Patriotic Recipes for Independence Day

Is there a better reason to celebrate than America’s birthday? Between the sun, fun and fireworks, customers will be dropping by your store for some refreshment (or maybe just some air conditioning) over the long Independence Day weekend.Independence Day Recipes

If your store’s #1 priority is coffee, there are several “independent”-themed coffee concepts to help you and your customer’s celebrate. And if you serve a wider variety of beverages, there are a host of patriotic ideas to try.

Either way, remember to get all your orders in early next week because there will be no freight movement and no product deliveries from Friday (July 3) through Monday (July 6). This includes both traditional overnight shippers like FedEx and larger pallet haulers like LPL. So orders placed next week on Thursday, July 2 that require shipping may not arrive to your shop before Wednesday, July 8.

If you pick up locally, we want to remind you that Stockton Graham & Co. will also be closed on July 3. Orders placed next week after 5pm on Wednesday, July 1 will not be filled until Monday.

So plan ahead to keep the celebration going with these patriotic drinks:

COFFEE-BASED IDEAS

Iced Caffe AmericanoIced Caffè Americano
2 oz Stockton Graham espresso
6 oz cold water
8 oz ice

Directions: Extract espresso into a cup as if you were making a double. Fill a 12-16 oz glass with ice. Pour water onto ice. Follow with espresso. Stir gently to maintain some crema.

Blueberry Strudel Coffee (Clever Drip)
24 grams of Stockton Graham dark roast coffee of your choice
400 grams of water heated to 195F
1.5 oz Torani Blueberry Syrup

Directions: Wet filter with hot water and discard it. Grind coffee to medium, and add it to filter. Dampen grounds with hot water and allow to bloom for 30 seconds. Carefully pour remaining hot water over grounds for 4 minutes. After coffee is extracted, swirl it gently and pour it over Torani syrup in serving cup. Enjoy.

Freedom FreddoFreedom Freddo
2 lungo shots of Stockton Graham espresso
4 oz cold milk
4 oz ice

Directions: Pour freshly extracted espresso over milk and ice in a blender.  Blend until ice is integrated into beverage. Consistency will be a thick iced coffee. Pour into short cold glass. Garnish with straw flag, if desired.

COFFEE-FREE IDEAS 

Patriotic LemonadeAll-American Lemonade
3/4 oz Monin Wild Raspberry Syrup
3 oz cranberry juice
4 oz lemonade
ice

Directions: Fill serving glass with ice. Add remaining ingredients. Cap and shake vigorously, or toss it between glasses. Garnish and serve.

Sparkling Summer Spritzer
2 oz DaVinci Gourmet Blue Caracoa Syrup
8 oz ice
6 oz soda water
(1 oz cream optional)

Directions: Combine ingredients in order, allowing to layer. Top with cherry flavored whipped cream.

Top with cherry-flavored whipped cream, if desired.
1 oz DaVinci Gourmet Cherry Syrup
7 oz of heavy whipping cream

Directions: Whip cream until it holds its shape but is not dry. Gently fold syrup into cream.

Torani Popsicles4th of July Pops
Recipe is for 1 pop. Multiply as needed. 
1 oz Torani Blue Raspberry Syrup
1 oz Torani Coconut Syrup
1 oz Torani Cherry Lime Syrup
¾ cups of water, divided in three

Directions: Combine Blue Raspberry Syrup in ¼ c of water and freeze in popsicle mold. Add Coconut Syrup to ¼ c of water and pour over frozen layer. Freeze. Add Cherry Lime Syrup to Cherry Lime Syrup and pour over frozen layers. Freeze and serve.

Strawberry Lemonade
3 oz water
3 oz Dr. Smoothie Lemon-ADE Concentrate
15 oz cup of ice

Swirl: 2 oz Dr. Smoothie Strawberry Concentrate

Directions: Mix first three ingredients, in the order listed above, and blend. Pour into a tall glass. Pour 2 oz of Dr. Smoothie Strawberry Concentrate on top and use a spoon to gently swirl the strawberry into the lemonade mixture.

True Blue CosmoTrue Blue Cosmo
2 oz citrus vodka
3/4 oz Monin Blue Curacao Syrup
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1 1/2 oz white cranberry juice

Directions: Combine ingredients in shaker in the order listed. Cap and shake vigorously. Strain into chilled serving glass. Garnish with lemon or blueberries. Serve immediately.

Strawberry Lemonade
3 oz water
3 oz Dr. Smoothie Lemon-ADE Concentrate
15 oz cup of ice
2 oz Dr. Smoothie Strawberry Concentrate

Directions: Mix first three ingredients in the order listed above and blend. Pour into a tall glass. Pour 2 oz of Dr. Smoothie Strawberry Concentrate on top and use a spoon to gently swirl the strawberry into the lemonade mixture. Serve immediately.

berry berry smoothieBerryBerry Smoothie
3 oz Dr Smoothie Berry Berry Blend
2 oz Dr Smoothie Strawberry
3 oz water
14 oz water
Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries as garnish

Directions: Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour into tall glass and garnish with berries.

To order coffee, syrups, lemonade or smoothie mix, call our Customer Care Associates at 800 835 5943.

Taste Kitchen Helps You Shake Up Your Menu for Profits

When it comes to running a specialty beverage business, cafe or coffee shop, there are few things more important that the quality of the espresso and the creativity of your menu. After all, your customers who spend time and money at your store are looking for an extraordinary experience that they can’t create themselves — either because they’re too busy with work and family or they don’t have the mad skills that you do.Taste Kitchen from Stockton Graham & Co.

Creating a stand-out menu will not only attract customers who live and work near your store, but it can also turn your shop into a beloved destination—and that can create a tremendous boost to profits.

To help our customers create a crave-worthy menu of their own, we just held our first-ever Taste Kitchen experience here at Stockton Graham & Co. During the two-week event, dubbed “Shake It Up!” we hosted several local coffee shops and specialty beverage businesses at our Raleigh, NC taste kitchen.

“Unlocking your creativity and shaking up your menu with fresh beverage ideas can excite both your staff and customers,” said Taste Kitchen host Thom Swain, Director for Southeast Business Development for Stockton Graham & Co. “Differentiating your summer drink menu from your competition and supporting it with a robust promotion can help you increase sales by $7k to $28k, with an ROI of 275% or higher.”

Denise Floyd, owner of Ollies in Wake Forest (213 S White St.), was one of the first local stores to jump at the Taste Kitchen opportunity. Denise sampled Lavender Lemonade, Churro Shake and Salted Caramel Iced Coffee and decided to put them on her menu a week later as Signature Drinks. They are terrific companions to her rotating and inventive food menu, which has featured fresh quiche, chilled Gazpacho Soup and yummy scones.Denise Floyd of Ollies in Wake Forest

“The creativity with the drinks was great and the ability to use this creativity to improve our bottom line and stay ahead of the trends is a real help,” said Denise Floyd, owner of Ollies in Wake Forest.

Staying Ahead of the Flavor Curve

An easy way to shake up your menu is to add beverages that juxtapose flavor trends from Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. Drinks with exotic, spiced and contrasting flavors are increasingly popular, such as salty caramel, gingery peach and tart creams. A second major trend is a customer preference toward healthy, antioxidant-rich ingredients like pomegranate, acai, spinach, Kombucha, coconut water, rooibos and Matcha green tea.

“We wanted to give our customers a comfortable place to experiment with unusual flavors so they could create signature drinks that set their shops apart from others nearby,” said Customer Care Associate and Taste Kitchen presenter Chris Bennett.

“In addition to the drinks we planned to demo at Taste Kitchen, our customers were able to create different and unique recipes with a wide variety of products we offer,” Bennett said. “They enjoyed mixing Stockton Graham’s fresh-roasted coffee with Torani syrups, for example—and then mixing MONIN and Torani syrups with Mighty Leaf teas, DaVinci Fruit Innovations Lemonade or Cafe Essentials Matcha Green Tea Latte.”

One of Chris’ customers, new coffee shop owner Yusif Sheikh of Jets Coffee in Cary Towne Center, was particularly excited by the Taste Kitchen opportunity.

“I enjoyed experimenting with the many product options demonstrated at Taste Kitchen. The recipes were really great and tasty. And it’s really helpful as a new entrepreneur to have a great relationship with my distributor and coffee roaster,” said Yusif Sheikh of Jets Coffee.

Focusing on What’s Best for Your Shop

Since Stockton Graham & Co. was founded by former coffee shop owners—and many of our staff has retail coffee experience either as shop owners, managers, franchisers or Taste Kitchen hosts Common Grounds Coffee Shopbaristas—we understand that each store is unique. And so we take a consultative approach to our customers’ businesses, helping owners focus on what’s best for their particular business model, store concept and location.

Taste Kitchen took that consultative approach a step further by working one-on-one with store managers to find recipes that would work best or them. Sue Finch, shop manager at Common Grounds Coffee in Hope Community Church (1000 Perimeter Park Suite A) in Morrisville, NC, was enthused by the personal attention to her shop’s needs and profitability.

“We came away with great ideas we can implement right away and Thom’s presentation of options made it easy to focus on what would be best for our business. He has a keen understanding of our business needs,” said Sue Finch, shop manager at Common Grounds Coffee Shop.

“We will continue to participate on future events,” Sue Finch said. ” The time we spent with Stockton Graham & Co. gave us time for creative thinking away from the shop.”

If you want to shake up your menu or learn more about how Stockton Graham can help you build  your business, call a Customer Care Associate at 800 835 5943.

Shake Up Your Menu for Summer

Want to shake up your menu for summer—and boost your store’s revenues?

Dozens of local shops said “Yes!” and joined us at the Stockton Graham &  Co. Taste Kitchen in Raleigh this week.

The theme of the Spring 2015 Taste Kitchen was “Shake it Up” because we focused on combining the products you probably already have at your shop in new and exciting ways.

Stockton Graham Kamikaze Matcha-FrappBy combining ingredients like Matcha Tea and Torani’s Sweet Heat, for example, Taste Kitchen participants learned how to increase their summer profits by as much as $7K- $28K with very little new training and no new equipment.

Creating drinks with influences from Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, favoring exotic, spiced and contrasting flavors will draw in more customers. This is all being sought out with an emphasis on less sugary, healthier options served as anything from traditional coffees to smoothies and gourmet teas.

Recipes from Taste KitchenDownload Taste Kitchen recipes now, and if you want to shake up your shop’s menu, call a Customer Care Associate at 800 835 5943 to get started.

Salted Caramel is Summer’s Biggest Flavor Trend

Salted caramel is busting out. Just yesterday, Vermont-based ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s announced a partnership with New Belgium Brewing Co. (which is not located in Brussels, but in Fort Collins, Colorado) to put its name on an ice cream-flavored beer. Not any ice cream-flavored beer, mind you. But a beer flavored with salted caramel and chocolate. The beer, which is called Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale, is currently scheduled be produced at the end of the year, according to Sean Greenwood, who is head of communications for Ben & Jerry’s. That is, unless the ice cream-flavored beer backlash doesn’t cause a change of plans.Stockton Graham Salted Caramel Iced Coffee

That announcement, which generated a flurry of media coverage, comes only a few weeks after Skippy announced the answer to our salty-and-sweet prayers. They’ll soon be shipping Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Spread with the tagline “Good Never Tasted So Good” to a supermarket near you.

The Twittersphere was giddy with excitement: “Will your inner foodie scream SKIPPY YIPPIE for our new Peanut Butter Spread with Salted Caramel?” the Skippy people posted. Since the announcement, their Twitter feed has been, um, salted with salted caramel recipes like Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Brownies, Banana Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Frosting and Three-Ingredient Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Cookies.

And then there’s celebrity chef and blogger Bren Herrera’s Salted Caramel Salted Caramel Popcorn with Honey Chipotle Jerky, which was inspired by the Today Show’s Al Roker and shared on the show’s food blog last month.

The other big celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, chimed in with a salted caramel mocha. According to Oliver, it is a marriage of rich, sweet chocolate and bold, bitter coffee with a hint of salty intensity that is “truly on another level.”

Perhaps the salted caramel trend was ignited in March at the 35th Annual Natural Products Expo West. No fewer than a dozen salted caramel options from brownies to bar snacks lined the booths at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. Chobani showed Flip Creations with Salted Caramel Crunch and Kellogg’s offered a new Special K Chewy Snack Bars in a salted caramel variety.

Luckily, Torani gives your shop a simple way to profit from the salted caramel craze. Perfect for frappes, espressos and steamed milk, the syrup’s buttery caramel kicks things off and its touch of saltiness appears at the end.

Here at Stockton Graham & Co., Salted Caramel Iced Coffee has become the go-to drink of the month. Made with Torani Salted Caramel and Stockton’s Ice Coffee Blend, which is roasted by Stockton Graham Coffees in Raleigh, NC, the light saltiness complement’s the coffee’s natural sweetness.

Here’s the recipe:

Salted Caramel Iced Coffee
7 oz.    Brewed Stockton’s Ice Coffee Blend
¾ oz.   Torani Salted Caramel Syrup
(Or caramel with a pinch of sea salt)
16 oz.  Ice
Milk or cream to taste

Directions: Add ice to cup. Pour in coffee followed by syrup. Adjust amount if customer wants milk. Stir vigorously and serve.

Brewing directions for Stockton’s Ice Coffee Blend can be found here.

Call 800.835.5943 to order Torani Salted Caramel Syrup or Stockton’s Ice Coffee Blend today!

Show Your Customers Some Love this Valentine’s Day!

Valentines day-imageThis year Valentine’s Day falls on Saturday, February 14, so your shop should have V-Day themed events and specials all week! Show your customers how much you care by giving them “Valentines”. Keep a few Valentines (aka coupons for discounted drinks) by the register to give out to regular and loyal customers all week.

Be sure to promote your Valentine’s day specials on your Social Media accounts, website and newsletters. You should also have posters, flyers, table toppers and chalk boards promoting any specials in your store. Make sure, as with any special event, your store is decorated to subtly remind your customers of the holiday and the specials they could take advantage of.

On Valentine’s Day, share the love by offering a special discounted  beverage all day! Or, have a small “treat” ready to show your appreciation like a small chocolate for each customer or a free flavor shot! You might also encourage those who have significant others to make visiting your shop part of their date night by offering a buy-one-get-one deal on drinks later in the evening!

Here are a few love-inspired drinks to try on this special holiday:

White Chocolate Raspberry Mocha
Ingredients:

  • 1 Pump white chocolate sauce
  • 2 Pumps raspberry syrup
  • 2 shots espresso
  • Steamed milk

Pull the shots directly into a cup containing the sauce and syrup, stir gently and add the steamed milk!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie
 Ingredients:
  • 5 oz. water
  • 3 oz. Dr. Smoothie Strawberry Concentrate
  • 3/4 (70cc) scoop of Chocolate frappe or iced hot chocolate mix
  • 16 oz. cup of ice
Add the ingredients in the order listed above and blend. Optional: Top with whipped cream, shaved chocolate pieces and a small strawberry.
Hot Cinnamon Twist White Mocha
Ingredients:
  • 3/4 oz. Monin Spicy Red Cinnamon Syrup
  • 1 oz.  White Chocolate Sauce
  • 2 shots of Espresso
  • 8 oz. milk
Tips: Garnish with a cinnamon stick and whipped cream.

Contact our Customer Care Department by calling 800.835.5943 for access to samples, POS Materials and more fun ideas.

See Past Valentine’s Day Blogs:
Roses are Red, Violets are Blue…
Valentine’s Day / Mardi Gras Coffee Drink Recipes!
Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras Promotions for your Coffee Shop!

Seasonal Planning For Your Coffee Shop

Sliders2While you are reading this blog, time is almost up on planning for any Valentine’s Day events your shop will be holding, even though the Christmas and New Year holidays have just passed! To properly market for an event, you should start planning well before a month in advance. This way you will get out the news with enough time for your customers to know what promotions to expect and look forward to!

First, you should sit down and plan a marketing strategy including events, emails, social media, in-store promotions, etc. Be sure to have social media posts going out every week the month before your seasonal promotion kicks in to remind your followers of what is coming. The week of the promotion, make sure you are posting pictures of customers taking advantage of the sale/discount/flavors and remind others to do so, as well! For example: if you are offering “Emerald Lattes” (Irish cream syrup flavored lattes) for half off on St. Patrick’s Day, post a picture of a fresh drink first thing on Facebook that day, then post a picture of the first customer to enjoy one on Instagram, etc.

Keep in mind for upcoming holidays to check your stock well in advance, and call your Customer Care Associate to place special orders if you are ordering a large amount of a product we may not carry in bulk year round. Also, allow time to get the product in order to avoid any mishaps causing you to not have the products you need for your event. In the St. Patrick’s Day example, if you are promoting half off “Emerald Lattes”, make sure you have more than enough Irish cream syrup for that day.

Special holidays are also a great time to check your equipment and give it a tune up. Proper and routine maintenance of equipment costs far less in the long-run than waiting to deal with the inevitable catastrophes that come along. Seasonal events are a great reminder to make sure your machines are working at their highest level, and show them a bit of love.

Call Stockton Graham & Co. at 800 835 5943 to speak with a Customer Care Associate if you need any help planning your seasonal menu, POS materials to support your holiday promotions, ordering products or have any other questions about how we can help build your business!

Also, check out this blog on seasonal trends for more ideas: Increase Sales Through Retail Coffee and Seasonal Drink Trends

You Have Great Coffee… What About Your Tea?

Tea guysPeople who open coffee shops or cafés are usually coffee enthusiasts who are passionate about their beans and their brews, but tend to not take tea seriously, leaving their tea drinkers with very few or low-quality options.

Although we aren’t “tea people,” we encourage our customers to offer premium teas that are on the same level of quality as their coffees. Being in the business of coffee, we hope our customers understand the importance of quality at all levels of the supply chain. The quality of coffee at origin will set the stage for its final taste. Hot Tea guyTea is similar to coffee in this way; the sourcing, processing and brewing of tea determines the flavor profile when it is brewed. Because of the similarities of the two products, the quality of tea reflects the overall quality of the business. Don’t neglect your tea drinkers.

A coffee shop with a full bar has all the equipment necessary to have a successful tea program. If you are a coffee shop with no tea program, you are missing out on business. According to the Tea Association of the U.S.A., over half of the American population is drinking tea on any given day. By catering to their tea drinkers, coffee shops drive more traffic and higher profits. If you are serving food options, iced teas helps up the average ticket price during lunch and afternoon day parts.

cold Tea guyWe have explored many different lines of tea and have assembled an all-star group of premium tea lines designed specifically for the specialty coffee business, including: Mighty Leaf, Two Leaves and A Bud, Paisley Brand and more. These brands are known for their quality and each offer an exceptional product to give options to the discriminating tea drinker.

Read more about our tea offerings below, and give your Customer Care Associate a call at 800 835 5943 if you are interested in receiving a sample:

 MightyLeaf-Wide
Mighty Leaf Tea is passionate about creating the most incredible handcrafted tea blends found anywhere and globally sourcing the finest ingredients available. Mighty Leaf Tea offers selections of the finest teas, including black, green, white, and herbal varieties, many of which are mélanges of fruit, spices and fragrant blossoms.
 TLAB_Kettle_300 Founded in 2005, Two Leaves and a Bud creates high-quality, single-origin teas. Their whole-leaf teas are handpicked and provide the fullest flavors possible with no fillers. Two Leaves and a Bud offers black, green, white and herbal varieties with unique selections like Alpine Berry, Organic Orange Sencha and White Peony.
 PaisleyCatalog_header Meet Two Leaves and a Bud’s “slightly hipper, younger sister.” Each box of Paisley tea includes 20 traditional paper teabags full of flavorful tea that brews up bold and fast. Good lookin’ and good tasting — Paisley is high-quality tea that you can afford! This range of 8 flavors has something for everybody, every day. Not to mention, Paisley Brand Tea is Organic, Fair Trade, Non-GMO, and Kosher. It’s one “value-able” tea!