We wanted to use coffee to help put meals on peoples’ tables, and so we decided to source incredible fairly-traded coffees, roast them fresh to order, and give back locally: For every pound of coffee we sell, we donate 10 lbs of food to a local food bank. To date, we have donated over half a million pounds in food donations!
So far, through this innovative model, we have been able to provide over 450,000 pounds of food to food banks up and down California-just from people drinking great coffee.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
We started selling at a booth at our local farmer’s market back in 2008. Back then, we were thrilled when we were able to sell 20 bags of coffee in an evening.
Today, we sell direct to consumer through our web store, as well as wholesale to cafes.
Shopify has given our web store a much-needed boost and we are seeing a much higher rate of sales to consumers since we switched our store platform.
Tell us about the back-end of your business. What tools and apps do you use to run your store? How do you handle shipping and fulfillment?
Since we rotate our coffee offerings seasonally, we love how easy it is to update product. What used to take me an hour on our old platform now takes just a couple of minutes. This allows us to keep our store current, and avoids the awkward customer communications when we're out of stock on a product.
We also love the list of orders on the back end of our web store. It ensures that we don’t miss any orders, and that our customers are happy.
We have lots of repeat business, and are interested in learning more about apps that sync with our Endicia and Quick Books Online in order to further streamline our operations.
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
Shopify helps bring a level of professionalism to your brand, and is so easy to use on the back end that it makes running your store virtually hassle-free.
Add that to the fact that Shopify automatically pays out in regular increments so you don't have to worry about transferring money around from various merchant services to your bank, and you're all set!