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Coffee Wholesaler advice

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  • Coffee Wholesaler advice

    Hi Guys,

    Have been on this forum for a month or so now and truly loving it. I also happen to manage a caffe in Malvern that has been there for about 15 years and has a great reputation for their coffee. There has been a recent change of management as the previous owners were not very focussed on the coffee itself.

    We are doing around 40-45kgs a week an are using Coffico (reading around the forum, i believe this would attract much hatred). The customers love our coffee but this can be mainly attributed to our super talented barista and not the beans/equipment themselves.

    I have suggest changing our coffee to Zest Coffee from Berwick as they are extremely passionate about what they do, help their customers grow with them and are liked by many on this forum.

    Do you guys think it is the right move? Would love to hear your suggestions.

  • #2
    Welcome to CS.

    Thinking laterally.....

    I've been looking in on CS almost since its inception but I dont think I've ever seen any reference to Coffico...but of course you cant read everything...

    From my own point of view then, I cant see why you would make that reference (...Coffico - reading around the forum, i believe this would attract much hatred...") ???

    You follow with "...the customers love our coffee...". Baristas come and go. So what is the problem with the coffee and equipment? Is the coffee (beans) good or not? Is it that it doesnt appear to you after reading stuff in the forum, to be the "politically correct" type stuff? Is having a different brand espresso machine on the bench going to improve what's in the cup?

    Why would you want to change away from someone that hopefully, is doing you good product, equipment and the whole service package in toto? Do you think they dont care about what they do, or you as a client? Are you dissatisfied with the level of service or how you are treated as a client? If that is the case, dont blame the coffee or equipment.... Have you discussed with your supplier and given them a chance?

    You said "...a recent change of management...." That presumably means you've inherited them as the encumbent supplier and there hasnt been any time for anyone to develop any goodwill with eachother.

    I think for better or worse you should give them a chance and be upfront, let them know how you are feeling (whatever that is and why) and give them an opportunity to perform, and then you will be able to make up your own mind as to what is best for your business.

    Hope that helps./


    • #3
      Welcome to CS!

      Are you nominating Zest because of your research? Have you delved below the facade of their website?

      If someone is making certain statements on their site, what is the flip side to that statement, is it spin?

      Reading the blurb on anyone's website is not research, (but will provide contact details for you to visit them and give them the 3rd degree).

      When choosing a roaster for the first , second or more times it is important to develop and enunciate a

      coffee philosophy that is understood by you, is particular to you, your customers and (in your case) the owners of the café.

      What is your criteria for a 'good roaster'?

      Do your research.

      If your business is doing 40+ kgs / week, a change should not be taken lightly but done for a clear

      and logical reason.

      It's not the first time that a change in management has brought about change in supply but heed TOK's words carefully;

      if you make a change and then become unhappy with your choice, you may alienate and possibly lose your customers and gain a reputation

      amongst roasters of being a butterfly, especially if you cycle through two, three or more roasters in a short period of time.

      Have you considered buying or rent/buying (i.e. SilverChef) your own equipment and by doing so take more ownership and

      control over your coffee business?

      Remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch and provision of machinery comes at a cost.

      Above all, inform yourself, make sure that the owners of the business are the ones driving the change;

      if you recommend change and it doesn't may be out of a job!


      • #4
        And so as not to to leave anything to chance...

        The questions I asked above are not for you to reply publicly, they are for you to personally consider. The last thing I would want is to be the cause of a public dissing of some unsuspecting supplier.

        Another way of looking at some of chokkidogs excellent points, is to consider this: After a short while you should have been able to suss at least part of what the encumbent supplier's overall level of support to you is going to be. There is a lot more to it than the beans and some brand machine. Unless you actually get a reply from someone in here that uses the other supplier in a cafe supply situation, whatever anyone elses opinion is about the coffee doesnt help you much. Its only one part of a total package of business support.

        Hope that helps.


        • #5
          Some Great advice.

          Thank you so much, will delve deeper on what you guys said and get back with any updates.