Winter Weatherize Your Business

The warmth from the oven seemed to permeate the out-of-doors over Thanksgiving weekend here in Raleigh, where Stockton Graham & Co.’s warehouse is located. But the Central part of the U.S. had a different winter weather story. Stockton Graham & Co. Raleigh roaster winter weather info

Winter Storm Delphi dumped heavy snow, sleet and freezing rain from the Plains into the Upper Midwest, creating dangerous travel conditions. The storm impacted deliveries for some of our customers in places such as Minneapolis/St. Paul, Sioux City, Iowa, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Delphi gave us a clue as to what to expect this winter whether your business is located in Minneapolis, Oregon, Florida or North Carolina. According the National Weather Service, the South and Southeast are expected to see colder than average temperatures from December through February, which means any precipitation in Raleigh could lead to debilitating snow and ice storms.

“The unusual strength and east-based location or “flavor” of the El Niño event suggests that a very warm 1982-83 or 1997-98 winter is quite possible, with highest confidence for a mild winter across the northern Plains and Pacific Northwest and highest confidence for a cooler winter across the south-central U.S.,” said Dr. Todd Crawford of Weather Service International.

If weather becomes too extreme, shipments from our vendors like Torani from the West Coast can be delayed. Here in Raleigh, if there is snow and ice on the roads, our staff cannot get to the roasting facilities and warehouses to process your orders. And, of course, FedEx and our other freight carriers will be at a stand-still if their large trucks cannot pass on the icy roads anywhere from Raleigh to your business.

We want your business to be prepared in the event of winter weather. Here are a few tips from our Customer Care Team:

Stock Up: Have at least one extra week of essentials like coffee and cups on hand so if shipments are delayed, your business can still operate.

Order Earlier: Place your orders on Monday or Tuesday so they don’t sit in trucks or on tarmacs over the weekend. This is particularly important if you are ordering sugar-free syrups, as those tend to freeze easily and can explode if left in the cold over the weekend.

Track Orders: All shippers offer tracking either by email or text or both. Sign up to receive automatic tracking on all your orders so you’ll know whether, say, an ice storm in Omaha will effect your delivery in Seattle.

All of us at Stockton Graham & Co. wish you a very safe and successful winter.

New from Monin at Stockton Graham & Co.

This month Monin has released 2 great new flavors and has the Fall & Winter merchandising kits going out!

French Vanilla and Salted Caramel have now been added to the lineup of premium syrups from Monin. Salted Caramel combines the indulgence of caramel with a salt accent that is versatile in many applications. The French Vanilla Syrup is a bold and fragrant option for lattes and coffees. French Vanilla is a compliment to the popular Monin Vanilla line.

Monin supplies a complimentary beverage merchandising kit to promote specialty beverages made with their products in your business. The 2012-2013 Fall & Winter kit you can find 10 recipe cards featuring the three seasonal flavors in the box: Spiced Brown Sugar, Frosted Mint and White Chocolate.
The Promotional materials included are:

  • Counter Cards (8 themed with the recipe cards)
  • Acrylic Sign Holder for counter cards
  • 5×7 Window Cling “Flavor You Day with Monin”
  • The Poster Kit includes (optional order): 4 double sided posters matching 8 counter cards.

You can get the merchandising kit shipped with your next order, by requesting one from your Customer Care Associate. If you want to receive a Monin merchandising kit every time they come out , please visit and sign-up today.

New Monin Seasonal Merchandising Kits Now Available

Great news! The Monin Merchandising Kits designed especially for the fall and winter months are shipping soon. If you haven’t received a confirmation email that yours is automaticlaly shipping, please visit and sign-up today.

With signature recipes like the Sugar N’ Spice Latte, Harvest Cinnamon Cider and Chocolate Stout Latte, you will be sure to please your guests and increase seasonal sales!

The Merchandising Kit includes:

• 10 Signature Recipe Cards created by the Monin Beverage Innovation Team
• 8 Counter Cards for table top or register promotion
• 1 Acrylic Counter Sign Holder

The Poster Kit includes (optional order):
• 4 Double-sided Beverage Posters for window or wall display

Also, be sure to order all of your favorite seasonal flavors, like Pumpkin Spice, from Stockton Graham!

Best wishes for seasonal success!

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.