As the year 2020 started, we were positive, motivated, and ready for the best year ever!
As multi award winning coffee roasters, we had a healthy and growing portfolio of wholesale partnerships and successful Café’s that we supplied, and we had just embarked on an exciting new arm of our business, the much anticipated “Online Retail Store”, showcasing a considerable range of specialty single origin coffee’s. We launched our Barista School, complete with a fully equipped “hands on” Training Room, which was well patronised and operating weekly.
By the end of the first quarter, our in-house Café and Roastery was to launch along with so many exciting plans for the new year….our entire King Carlos Coffee vision was humming along nicely and our plans rolled out just as we had projected.
Then came March 2020 which threw a spanner in the works, a big spanner.
As a small and agile team, we were quick to come together and figure out what our game plan was going to look like moving forward because we knew things were changing…fast!
It was time to grab the white board and markers as we needed to re-think and complete an immediate SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) . We dedicated our efforts to reappraising our current business model, how (and who) could be affected, then spent the considerable time “shifting gears” to arrive at a completely different business model, and balancing our efforts according to the ever-changing trends and movements governed by the continuous flow of COVID-19 news bulletins
As a business owner, the first instinct for Carlos was communication with our wholesale partners and Café’s to see how they are managing with this hugely impactful change, then assess what King Carlos Coffee can do to support them. It was a tough time for our Café partners relying on face to face patrons coming in for their daily coffee or lunch with friends or family, but we knew there needed to be a change; if any of us where going to survive.
About 15 years ago, the Carlos journey started in the Café business, successfully owning and operating a number of Café’s…for him, switching to “Café Owner Mode” and planning how to adapt as a business and adjust to our new Covid normal, was how he was able to successfully support our Café partnerships.
Shortly prior to Covid we had only just launched our Online Retail shop, which was early stages. As we kept watching the constant news coverage, it became obvious more and more people were staying home and naturally people’s routine shifted from buying the morning coffee on your way to work to making the morning coffee at home.
Although we previously started to expand our brand into specialty coffee and our online store, Covid really had taught us to become agile. We listened to what customers wanted and we were able to draw focus to online retail coffee with discounted “Work From Home Packs” – the world has essentially turned upside down and the least we could do is have good coffee to get us through.
Surprisingly, this part of the business really took us on an amazing and unexpected journey, not only with customers wanting coffee at home but really delving into the world of specialty coffee.
For the last 5 years, Carlos had spent time building relationships with coffee growers all over the world and establishing a trust where farmers would grow, harvest and process unbelievably amazing coffee for us, therefore allowing us to roast and offer our retail customers, high grade premium specialty coffee.
We secured phenomenal green beans and we offered education behind the story of each region and farmer. Our coffee growing partners were humbled and our customers were intrigued and had a newfound appreciation for the coffee that they had purchased with such a remarkable background story behind it.
As timing proved to be on our side, there was no better time to proudly stock our shelves with the largest premium specialty coffee which has won multiple awards from coffee competitions all over the world. Each year Carlos only enters two coffees in competitions, why?
For us, it is about showcasing the quality of the coffee and recognising the hard work, passion and respect the farmers have for their crop. We now have our:-
- Wholesale business; and
- Our retail outlet
... and very soon we will be reopening our educational classes. Lastly, we will be opening our doors to our much-anticipated Café Roastery welcoming you to join us for a coffee and the whole coffee experience.
Follow King Carlos Coffee on our social media platforms to follow our story and we hope to be sitting at our Roastery Headquarters soon, enjoying a coffee with you.