Build your Business: Bulk & Retail Coffee Programs

Are you selling whole bean coffee in your café? You should be. Bulk coffee 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!

So what type of revenue can a retail program bring in? The National Coffee Association found in 2000 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 bean 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.

Apart from an increase on 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.

So 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 bean program as an upsell. 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 on all of the blend components, origins, taste profile, etc.

Here at Stockton Graham & Co. we can supply all of our coffees in six count cases, of either 12oz. or 16oz. retail packaged bags, so you don’t have to do a thing! We can also provide custom and private labeling, along with point of sale material, to help grab your customer’s eye, each time they walk in the door! For more information or for additional tips on building your retail coffee program, give us a call at 1.800.835.5943, and your customer care associate will be more than happy to assist you!

Click here to read more about our custom and private labeling. Click here to see more on the point of sale materials Stockton Graham & Co. can offer you!

Matt Hogan
Stockton Graham & Co.

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.

Featured Seasonal Coffees for the 1st Quarter of 2012

Stockton Graham & Co. is excited to announce that our featured coffees for the First Quarter of 2012 are Bananas Foster and Mocha Java Blend, two of our most popular coffees at the beginning of the year. These coffees are part of our seasonal program, which includes marketing and point-of-sale advertising materials.

What better way to celebrate the Mardi Gras season than with an original New Orleans creation. Bananas, ice cream, brown sugar & rum were first combined in a flambé at Brennan’s restaurant in New Orleans, Louisana – 1951. Take just one sip of Bananas Foster coffee, and your taste buds will whisk you straight to the heart of the Big Easy.

Mocha Java is one of the oldest coffee blends in the world, first created by Dutch merchants trading between Africa and Indonesia in the 17th century. Our version incorporates traditional Ethiopian and Sumatra varietals for the most desirable flavor traits. Mocha Java features a berry-like aroma, a silky body and a rich full mouth feel that coffee lovers expect from traditional African and Indonesian origins.

POP Materials:
Upon ordering these holiday specials, you will have access to plenty of marketing support materials, which includes counter cards, shelf talkers and attractive retail packaging specifically developed for the 2011 holiday season. If you want your customers to get excited about the season, this is certainly the way to do it without spending any extra money. What do you have to lose?

Tips for Selling:
• Have fun with this promotion and be sure to suggestively sell it
• Offer sales incentives to staff, i.e., movie passes or mall gift cards
• Consider offering a free ¼ lb. with the purchase of other retail coffee
• Offer $1 off for the first few weeks of the feature
• Make sure to incorporate the features in your brewed coffee rotation
• Brew and taste each feature to educate your staff
• Be prepared to give a description of the coffee when customers ask
• Consider putting out an airpot with sample cups on busy mornings

The Featured Coffees for the Spring Season will be _______________________________________________________
More information is coming soon!

Reid Jackson
Stockton Graham & Co.

All New Mighty Leaf Display Rack!

Available now, Stockton Graham & Co. is proud to introduce the all new foodservice tea display rack from Mighty Leaf! Now sporting a sleek black interface and an improved tin system, the redesigned display rack will be sure to catch you customer’s eyes faster than ever. The new display racks are in stock now, highlighting these new features:

Bold New Interface: The redesigned rack is much more prominent with a sharp new look, to help your tea selection stand out!

Interlocking Tins: The new tins are now able to snap together so you can categorize or position them as you please!

Easy Grab Dispensers: Each tin now has a fastened dispenser at the bottom, so you can grab some tea on the fly when things at the shop get a little crazy!

Color Coding System: Mighty Leaf has assigned a label color for each genre of tea (black, green, herbal infusion, etc.), to help your customers and employees easily differentiate!

Two Different Sizes: The display racks are currently available in the eight count size, and coming this November, a 12 count rack will be available!

Tidy Up Your Tea Display With The Mighty Leaf Refurbishment Kit

With the temperature dropping and the holidays right around the corner, be sure to freshen up your shop for the last few months of the year! Available November 1st, Stockton Graham & Co. is offering Mighty Leaf refurbishing kits, upon request, with all Mighty Leaf orders. At no additional charge, each kit will contain replacement tin labels for all 15 flavors as well as the latest point-of-sale materials. In the next few months, tea sales should really be picking up, so be sure to have your tea display looking its best! The fourth quarter is typically the most profitable quarter of the year, so take advantage of this free opportunity while it lasts!

It is no surprise that smoothies and other frozen drink sales will begin to decline during the fall and winter months, but tea can be the perfect upsell to fill in the gaps! So if your current Mighty Leaf display rack has seen better days, now is the time to clean it up by adding flashy, new, eye catching replacement labels and other marketing materials to draw new customers in and keep them coming back for more!

For more information on the Mighty Leaf refurbishing kit, or on how to update your other merchandising materials, give us a call today and one of our customer care associates will be more than happy to assist you!

Tips: January is National Hot Tea Month, so promoting a “house tea” or a “tea of the week” leading up until then could really stimulate your customers’ interest in tea this fall and winter!

Stockton Graham & Co. and Big Train Introduce New Smoothie Ideas!

Customers are always looking for something new and improved, and smoothie customers have had their fair share of the cheap smoothie blues. Luckily, while many of the large chains were bombarding the market with strawberry lemonade and coconut mocha, Big Train was cooking up some, high quality versions of the recipes that your customers require. Along with some specially developed marketing materials and posters, we hope that these new recipes will help your coffee shop compete at a higher level than the major chains.
Big Train has put coconut mocha and strawberry lemonade smoothies at the forefront of their advertising campaign. Using many of the same ingredients that you may already have, you can create a higher quality smoothie program without investing lots of money on advertising. Posters, sampling cups & recipe cards among many other marketing materials are at your disposal, free of charge. This leaves you with time to focus on the part that really matters, quality. Toppings, fresh fruit slices & personal touch will put you on top. At the end of the day, quality will bring customers away from the faster, albeit less personal competition.

The foundation of this smoothie program is naturally the Big Train Fruit Tea Blast product line, of which coconut, strawberry & lemonade are featured. Utilizing Stockton Graham & Co.’s mix and match style ordering, you can order one case containing each of these flavors as a way to launch the program. Even the best ideas don’t work everywhere, so take advantage of our low order minimums and test this smoothie program in your shop to see if it will keep your customers coming back.

For more information about our smoothie offerings, click here
For more information about blenders and equipment, click here
Or call us at 800.835.5943 and speak with one of our customer care associates.

Sneak Preview of Monin Spring/Summer 2011 Merchandising Kits

The new Monin Spring/Summer Merchandising Kit for core coffee clients is currently being built. Look for this new kit to arrive around April 1st.

The featured drink recipes are:

Sunshine Mocha: Iced Mocha, featuring Monin Dark Chocolate Sauce and Candied Orange Syrup
Chocolate Mint Frappe: Frozen Frappe, featuring Monin Dark Chocolate Sauce and the option of Monin Frosted Mint, Peppermint or Green Mint Syrup
Spiced N’ Iced Praline Latte: Iced latte, featuring Monin Spiced Brown Sugar and Praline Syrup
Peach Melba Latte: Iced latte, featuring Monin Strawberry, Vanilla and Peach Syrups
Chilled Mango Chai: Iced Chai Tea, featuring Monin Mango Syrup and Chai Tea Concentrate
Strawberry Cream Soda: Iced Cream Soda, featuring Monin Vanilla and Strawberry Syrup
Caramel Toffee Frappe: Frozen Frappe, featuring Monin Caramel Sauce and Toffee Nut Syrup
Iced Crème Macchiato: Iced latte, featuring Monin Vanilla Syrup and Caramel Sauce. Also available in a light version using Monin Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup
& Flavored Whipped Cream: Flavored whipped cream recipe, suggested flavors: Monin Vanilla, Frosted Mint, Peppermint, Green Mint, Spiced Brown Sugar, Toffee Nut and Praline Syrups

If you aren’t already signed up to automatically receive the new kits, please contact Stockton Graham & Co. at (800) 835-5943 to enroll FOR FREE.