Fun Mother’s Day Promotions

As Mother’s Day approaches, how are you going to treat all the Moms that walk in your door? Here are some of our promotional ideas to run in your shop to make Moms feel extra-special!

– Bring in your mother and receive buy one get one ½ off drinks (of equal or lesser value)
– Moms gets a free flavor shot since she’s been “oh, so sweet”
– Create a Mother’s Day Signature drink like a sweetheart latte with white chocolate and a cherry
– Offer a free pastry/snack item with purchase of 2 specialty lattes/beverages
– Offer discounted giftcards over mother’s day weekend
– Hold a giftcard raffle for people who bring their mother into the café


Get ready for Cinco De Mayo with All New Jet Margarita!

Get your Fiesta going with the all new Jet Margarita and Jet Margarita Lite… Perfect for a standard or alcoholic frozen beverage, this satisfying treat with have you partying like you’re south of the border!

Margarita Smoothie
16 fl. oz.

1. 8 fl. oz. Jet Margarita
2. 16 oz. cup filled with ice.

Frozen Cocktail
16 fl. oz.

1. 6 fl. oz Jet Margarita
2. 2 fl. oz. liquor
3. 16 oz. cup filled with ice.

-All-natural flavors
-Made with real sugar
-Featuring real fruit juices
-No preservatives
-Shelf-stable prior to opening
-No need to thaw

Tips for Retail Success This Holiday Season and Throughout the year!

Last year, I was fortunate to attend the 2010 Coffee Fest in Seattle, WA. Aside from having a fantastic time walking the showroom floor, I was also able to sit in on some educational lectures presented by professionals in the coffee industry. One of the guest speakers I was able to hear from was Bruce Milletto, President of Bellissimo Coffee InfoGroup and former retail shop owner. This lecture in particular focused on Milletto’s list of 12 essentials when it comes to running a successful coffee shop in this day in age. I found this discussion extremely interesting and would imagine that his recommendations would provide valuable insight to our customers while preparing for the most popular retail season of the year!

1. The first and one of the most important points he discussed was proper business planning. Bruce said that this is key in any business and especially in the coffee industry. Milletto stressed the importance of understanding where the industry has come from, where it is heading, planning and analyzing your financial potential carefully and setting both short and long-term goals.

2. The second point he covered was understanding coffee itself. Those who just jump into the industry prematurely can get into trouble fast! As an owner, Bruce explained it is essential that you understand the nuances of coffee from seed to cup, including origins, growing practices, certification, roasting and proper preparation.

3. The third essential is location. As an owner, it is important to determine a location that will bring in foot traffic, provide you with the work space that you need, and is easy to find. Bruce also mentioned how important it is to make sure the lease you sign is a good one, because signing the wrong lease can be catastrophic to your business.

4. The next topic Bruce pointed out was a strong ergonomic design. It is important that your design works for both you and your customer’s needs. You don’t want it too small that your baristas are running into each other, but you still want to allow your customers to feel cozy, and not lost in cafeteria-sized café.

5. The fifth essential is creating a unique and appealing ambiance. From your menu to your lighting, it is important that you set yourself apart from the chains. Create an atmosphere to attract the client you want to attract.

6. The sixth essential is merchandising and presentation. What else can you sell to help your bottom line? Mints, T-shirts and mugs are just a few ideas to help boost your sales and diversify your product list.

7. The seventh essential on Bruce’s list is your menu. You should select your items and recipes carefully, and keep in mind what your competitors are serving. It is also important to display your items, whether it’s on pictures on the menu, or on display on the front counter. Show your customers what you serve!

8. Next on the list is hiring the right employees. This may be one of the most important essentials on the list. When you hire, consider appearance, work ethic, maturity and attitude. Do they have a strong understanding for coffee, and can they teach your customers? According to Bruce, this is the biggest mistake that operations make!

9. The ninth on the list is customer service. You as an owner need to lead and teach your employees by example. Get behind the bar and show them how to properly serve a customer, from the greeting, to the money exchange. Always focus on the customer’s needs first and foremost!

10. The tenth essential is managing your business. This may seem obvious; however, it is up to you as an owner to see that quality service is produced. Stay on top of your baristas, manage waste and watch for theft. Make sure that your employees are meeting your expectations throughout the shop.

11. Next on the list of essentials is your marketing. Nowadays it is absolutely imperative to have your own website, Facebook, twitter, etc. Create promotions that work in your specific situation. POS is also a great way to advertise your product, and it should be used to its fullest potential.

12. Last but not least, the twelfth essential on the list is operational systems, and budget and cost controls. Create systems for both employees and management, including a manual to read and sign upon employment. This is a positive way to learn and understand company policies and procedures. As and owner, know your cost of goods and keep an eye on all operating expenses.

Bruce is confident that if you are on top of every area, you will succeed. He reminded us that people will not stop drinking coffee, or having a need for a third place (hopefully YOUR coffee shop), so stay positive! It is more important now than ever to operate smart and plan accordingly. Hopefully Bruce’s list of 12 business essentials will provide you with some helpful tips as you continue to strive forward in this fast growing and thrilling industry.

Matt Hogan
Stockton Graham & Co.

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!

More Ways to Go Green in Your Cafe

A few weeks ago, we discussed the benefits of going green in your café. Some of the examples we touched on were, offering Stockton Graham & Co.’s NCompass coffees, switching to paperless invoices and keeping your equipment clean! Today we are going to expand on that and cover a few more ways to help your shop better serve the community as well as the environment.

Use Mugs!
One of the easiest ways to cut down on waste is to eliminate it from your shop all together. Many cafes are removing all paper cups from their shops and are switching to ceramic mugs that are easily washable and can be used time, and time again. Not only does it give your café that fancy touch, but serving your coffee in custom mugs with your shop name or logo on it is also a great way to advertise your business. If you wish to stay with paper products, you could encourage and reward customers for bringing in their own mugs to drink out of for a discount of around ten cents off their drink total. This helps to reduce the number of cups in the trash!

Biodegradable or Post-Consumer Recyclable Products!
Just about any paper product in your café can be replaced with a greener equivalent. This includes all cups, sleeves, napkins and more. This allows all of these products that end up in landfills (or those stragglers that don’t make it into a trashcan) to naturally decompose to help keep the environment green, even when we forget to. If you are interested in inquiring or learning more about biodegradable products for your café, give us a call and we will be happy to assist you!

Reuse your Coffee Grounds!
As a coffee shop owner, you know how much coffee grounds are left over every day, but the question is, what do you do with them? If you are just throwing them away, you might as well make them useful. Coffee grounds happen to be very acidic, so they are a great fertilizer for acid-loving plants. If you have plants such as roses or azaleas in or outside of your shop, coffee grounds will help your plants look better than ever!

Install Efficient Lighting!
Lighting your shop is just about the only source of energy that you cannot tone down, turn off or unplug while open for business. Your lights are always on, and constantly spinning your electric meter. Other than serving your customers in the dark, your next best alternative is utilizing energy efficient lighting. Compact florescent lights last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, and use around 70 percent less energy too. Having CFL bulbs installed in your shop will help to slow down that meter and significantly lower your power bill!

Going green not only helps make your community a better place, but it shows your customers you are being responsible. In today’s world customers notice qualities like that and in return, offer you their business. For more tips on how to improve the environment and your bottom line, give SGC a call today!

Also feel free to review our customer success tools for more ideas on ways to save!

Matt Hogan
Stockton Graham & Co.

How Can Your Cafe Benefit from Going Green?

One of the most enjoyable perks of summer is the fact that you can spend so much time outdoors. To say, “Thanks” to Mother Nature, we can do the responsible thing and make an effort to be a little greener. Nowadays, an ecofriendly lifestyle can be found almost anywhere, even in your coffee shop. Green cafes are increasing in popularity all over the country, and it is a great way to attract customers by showing them that you are making an effor to help make the environment a better place for everyone.

For those who like the idea of going green, but also think it will require a lot of extra time, effort and money, think again. Going green is not only beneficial to the environment, but it can be done at little to no cost or extra effort to you. Here are some helpful tips on how to keep both the environment and your wallet green.

Offer Stockon Graham’s NCompass Coffees

SGC’s NCompass Coffees are roast-to-order “sustainable coffees” that are certified or verified by an accredited third party as organic, fair trade, Rainforest Alliance, shade grown and more. We offer single-origin varietals and blends with a variety of organic and fair trade certifications. A lack of preservatives is not only good for your coffee, but it is also good for the environment, so to learn more about NCompass or inquire about samples, give us a call!

Switch to Paperless Invoices

Stockton Graham & Co. has been offering paperless invoicing for a few years now, and it is a great way to cut down on extra paper use. We can send you a digital copy of your invoice to any preferred email with one click of the mouse, so if you are not already signed up to receive your invoices via email, be sure to ask your customer care representative the next time you place your order, and they will be happy to update your information.

Keep your Equipment Clean

So maybe it’s not in your budget to shell out the money for new, high-efficiency appliances, but there’s no reason you can’t make sure the appliances you have are operating at peak performance. Keeping your grinders, blenders, brewers etc. clean, is not only saver, but it will allow your equipment to run much more efficiently, as well as help to secure the longevity of your equipment and to cut down on your power bill each month.

Offer Recycling!

With the amount of plastic and glass that you and your customers go through, make sure there are designated recycling bins in your shop. If you only have trashcans, you haven’t allowed your customers an opportunity to separate their trash from recyclables.

These are just a few ways that you can make your café a little “greener”. To many people, a green business is a responsible business and those are often the establishments they choose to offer their business to. With little effort and cost, you can really make an impressive change that will allow you to feel better about making a positive impact on the environment and make your bottom line go up, whether it is cutting down on some of your normal costs, or by bringing new customers in the door!

Matt Hogan
Stockton Graham & Co.

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.