Stockton Graham & Co. Now Offering Modern Oats from Mocafe!

Modern OatsThe demand for healthy and convenient breakfast options has never been stronger, especially certified gluten-free options. Oatmeal especially has experienced a resurgence, and has made the shift from frumpy to fabulous with the addition of delicious new flavors & higher quality ingredients. Stockton Graham & Co. is proud to announce the addition of Modern Oats to our product mix! This all natural gluten-free oatmeal from Mocafe is a fast, healthy, on the go meal. Everything is in the cup. We are offering a new product promotion of ONE FREE VARIETY PACK case with any one-case minimum purchase of any flavor (initial orders only) PLUS $2/off per case! Expires October 31, 2013

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At Modern Oats, they start by selecting only the most nutrient & protein rich, non-genetically modified, and certified gluten-free whole rolled oats — oats never grown with pesticides or chemical fertilizers, from smaller, family run farms throughout the upper Midwest of North America. After the oats are steamed and sized, they then blend with the finest, juiciest, antioxidant rich superfruits, omega 3 rich nuts and seeds, and lightly sweeten with only certified organic evaporated cane juice to craft the most delicious, healthy, modern blends of oatmeal found today.

Just add hot water, wait 3 minutes, stir and enjoy!

Modern Oats is available in 6 delicious flavors: Apple Walnut, Chocolate Cherry, Goji Blueberry, Mango Blackberry, 5 Berry and Nuts & Seeds.

Remember that we offer product samples for free, so if you would like to try Modern Oats, just ask your Customer Care Associate to include it in your next order! The Modern Oats sample kit includes a product brochure and one individual serving carton of each flavor.

Call 800.835.5943 today to get pricing and learn more about this great new product line!

Click here to learn more about Modern Oats!

Stockton Graham & Co. Now Offering Mocafe and Cappuccine!

Stockton Graham & Co. is proud to announce the addition of two new leading brands of specialty beverage products, Mocafe and Cappucine! Customers have been inquiring about these lines for some time, so we decided to bring them in. As they are extremely popular for their blended iced drinks, we are excited that they will be available for your customers’ summer enjoyment and help further build your business’ success! We are offering a new product promotion of $5 off a case of all Mocafe or Cappuccine! Expires June 30th 2013

2012--Mocafe-web-LogoA number of products from the Mocafe line are now available, including Original Mocafe Mocha, Caffe Latte, Tahitian Vanilla Latte and Wild Tribe Moka frappe powders. We will also have Precious Divinity Chai, Matcha Green Tea, Mexican Spiced Cocoa and Vanilla Smoothie mixes. Mocafe has been offering high quality specialty beverage products since 1996, and we are thrilled to be able to offer this line to our customers.

logoWe have the entire extensive line of Cappuccine frappe flavors, too! These 27 flavors provide a wide assortment of choices for our customer’s needs, including: Lactose free, no hydrogenated oils, Kosher and Halal approved. Cinnamon Bun and Red Velvet are two flavors Cappuccine offers that can help make your cafe unique. Winning numerous specialty beverage awards since 1994, Cappuccine has solidified itself as a top contender in the blended iced coffee world. We are excited to have more options for our customers to choose from with this delicious brand.

POS for these brands and samples are also available from Stockton Graham & Co.. Remember that samples are free, so if you would like to try one of these new products, just ask your Customer Care Associate to include it in your next order! Mocafe is also offering blender specials through Stockton Graham & Co. Purchase a Vitamix or Blendtec blender from us and you will receive, 3 cases of Mocafe Product! Cappuccine has a direct purchase program that you can learn more about here.

Upon tasting in house, both brands were well received with the Stockton Graham & Co. staff. These new brands will help your shop create signature blended drinks that will have customers returning for more! If you are looking to serve delicious, creamy, blended iced coffee beverages, call your Stockton Graham & Co. sales associate to discuss updating your specialty beverage program! Call 800.835.5943 today to get pricing and learn more about these great new product lines!

A Guide to Understanding Sustainability

In today’s world, there are several different sustainability certifications, especially in terms of coffee. A specific type of coffee can be classified under one or many categories, including, but not limited to Organic, Kosher, Fair Trade, Bird-Friendly, Shade Grown, and Rainforest Alliance. Due to the fact that there are several different certifications, trying to remember or distinguish them can become very confusing, so consider this to be a guide of labels and definitions in the world of coffee sustainability certifications!

Organic: Organic products are developed with an approach that views the farm as an integral part of the global ecosystem. Emphasis is placed on recycling, composting, soil health and biological activity with the goal of long-term protection of the farm environment. Synthetic chemicals are rigorously avoided. In accordance with the 1990 Organic Foods Production Act, effective October 21, 2002, the US Department of Agricultural regulated which products can be labeled “organic,” “made with organic ingredients” or “100% organic.” Only products that meet the organic foods, production, processing and handling criteria are eligible to be labeled as USDA Certified. Stockton Graham & Co. is a certified organic handler per the USDA National Organic Program and we are inspected annually.

Kosher: There are many different kosher certification agencies whose principal objectives are to ensure the ingredients used in a product; the processing methods; and handling of the product meets strict Jewish dietary guidelines. Kosher certified products offer assurance to the consumer about the purity of the ingredients used to make it. Stockton Graham & Co., based upon an annual inspection and records review, maintains a kosher certification on our coffees through the Atlanta Kashruth Commission.

Shade Grown: A coffee that is shade grown is one considered to be grown in the canopy of taller, shade trees. These trees can be a variety of species and with a variety of sparseness and heights. Not only does coffee thrive in shaded areas, but the acidic soil that the coffee plant grows in also acts as a natural fertilizer for these trees which provide ideal habitats for several native birds, bats and insects.

Bird Friendly: Coffees produced in a shade canopy that offers habitats for native and migratory bird populations are considered Bird-Friendly™. The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) has developed a set of strict criteria for evaluating shade coffee farms. An independent, third party inspector determines whether a farm meets these criteria or not. Only those farms that also meet organic certification standards are eligible to be certified as “Bird-Friendly”™ companies.

Fair Trade: In its simplest form, Fair Trade means that the producer of the coffee receives a price sufficient to cover their costs of production, and provides a reasonable return on their invested capital. The words “fair-trade” are used by several different organizations that may or may not be governed by FLO (the Fair Labeling Organization International) which provides guidance and audit trails to ensure the price paid to the producer is indeed fair.

Rainforest Alliance: The Rainforest Alliance (“TRA”) works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. The Rainforest Alliance works with people, whose livelihoods depend on the land, while helping them transform the way they grow food, harvest wood and host travelers. From large multinational corporations to small, community-based cooperatives, TRA involves businesses and consumers worldwide in efforts to bring responsibly produced goods and services to a global marketplace where the demand for sustainability is growing steadily.

Here at Stockton Graham & Co., we offer a selection of sustainable coffees in our NCompass line which contains coffees with one or more of the above certifications. With these coffees, your customers can feel good that with their purchase, they will help support a healthy environment and enhance the worldwide ecosystem. For more coffee information, please give us a call at 800-835-5943, and we’d be glad to assist you!

Matt Hogan
Stockton Graham & Co.

Coffee Certifications-EXPLAINED!

There are quite a few coffee certifications out there.  A coffee can be one or many of them, including, but not limited to Organic, Kosher, Fair Trade, Bird-Friendly, Shade Grown, Utz Kapeh and Rainforest Alliance. Add to these the specific farms, auction lots, single lots, and it can be quite confusing.  Consider this your guide through the maze of labels, symbols and definitions.  Also, it is important to keep in mind that a particular coffee can carry one or more of these designations.  Given the history and economics of coffee production, not all methods or designations are able to be obtained in all countries or may not be practical for a particular growing region.

Organic:  Organic products are developed with an approach that views the farm as an ecosystem. Emphasis is placed on recycling, composting, soil health and biological activity with the goal of long-term protection of the farm environment. Synthetic chemicals are rigorously avoided. In accordance with the 1990 Organic Foods Production Act, effective October 21, 2002, the US Department of Agricultural regulated which products can be labeled “organic,” “made with organic ingredients” or “100% organic.” Only products that meet the organic foods, production, processing and handling criteria are eligible to be labeled as USDA Certified.

Stockton Graham & Co. is a certified organic handler per the USDA National Organic Program and we are inspected annually.

Kosher:  There are many different kosher certifying agencies whose principal objectives are to ensure the ingredients used in a product; the processing methods; and handling of the product meets strict Jewish dietary guidelines.  Kosher certified products offer assurances to the user about the purity of the ingredients used to make it.  Stockton Graham & Co., based upon an annual inspection and records review, received a kosher certification on our coffees by the Atlanta Kashruth Commission.

Sustainable: This is a term that does not have a widely acceptable definition. For coffee agriculture and resource development, the term implies concern for the laborers’ working conditions, for trading practices and land tenure systems that do not impoverish the workers, as well as sensitivity to the environment, minimization of pollution and independence from non-renewable energy sources.

Sustainable coffees do not have to be Fair Trade certified or organically produced, but they should exhibit the characteristics described above to ensure responsible production methods for both the environment and the farmers/laborers.

Shade Grown:  A coffee that is shade grown is one considered to be grown in the canopy of taller, shade trees. These trees can be a variety of species and with a variety of sparseness and heights. Shade grown coffees do not have to be organically produced.

Bird Friendly: Coffees produced in a shade canopy that offers habitats for native and migratory bird populations are considered Bird-Friendly™. These coffees, generally, are organically produced.

The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) has developed a set of strict criteria for evaluating shade coffee farms. An independent, third party inspector determines whether a farm meets these criteria or not. Only those farms that also meet organic certification standards are eligible to be certified as “Bird-Friendly”™ companies.

Fair Trade:  In its simplest form, Fair Trade means that the producer of the coffee received a price sufficient to cover their costs of production and provide a reasonable return on their invested capital.  The words “fair-trade’ are used by several different organizations that may or may not be governed by FLO (the Fair Labeling Organization International) which provides guidance and audit trails to ensure the price paid to the producer is indeed fair.  Each organization can define their criteria for certifying.

Rainforest Alliance: The Rainforest Alliance (“TRA”) works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.  The Rainforest Alliance works with people, whose livelihoods depend on the land, helping them transform the way they grow food, harvest wood and host travelers. From large multinational corporations to small, community-based cooperatives, TRA involve businesses and consumers worldwide in  efforts to bring responsibly produced goods and services to a global marketplace where the demand for sustainability is growing steadily.

Utz Kapeh: UTZ CERTIFIED is a world-wide coffee certification program. (UTZ means “good” in a Mayan language). UTZ CERTIFIED’s mission is to set the world standard for socially and environmentally responsible coffee production and sourcing. The UTZ CERTIFIED program answers two important questions:  where does the coffee come from and how was it produced.  They provide a means for transparency of production and distribution while promotion sustainable farm practices from environment, social and economic perspectives.

For any coffee information, please give us a call at 800-835-5943. We’d be glad to answer any additional questions. Special thanks to the organizations for providing material on their certifications.

Mike Adams
Stockton Graham & Co.

Holiday Season To-Do List for Specialty Beverage Retailers

In reviewing some of the trade journals that come across my desk, I noticed a listing of key things to look at for the holiday season.  I thought they were helpful to keep in mind during this busy retail time.  I modified them a bit for a specialty coffee retail establishment.  Not all inclusive, but  if nothing else, I hope this encourages you to develop your own action item list for your store.

November 1.  Review holiday merchandise and food orders for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah.  Include seasonal coffees and point of purchase coffees.

November 4.  Make sure all seasonal point of sale materials have been ordered and are on their way, if not in already.   Make plans to hold an open house or mini-tastings throughout the season to help introduce customers to your offerings for the season.

November 9. Complete hiring plans for the season. Do you have all new help or returning help?  Do you have training programs ready? If you need more information on Stockton Graham’s Coffee College courses or our Barista Certification Program, contact your Customer Care Associate at 800.835.5943.

November 11.  Make sure Thanksgiving coffee signage is  up.  It’s a great time for your customers to arrive at Thanksgiving dinner with a bag of their favorite coffee from your store. Work with your staff on upsellng those items.

November 18.  One week before Thanksgiving.  Place coffee orders to arrive in time for customer pick-up.

November 26.  Thanksgiving Day!

November 27.  Change out November decor and POS and put up the December items.  Review December merchandise, food and coffee orders.

December 12.  Hanukkah starts and runs through Dec. 19. All our coffees are Kosher certified.

December 1 through December 24.  Sample, sample, sample holiday food, coffees and merchandise!

December 26.  Start your seasonal mark downs to move out holiday specific merchandise.

December 31.  New Years Eve.  Celebrate!

January 3. Time for the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Evaluate what worked, what flopped and what, with some improvement, could be better next year.

Jeff Vojta, Co-founder & CEO
Stockton Graham & Co.