Whole Beans at your Coffee Shop

Whole Beans at your Coffee ShopAre you selling coffee as whole beans in your café? You should be.

Whole bean 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!

Survey says...

So, what type of revenue can a retail program bring in? The Specialty Coffee Association found in a study 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 beans 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.

Loyalty equals guaranteed sales

Apart from an increase in 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.

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 beans program as an up sell. 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 about all the blend components, origins, taste profiles, etc.

Stockton Graham & Co. recommends our specialty coffee brand Dilworth Coffee for customers looking to add a whole bean program. Started in 1989 in Charlotte NC, Dilworth Coffee is one of the leading independent coffee brands in North Carolina, according to a 2016 study by Mintel.

To learn more about ways to succeed in your store or coffee shop, call 800 835 5943 or email orders@stocktongraham.com.

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.