront and a dry, malty spiciness on the back end.”

The aftertaste is long and lingering, Brandon added. “The aftertaste is similar to an East African in that it stays with you. That’s a good sign of a well-processed Latin America coffee.”

Learn more about cupping protocols from the Specialty Coffee Association of America here.

Investigating New Latin America Coffees

Our new Colombia Supremo Pitalito was selected after an extensive process our roasting team is undergoing to investigate new Central and South American coffee crops from Colombia, Costa Rica and Guatemala. Stockton Graham & Co. tries to purchase coffee with the harvest cycles so that it is as fresh as possible.

But, of course, as coffee is an agricultural product, its quality and availability changes from season to season. “That’s one of the things I personally love about coffee,” said Brandon Riggs. “It’s agricultural so it is constantly changing. So we never know exactly what’s next.”

To help ensure the coffee we purchase for our customers is of the highest quality, the Stockton Graham & Co. roasting team undergoes extensive cuppings of each crop before we commit to bringing it in. “A good coffee roaster is never done researching, adjusting and refining the coffee,” Brad Kirby said. “We use regular cupping as a tool to assess the quality of the coffee, and refine the roast levels, to ensure that the roasting process is bringing out the very best that a coffee can be.”

The roasting process happens in our Raleigh, NC coffee facility where we craft roast coffee for our own Stockton Graham Coffees brand, as well as for Dilworth Coffee and for hundreds of private label customers around the nation.

For more information on our Colombia Supremo Pitalito or to order samples, please call our customer care team at 800 835 5943.

 

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.

 

Roaster’s Views on the Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel

Coffee Taster's Flavor Wheel Stockton Graham & Co. Roasted CoffeeIn January, for the first time in 21 years, the original Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel published by the Specialty Coffee Association of America was updated and refined. The new flavor wheel is a groundbreaking tool that is already shifting the way coffee lovers think and talk about coffee.

“The new Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel is a great collaborative tool,” explained Stockton Graham & Co. and Dilworth Coffee roastmaster Brandon Riggs. “Although the original Flavor Wheel was a breakthrough, this new wheel is more approachable to the general public because it describes flavors in a way that is more common and accessible to everyday coffee drinkers.”

For example, Brandon notes that the old flavor wheel identified Nippy and Piquant as subgroups in the Sweet flavor group. The new flavor wheel, instead, uses more common words like Honey, Maple Syrup and Molasses. Brandon points out that industry veterans and coffee patrons alike can more easily recognize the tastes of honey or molasses than nippy or piquant.

In addition to more common language, the new flavor wheel introduced gradients in the outer flavor groupings to accommodate more subtlety of tastes. For example, with the addition of gradients, the flavor of blueberry can range from sugary jam-like blueberry to tangy freshly-picked-off-the-bush blueberry.

“By adding gradients to the flavor group, it provides more possibilities in taste and more ways to explore flavor in coffee,” Brandon said.

New Flavor Wheel Facilitates Collaboration

As an instructor of Stockton Graham & Co.’s Coffee College, Brandon also appreciates that the more accessible flavor wheel makes it easier to communicate about coffee.Improve Customer Service At Your Store

“It facilitates communication at the cupping table, whether the cupping is an internal one among roasters or whether roasters come together at a cupping table with customers to discuss coffee,” Brandon said. “The new Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel helps us talk to our customers and others who enjoy coffee about their flavor experience.”

Here at Stockton Graham & Co., the iconic Flavor Wheel is a key discussion tool we use during our internal cupping sessions, as well as when we talk to customers about coffee.

“We’ve spent a few weeks working with the new flavor wheel at our Raleigh coffee roasting facility, and we are speaking with customers about using it to guide the way they talk about coffee,” said Brandon said. “Our customers are finding the wheel to be a very helpful tool, whether they are thinking about adding a new coffee or simply talking to their patrons about the coffees they already serve.”

New Flavor Wheel Improves Training Experience

Coffee College 2016 from Stockton Graham & Co.At Stockton Graham & Co. we have begun incorporating the new tasting wheel into our regular internal training sessions, as we grow the expertise of our junior roasters and customer service teams. We will also begin incorporating it into our monthly Coffee College program designed for coffee customers and operators.

“This new wheel is an opportunity to unite all around the cupping table, and to facilitate learning,” Brandon said. “Whether you are a coffee industry expert or you have never cupped before, the new Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel is a valuable contribution to any coffee tasting experience.”

Click here for a copy of the new Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel and call a customer care associate at 800 835 5943 to explore how you can use the flavor wheel in your store.

Visit us at the NC Restaurant & Lodging Expo

NC Restaurant & Lodging Association ExpoStockton Graham & Co. is excited to be exhibiting at the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Expo on September 21 – 22 at the Raleigh Convention Center.

Drop by booth #622 to sample the best craft roasted coffee in North Carolina from the roasters of Stockton Graham Coffees and Dilworth Coffees. Plus, visit with our roastmaster, resident barista and business development team who will be on-site to discuss coffee options for your business.

We will also be serving our coffee during the Dinner and Keynote Address with Chef Robert IrvineCelebrity chef, restaurateur and entrepreneur Robert Irvine will deliver the opening day Dinner Keynote Address on September 21 to kick off the event.

New Coffee Product Launch at NCRLE

Stockton Graham & Co. will be launching a new coffee product specifically designed for restaurants, bars and foodservice operators at the NCRLE! Customers’ interest in premium coffee is at an all-time high. In fact, one out of every two cups sold in the U.S. is premium coffee. To capture this lucrative market, on-trend foodservice operators are moving toward craft roasted coffee that provides customers with coffee house quality flavor and an exceptional coffee experience. Our new product will make serving high-quality craft roasted coffee easy in a restaurant, hotel, bar or foodservice environment. Visit our booth to learn more!

Restaurant Coffee Sucks—And Why Yours Shouldn’t

We are also honored to be the only coffee roaster on the roster for the NCRLE Educational Program at the Expo. On September 22 at 3:30pm, our Thom Swain and Brady Butler will be serving up expert advice on how restaurants can improve profitability and customer satisfaction with craft-roasted coffee. Don’t miss their session in Room 303 at 3:30pm titled Why Restaurant Coffee Sucks – And Why Yours Shouldn’t.

North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association ExpoCoffee is the fastest growing option on a restaurant’s beverage menu, growing from 10% of all restaurant beverage sales to nearly 15% today and representing $24B in sales. Year-over-year growth is running upwards of 7%. Even so, according to Grub Street, up to 30% of Michelin-starred restaurants use low-quality pod coffee. That’s a shame: In most cases, coffee is the last thing patrons taste during their dining experience—leaving, literally, a poor taste in diners’ mouths. Improving the quality of coffee served in your restaurant or hotel can improve customer satisfaction, increase overall beverage sales and drive repeat business.

Visit the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Expo

Stockton Graham & Co. will be exhibiting along side some of North Carolina’s premier restaurants, hotels, bars and food/beverage providers, as well as other companies servicing the restaurant and lodging industry. The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Expo is the only event in North Carolina to bring together all sectors of the restaurant, foodservice, lodging and hospitality industry under one roof. The latest products, services, and technologies will be showcased for the industry, along with a comprehensive and leading-edge program of education that will provide restaurants and lodging establishments from North Carolina and surrounding areas.

Stop booth by #622 and sample our coffee roasted in Raleigh, NC. We will be setting up our space as an actual coffee shop, demonstrating different brew methods and offering expert advice for your unique brewing needs. Also, all expo goers will get a sneak peak at an exciting new product for restaurants, hotels and other high-end food service operations.

To join us, call our Customer Care Associates at 800 835 5943 or sign up to attend the NCRLE here.

In With The New, In With The Old

NY-Header-2012“Out with the old and in with the new” is a common phrase this time of year, but while 2014 is bringing many new things to Stockton Graham & Co., we are continuing with what we know best… helping our customers offer exceptional specialty coffees and hand crafted drinks to build your business.

The biggest news in 2014 will be around some important upcoming anniversaries. Stockton Graham & Co. will celebrate our 20th anniversary providing great coffees to our customers!  Our sister company, Dilworth Coffee is celebrating their 25th anniversary as the original Charlotte coffeehouse.  At Stockton Graham & Co., several team members will also celebrate anniversaries with the company, with 5 of our team members celebrating over 10 years and two celebrating 6 to 9 years with us.

Last year, we introduced Modern Oats, a certified gluten-free and GMO free on demand oatmeal product for the coffee shop and café. We have been pleased with this product and are excited about the new point of sale materials they have introduced to help you increase your sales in 2014.

Some other continuations of the old into 2014 are two programs introduced during the waning weeks of 2013.  These include our revised Everyday Savings Program with volume based savings so the more you order, the more you save.  To also help you measure your savings or potential savings, our sales and customer care team can work with you on an individual customized savings assessment and pricing grid.

Café Essentials from Dr. Smoothie with their authentic flavors offered a sampling program and money back guarantee that was so well received we are going to extend it through February 28!

We also have learned that the Torani Peppermint Bark Sauce has proven to be a winner in coffeehouses and cafes across the US and will be back for the 2014 holiday season.  For many of our customers that offered it in 2013, it has proven so successful that they wish to continue selling through Valentine’s Day in Winter feature drinks with a different twist!  Torani and Stockton Graham & Co. have some decadent recipes to try, and we have been able to secure a limited number of cases to help our customers continue to offer a truly outstanding flavor phenomenon.

Thom Swain, our SE Business Development Manager and Katie Barnes, one of our Customer Care Associates will be generating build your business ideas and thoughts for our blog and email newsletters including how you can take the time of year, seasonal themes and specials to attract new customers, increase frequency or increase the ticket average to assist you in keeping your menu fresh and enticing your customers with great coffees, drinks and service.

With all that and more, it looks like an exciting new year is upon us!