Tag Archive for: specialty

by Greg Ubert

Start-up Strategies

Categories: 2014, AprilTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Oné of the first ques­tions poten­tial busi­ness own­ers ask is, “How much will it cost to open my cof­fee shop?”

Because every spe­cialty cof­fee busi­ness is dif­fer­ent, there is no sim­ple answer. Your costs will depend on the type of busi­ness, the price of retail space in your com­mu­nity, and many other variables.

Lets Get Started!
The first step is to decide what kind of busi­ness you want to open. Some com­mon types include a cof­fee house with drive-thru, a walk-in cof­fee house, or a strictly drive-thru cof­fee bar. Generally, the more square footage, the higher the cost of build-out.

At the same time, con­sider where you will oper­ate. Location can make or break your busi­ness. In most cases, your cof­fee shop should be on the drive side of a road with heavy morn­ing traffic.

Tailor your loca­tion search to the type of busi­ness. A cof­fee house with drive-thru requires up to 1,500 square feet in a retail strip or stand­alone build­ing. For a walk-in cof­fee house, you may need as lit­tle as 300 square feet in high-density loca­tion to 1,800 square feet with easy access to auto­mo­bile or walk-up traf­fic. For a cof­fee drive-thru, usu­ally 100–300 square feet will suffice.

Calculating Projected Sales
Once you’ve found poten­tial loca­tions, it’s time to run some num­bers. Calculating pro­jected sales weans out unprof­itable options. Count the num­ber of cars pass­ing dur­ing peak morn­ing hours. In a good loca­tion, you can expect about 1.5 per­cent of cars on the drive side to stop at your shop. You can also expect vis­its by five per­cent of those pass­ing by on foot. So if 10,000 cars and 500 pedes­tri­ans pass each morn­ing, expect vis­its from 175. For this arti­cle, we’ll use $4 as a con­ser­v­a­tive esti­mate for each pur­chase. (In real­ity, this fig­ure varies by mar­ket.) Daily sales would be $700, with monthly sales aver­ag­ing $21,000.

As a rule, your rent or mort­gage should take up no more than 15 per­cent of monthly sales. For a loca­tion gen­er­at­ing $21,000 in monthly sales, this means a max­i­mum of $3,150 in rent.

You must also account for build-out and equip­ment costs, which will be depre­ci­ated over time. It’s a good idea to hire an archi­tect or con­trac­tor for the build-out. These pro­fes­sion­als can esti­mate costs of plumb­ing, elec­tri­cal, heat­ing, and air con­di­tion­ing sys­tems, and they can help you nego­ti­ate to see whether the land­lord will finance any of the remod­el­ing expenses.

In terms of equip­ment, you’ll need a top-of-the-line espresso machine, espresso and cof­fee grinders, blenders, cof­fee brew­ers, refrig­er­a­tor, etc. Don’t be tempted to save money by buy­ing cheap or used equip­ment. Your espresso machine is the life­line of your busi­ness. If it breaks, you’re out of busi­ness. Buy the best you can find, learn how to use it, and fol­low the sug­gested main­te­nance sched­ules rigorously.

Drink ingre­di­ents such as cof­fee, milk, and syrups will be your largest oper­at­ing expense, account­ing for up to 40 per­cent of sales, or up to $8,400 monthly in the sce­nario above. Never scrimp on ingre­di­ents. Serving the best is the only way to attract and keep spe­cialty cof­fee cus­tomers. You can keep inven­tory costs low by part­ner­ing with a sup­plier that makes fre­quent deliveries.

Your next-largest oper­at­ing expense, pay­roll costs, should account for 30 per­cent or less of sales. These include wages, ben­e­fits, pay­roll taxes, worker’s com­pen­sa­tion, and costs of pay­roll pro­cess­ing. For our sce­nario, you would bud­get no more than $6,300 – includ­ing your salary, if you plan to work in the shop.

Calculating “Other” Expenses
Rent, drink ingre­di­ents, and pay­roll costs can account for 85 per­cent of expenses in the begin­ning cof­fee shop. This leaves 15 per­cent to cover all other expenses, including:

1.    Professional fees for archi­tects, attor­neys, accoun­tants, and busi­ness con­sul­tants
2.    Training costs
3.    Principal and inter­est costs (if you plan to bor­row money)
4.    Income taxes (usu­ally about 35 per­cent of oper­at­ing profit)
5.    Other expenses, includ­ing busi­ness insur­ance, sup­plies (cups, nap­kins, stir sticks, etc.), licenses and per­mits, office sup­plies, util­i­ties, adver­tis­ing, and repairs and main­te­nance
6.    Your profit

After you’ve done your home­work, add up all these pro­jected expenses. You should have cash on hand to cover your ini­tial build-out as well as oper­at­ing expenses for the first six months. That’s what it will cost to open your cof­fee shop.

Greg Ubert, founder and pres­i­dent of Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea, has been roast­ing cof­fee in small batches since 1991 and has taught hun­dreds of busi­ness own­ers how to run suc­cess­ful inde­pen­dent cof­fee houses. Greg can be reached at

NAMA Emerging Leaders">NAMA Emerging Leaders

Categories: 2014, AprilTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Shivani Gupta, Division Controller
Canteen Vending
MBA, Masters in Accountancy

1. What are the skills you use the most in your career?
Since I’m a finance pro­fes­sional, using my tech­ni­cal skills is a given.
However, some of the man­age­ment skills I think are very impor­tant include: the abil­ity to col­lab­o­rate and syn­er­gize, whether with sales, IT, oper­a­tions, or clients.

2. How did you get into the vend­ing and refresh­ment ser­vices indus­try?
I got into the indus­try based on a call from a recruiter and, the rest is his­tory. I’m cer­tain I made the right choice! This is an evolv­ing indus­try, and I love every minute I’m part of it. I greatly value the fact that I work for a com­pany that has such a big focus on devel­op­ing peo­ple and pro­vid­ing end­less opportunities.

3. Give us an idea of your role and key respon­si­bil­i­ties:
My core respon­si­bil­ity is to han­dle all finan­cial activ­ity in the Mid-West Region. That includes man­ag­ing a full team of smart finance pro­fes­sion­als, mak­ing sure the finan­cial state­ments are cor­rect, and man­ag­ing the bud­get process and M&A activ­ity. Also, I work to ensure we stay true to our strat­egy and pro­vide the most per­ti­nent infor­ma­tion to all play­ers as quickly as pos­si­ble so we can drive information-based deci­sion making.

A big part of my job is also to help cre­ate the right cul­ture where peo­ple embrace new ideas, take care of their teams, com­mu­ni­cate openly, and have a pas­sion for results.

4. What does an aver­age day for you include?
As most folks in the indus­try would agree, there is no aver­age day in our indus­try! There are days when I work by myself in my office with my head buried in my lap­top, oth­ers when I’m out and about vis­it­ing branches and spend­ing time with my team.

5. What are the biggest chal­lenges you face in your busi­ness?
The biggest chal­lenge fac­ing us right now involves indus­try reg­u­la­tions. There are mul­ti­ple pro­pos­als to pro­mote healthy prod­ucts in vend­ing. I think there is a big wave from con­sumers towards health­ier prod­ucts, but bal­ance is nec­es­sary. Consumers still want some of the indul­gent, core prod­ucts includ­ing snacks, cof­fee, and soda. We can­not change faster than our con­sumers, and this shift needs to hap­pen over time.

6. What are the great­est oppor­tu­ni­ties?
Our indus­try is going through an evo­lu­tion with a big push on inno­va­tion. New tech­nol­ogy and con­cepts, like office cof­fee and micro mar­kets, have opened up so many pos­si­bil­i­ties. We also finally have tools to get a lot more insight into our sales and what cus­tomers want. Newer prod­ucts are enter­ing the chan­nel attract­ing newer con­sumers. These open up a host of oppor­tu­ni­ties in terms of growth, effec­tive­ness, and efficiency.

7. Moving for­ward, what are your personal/professional goals?
I want to con­tinue to learn and grow as our indus­try evolves. I’ve been blessed with great men­tors and oppor­tu­ni­ties that have been instru­men­tal in my pro­fes­sional development.

On a broader scale, I want to be involved in the com­mu­nity and indus­try to see how I can add value. I think the stronger and more mature the indus­try, the stronger the play­ers in the indus­try get. The indus­try attracts more tal­ented peo­ple and it becomes a more inter­est­ing work environment.

I’m a part of the WIN advi­sory coun­cil and would like to pro­mote work­places built on tal­ent and skill rather than gen­der or race.

8. Could you pro­vide us with an idea of the most mem­o­rable work experience(s) you’ve had?
I’ve had many amaz­ing moments. When I started out in the indus­try, I was com­pletely shocked by how hard every­body worked!!! But we have so much fun on a daily basis and every day is an expe­ri­ence in itself– never a dull moment holds so true.

9. What is your advice for young peo­ple start­ing their careers in the indus­try?
This is a tough, but fun indus­try. I would advise new peo­ple to try and learn the indus­try and the busi­ness from mul­ti­ple aspects. Also, bring your pas­sion with you if you’re just start­ing out.

As pre­vi­ously pub­lished in NAMA’s InTouch Magazine.

The Voice

Categories: 2014, AprilTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Closing the Circle

I’ll never for­get a trip taken to Brazil, my first ori­gin trip, and the respect I gained by meet­ing the farm­ers and their fam­i­lies while study­ing their cof­fee grow­ing efforts and when cup­ping side-by-side with them. From each farm rep­re­sented, the farmer would always insist that his cof­fee was the finest on the table. When in fact, it typ­i­cally wasn’t, but rather, he most likely “needed” it to be the best so I would buy his cof­fee at a great price. That would in return help feed his fam­ily and fur­ther his dreams. Truth of the mat­ter was that there were truly only a few stand­outs among the many. In fact, my trav­el­ing com­pan­ions and I bought, at a very fair price, the entire crop from one such excep­tional farm.

We all know that our pur­chase deci­sions are made based upon the qual­ity and final intended use of any cof­fee. Cup of Excellence exists because there is a mar­ket for peo­ple who desire the finest cof­fees, just like there is a mar­ket for cof­fee below spe­cialty grade. The con­trast of a farmer’s exis­tence based on the two couldn’t be fur­ther apart based on siz­ing of farms nor the trickle-down eco­nom­ics to employed labor­ers. Is there a way to go beyond Fair Trade struc­ture for all, or are we fill­ing con­sumers with hope that may never con­vert to real­ized dreams for cer­tain farm­ers? Note: this is in no way a slam on Fair Trade.

The fine work being done by those among many indus­try orga­ni­za­tions, like the Coffee Quality Institute, means that we are learn­ing to base­line how we judge the cof­fee that is being pro­duced. Qualitative analy­sis that is con­sis­tent, via trained and qual­i­fied Q-graders, is prov­ing invalu­able to iden­ti­fy­ing all kinds of crop vari­ables impact­ing final green qual­ity, and ulti­mately the defin­i­tive ask­ing price of the cof­fee. At the farm level, farm­ers have now truly become “taste sci­en­tists” as they work to influ­ence the final fla­vors in a cup of cof­fee even when the crop isn’t per­fect. Yet, it isn’t nec­es­sar­ily final ask­ing price alone that is chang­ing the lives of farm­ers, though every bit of suc­ces­sive crop improve­ment helps.

You may ask, why do I even care? I per­son­ally care because I feel it too, purely based on indus­try “size” dynam­ics. We at Lucas Roasting Company exist as one of the many small roast­ers in the indus­try. We aren’t try­ing to expand our mar­ket aggres­sively across the coun­try, like the numer­ous other excel­lent roast­ers have been able to. But, we do want a sus­tained exis­tence with hope­ful con­tin­ued growth in our region, espe­cially in our com­mu­nity, which had very lit­tle prior focus on cof­fee. We are lit­tle, but we are pas­sion­ate as hell, just like some of the really small farm­ers we met in Brazil. We are as pas­sion­ate as any large roaster, but with extremely lim­ited resources, like many of the small­est fam­ily farms we vis­ited. We relate to the underdog.

Yet, “size” between a farm and a roast­ing oper­a­tion are two dis­tinctly dif­fer­ent issues. We could find finan­cial back­ing to fund our next roast­ing facil­ity and become a house­hold name tomor­row and be on our way to quick growth with the right fund­ing, as other big names have done. The small­est farm­ers how­ever, are locked in. They are locked in gen­er­ally by geo­graphic loca­tion and are lim­ited by land avail­able to them for pur­chase unless a coop forms; but even that has its own com­pli­ca­tions. One of the largest com­plaints we hear from small farm­ers is that with­out a farm’s own mill, some mills can’t be trusted to process one’s cof­fee with­out mix­ing it with other cof­fees, mak­ing an excep­tional crop a tar­get for being stolen. Milling equip­ment is as expen­sive as roast­ing equip­ment. This is sim­i­lar to us only hav­ing a 7-Kilo roaster with lim­ited pro­duc­tion poten­tial per day because it was what we could afford. If the yield of the fam­ily farm is only five sacks of fin­ished dried cof­fee, income poten­tial is small. With what then are we all left with? PASSIONQUALITYSTORIES, but from where will the growths come from unless we MAKE it happen?

Ultimately, it isn’t any­one else’s call as to how a farmer is or isn’t finan­cially sus­tain­able. Any busi­ness owner has to be on the look­out for the best sce­nario for their busi­ness. However, what if the farmer that grew the five sacks of super-premium cof­fee did get an excel­lent price? It’s still only five sacks of cof­fee. Better yet, what if that farmer man­aged to travel to one of the barista com­pe­ti­tions where that cof­fee was used and was in the crowd the moment Ms. Barista won the title for that com­pe­ti­tion, but only vaguely men­tioned the farmer dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion? What if she men­tioned every­thing about the farm? It still takes time and money to grow, even with a win­ning rep­u­ta­tion. Farm “size” is really what I’m address­ing here.

My point is this: what are we truly doing to cre­ate an impor­tant human-connection ele­ment in every­thing we do in cof­fee beyond our focus on what end-consumers can see? Are we work­ing enough to draw the “small” farms (or any small part of this indus­try, for that mat­ter) into growth mod­els or are some really just inter­ested in keep­ing peo­ple sup­pressed as long as we receive our gain on the fin­ished end of really high qual­ity cof­fee? Have we mis­led the pub­lic as to what is actu­ally pos­si­ble through their buy­ing of prod­ucts marked as “Fair Trade” or even “Direct Trade” see­ing as at least some of the income inequal­ity sim­ply stems from basic busi­ness dynam­ics, “small ver­sus large,” and whether cer­tain farm­ers even have room for growth as they are struc­tured with small tracts of land?

If we’re deeply invested in this indus­try, we are ALL work­ing harder than most con­sumers real­ize because we care pas­sion­ately about qual­ity and integrity, and we’ve devel­oped intense spe­cial­iza­tion from ori­gin all the way to craft­ing bev­er­ages as baris­tas. This indus­try is intensely hard work from start to fin­ish, but the farm­ers are the ones “grow­ing” this indus­try from the begin­ning, and cof­fee con­sumers are being fed prod­ucts (of all kinds) instead of rec­og­niz­ing the con­nec­tion sto­ries. At a time when the U.S. is explod­ing with farmer’s mar­kets mak­ing farm-direct buy­ing by con­sumers more pos­si­ble than ever, I feel this same tug of urgency in our industry.

That being said, some of you are doing amaz­ing jobs of con­nect­ing all of the dots with each bag of cof­fee pack­aged for the end con­sumer. The sto­ries, the pic­tures, the absolutely beau­ti­ful cof­fees that are roasted to per­fec­tion and then served with the upmost care and dis­tinc­tion… The world of cof­fee for end con­sumers has never been more deca­dent than it is right now. But, some farm­ers and employ­ees con­tinue to strug­gle, espe­cially with new prob­lems like climate-change.

My dream for the com­ing year in the cof­fee indus­try is that we begin to re-build the “value-added” seg­ment of PEOPLE through­out cof­fee. Sustainable-wages-earned for any­one, from ori­gin to cup, would be incred­i­ble for our indus­try, but will only be achieved where we place our val­ues. Are our val­ues being placed in our pride of being known the over the world as suc­cess­ful or will we bet­ter exem­plify all peo­ple at every stage of cof­fee as crucial?

We’re a bit at odds from top to bot­tom, and much of that has to do with the moment when some turned cof­fee into a “thing” instead of the per­sonal jour­ney. I want to see us con­tinue to build an indus­try as we improve from the ground up, not the top down that is acces­si­ble to peo­ple and com­pa­nies of var­i­ous sizes that empha­sizes the one com­mon bond—the grow­ers and their lives at ori­gin. I’d be a hyp­ocrite if I didn’t say, that I myself have a long way to go to reach my own vision.

Coffee…it is a beau­ti­ful com­mu­nity of peo­ple. What is our direc­tion for the future?

Troy Lucas

Lucas Roasting Company, LLC

& Sleeves — Coffee Shop Must-Haves!">Cups, Lids, & Sleeves — Coffee Shop Must-Haves!

Categories: 2013, MarchTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

It is inevitable that dis­pos­able cups, lids, sleeves, and other prod­ucts are an essen­tial tool for all cof­fee shops. Nowadays, the con­sumer cares about more than just their cof­fee, it is about the entire expe­ri­ence. Yes, cups, lids, sleeves, and other dis­pos­able prod­ucts are apart of that cof­fee shop experience.

According to, “Americans throw away 25 bil­lion Styrofoam cof­fee cups each year.” The dis­pos­able cup has become a part of cof­fee con­sumers’ every­day lives. In fact, dis­pos­able cups have more uses than just being a ves­sel to carry your cof­fee in. With san­i­ta­tion being a high pri­or­ity for all food facil­i­ties, the uti­liza­tion of dis­pos­able cups lessens the chances of being exposed to bac­te­ria. No one else has used that cup before you.

Cups and sleeves can be cus­tomized to spread your shop’s brand. Logos and cus­tom design can all be accom­mo­dated to what you want your shop being por­trayed as. Not to men­tion, dis­pos­able cups are less expen­sive than glass or ceramic cups. It costs far less to order a sin­gle paper cup than it would be to replace a bro­ken glass mug.

Below are a few com­pa­nies that you can uti­lize to bring your con­sumers an excel­lent cof­fee shop experience.

arthritisliduVu Technologies
uVu Technologies uti­lizes its tal­ents and ana­lyt­ics’ team skill set to cre­ate food and bev­er­age pack­ag­ing solu­tions. This results in far supe­rior, safer cup lids and dis­pos­able prod­ucts, while rev­o­lu­tion­iz­ing the man­u­fac­tur­ing method­olo­gies in which many dis­pos­able prod­ucts are actu­ally formed. Therefore result­ing in incred­i­ble mate­r­ial sav­ing, cost sav­ing, and reduc­tion in the pro­duc­tion of defec­tive final parts.

Stefan Ebert, Marketing and Sales Manager of uVu Technologies says, “If a shop isn’t con­cerned about its employee and cus­tomer safety, then the uVu lid may not be right for it.”

Stalk Market LogoStalkmarket (Asean Corporation)
This com­pany sells a com­plete line of sin­gle and dou­ble wall insu­lated cups, lids, and jack­ets, all of which are 100 per­cent com­postable, BPI cer­ti­fied, and all made from renew­able plant materials.

Shops uti­liz­ing Stalkmarket prod­ucts are able to demon­strate to their cus­tomers that they are mak­ing the effort towards sus­tain­abil­ity and being more pro-active in their sus­tain­abil­ity efforts than some of the large chains.

President of Stalkmarket, Buzz Chandler, gives a piece of advice, “Local neigh­bor­hood shops are the back­bone of the cof­fee roast­ing indus­try.   Be a leader in your own way.   Don’t worry about the Mega Coffee chains.   Big is not a syn­onym for bet­ter.  Follow your own path.”

Versalite Ad_Coffee Talk_FinalBerry Plastics Corporation
Berry Plastics sells a full line of cups, lids, and pack­ag­ing to meet the needs of their food­ser­vice cus­tomers. They man­u­fac­ture both dis­pos­able and sou­venir drink­ing cups. Their cups are sold into con­ve­nience store, QSR, casual din­ing dis­tri­b­u­tion, and sta­dium and arena markets.

Our lat­est inno­va­tion, Versalite™, pro­vides advanced, durable hot and cold pack­ag­ing solu­tions that have the poten­tial to increase cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion and oper­a­tional effi­cien­cies,” says Foodservice Product Line Manager, Lauren Piekos.

Java Jacket 2Java Jacket
Java Jacket aims to bring the best sleeves at afford­able prices. The com­pany takes pride in their envi­ron­men­tally con­scious ways. They attempt to elim­i­nate exces­sive paper waste and dou­ble cup­ping. Not to men­tion, they empha­size using recy­clable and com­postable, post-consumer paper.

Their cup sleeves are avail­able in two dif­fer­ent sizes and the waf­fle tex­ture of the sleeve pro­vides “grip abil­ity.” While they do offer stock prints, Java Jacket also offers cus­tom print­ing on both white or nat­ural kraft paper in up to six col­ors. Water-based inks are used in their print­ing techniques.

PBFYFlexiblePackaging0314Plastic Bags For You
PBFY car­ries a wide array of dis­pos­able cof­fee pack­ag­ing from foil bags, flat pouches, stand up pouches, and pouches with side gus­sets. Stand up pouches are offered in an assort­ment of col­ors, sizes, mate­ri­als, and styles. These include foil and poly, met­al­ized, win­dowed, and rice paper pouches.

According to their web­site, “The inno­v­a­tive design of these bags max­i­mizes how your prod­ucts are dis­played, while effi­ciently tak­ing up less space.”

These dis­pos­able cof­fee bags are also infused with a one-way degassing valve. The valve is a neces­sity for all pack­aged cof­fee beans. It keeps the cof­fee fresh, and it keeps the pack­age sealed tight and not allows air back into the package.

High-Definition and full-color prints on Visstun’s dis­pos­able paper cups allows for the addi­tion of ALL of your shop’s mar­ket­ing needs. You can print far beyond just your logo. The cups are printed on heavy-duty paper­board to ensure your cups remain sturdy when filled with cof­fee or tea.

They say, “With a dis­pos­able cup, it is crit­i­cal that the pro­mo­tion makes a great first impres­sion.” Make an impres­sion with these cups at your shop, for events, meet­ings, and other events!

Visstun also offers paper cups for your shops snacks as well. You can brand var­i­ous size cups and fill them with your customer’s favorite snacks!

Reach your tar­get mar­ket with a unique and cre­ative way to adver­tise. BriteVision offers not only café own­ers a way to pro­mote their busi­ness even after con­sumers leave the shop, but allows adver­tis­ers to print their mar­ket­ing buzz upon cof­fee sleeves. Their capa­bil­i­ties enable your cup sleeve mes­sage to stay fresh and keep a last­ing impact through­out the year.

BriteVision is a lead­ing media com­pany that invented cup sleeve adver­tis­ing. With mag­a­zine qual­ity print­ing, low min­i­mum orders, fast pro­duc­tion times, and eco-friendly sleeves, there is some­thing for every shop!

Disposable cups, lids, sleeves, and other prod­ucts are all items that all cof­fee shops uti­lize. They are a great way to brand your shop, and by uti­liz­ing the newest tech­nolo­gies, you can keep your cus­tomers safe and happy. Many com­pa­nies now are offer­ing envi­ron­men­tally friendly prod­ucts to meet the needs of var­i­ous consumers

With these prod­ucts being such a big part of the cof­fee shop atmos­phere, why not make them more valu­able and use­ful by cus­tomiz­ing them to empha­size your shop? Brand your shop and make your dis­pos­able prod­ucts stand out from the rest.

Safety is in the Seal
by Stefan Ebert

As more and more indi­vid­u­als are becom­ing injured by unin­tended spills of hot cof­fee due to the cup’s lid, the indus­try called for a safer lid. uVu Technologies aimed to do just that. The uVu lid with pro­pri­etary seal­ing fea­ture is both intu­itive and secure. By pro­vid­ing con­sumers with safer lids, they know that their bev­er­age will stay inside the cup, instead of on their hands or on their lap. This is a huge con­cern for many cof­fee shops, as it could result in dis­sat­is­fied cus­tomers or even lawsuits.

Tony Cervini, COO of Big Apple Bagels/My Duet/My Favorite Muffin (158 stores world-wide), calls it the “best lid in the whole world” and cites com­plete cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion with the user experience.

As we firmly believe, and Tony con­firms, to the cus­tomer a cup is a cup, but ask any cus­tomer about their expe­ri­ence with today’s state of the art lids and you will get a moun­tain of bad (and some­times angry) retorts con­cern­ing the over­whelm­ingly neg­a­tive expe­ri­ences redound across the industry:

The lid pops off all the time!”

The lid spilled all over my laptop!”

The lid ruined my work clothes.”

I was burned when the lid popped off.”  (This story was related to our team by a barista who had to be hos­pi­tal­ized for a week in upstate Michigan).

The cus­tomer wears their cof­fee all over them.”  (This story was told to our team by a store man­ager who, on a daily basis, watched her cus­tomers walk out of the store car­ry­ing a cup of cof­fee while wear­ing gloves, only to see the lid pop off and cof­fee splat­ter all over the customer’s win­ter coat.”).

Just as seri­ous are the litany of civil actions mounted on the basis of hot cof­fee spills, most recently in the mat­ter of Cary v. McDonalds (BC-53250)(Los Angeles Superior Court, Jan. 7, 2014). The Plaintiff alleged per­sonal injury when she was handed a cup of cof­fee at the drive-thru con­tain­ing a lid that was “neg­li­gently placed on the cup in such a way that the lid did not stay on the cup and came off, allow­ing hot cof­fee to spill on Ms. Cary caus­ing her severe per­sonal injury.”    A sim­ple “Google search” will reveal scores of other sim­i­lar per­sonal injury complaints.

We have deter­mined that the inher­ent defect in most hot bev­er­age lids today lies in the fail­ure to cor­rect the method in which a lid seals to a cup.  We have solved this prob­lem and, as the mar­ket shows, our prod­uct is meet­ing rave reviews.  We are com­pletely con­fi­dent that our prod­uct is safer than any other lid and can be a huge asset for any busi­ness as both a mes­sage that they truly care for their customer’s safety, but also as a brand­ing tool for their own business.


The View

Categories: 2014, MarchTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

It’s “that” time again
Welcome to March! I don’t know about you all, but I am excited to be start­ing “Trade Show Season” with Coffee Fest New York, NCA New Orleans, NAMA One Chicago, and SCAA Seattle all in the next eight weeks. For me, these shows give me energy and insight. To quote this month’s “Industry Giant” Jack Newall (see page 18), in cof­fee “rela­tion­ships go far beyond just rela­tion­ships, some peo­ple become like fam­ily.” After 20 years, each show has become a “fam­ily reunion” where sto­ries are exchanged, rela­tion­ships renewed, and ideas abound. Frankly I can­not fathom the abil­ity to pro­duce a qual­ity trade jour­nal with­out these reg­u­lar col­lab­o­ra­tions. There sim­ply is no sub­sti­tute for the face-to-face inter­ac­tion and the cre­ative syn­ergy that comes from con­fer­ences and exhibitions.

Unique Personality
Each show presents its own unique oppor­tu­nity to con­nect with a dif­fer­ent audi­ence in a dif­fer­ent way. I love Coffee Fest as the best oppor­tu­nity to con­nect with the largest amount of retail­ers and soon to be retail­ers this coun­try has to offer. NCA gives me access to the lead­ers of the indus­try in an inti­mate and mean­ing­ful way and a preview/reading of where the indus­try is and the major areas of con­cern. NAMA One pro­vides some of the best edu­ca­tional and most orga­nized and impres­sive visual pre­sen­ta­tions avail­able today and the only way to reach the grow­ing OCS mar­ket­place. And SCAA is the largest gath­er­ing of inter­na­tional cof­fee pro­fes­sion­als with a mul­ti­tude of net­work­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties and some qual­ity education.

On the Inside
These shows are often the only way to access to the lat­est news, trends, and indus­try knowl­edge from first-hand sources. For exam­ple, I am anx­ious to learn where the NCA is in its search for new lead­er­ship. I can’t wait to pre­view the New Products about to hit the streets at Coffee Fest and talk with the retail­ers who are actu­ally in the trenches to find out their great­est fears and how we can help address them. NAMA has con­sis­tently pro­vided some of the best sales train­ing I have ever seen at cof­fee related con­fer­ences. In fact I dis­cov­ered our Marketing Miracles colum­nist, Mike Dabadie, (see page 20) at a fan­tas­tic pre­sen­ta­tion at Nashville at NAMA’s Coffee Tea and Water con­fer­ence just last year.

Do YOU feel heard?
That brings me to SCAA. It is this con­fer­ence that brings me the most trep­i­da­tion. To quote Michael Kelly of Quality Brokerage, “Effective com­mu­ni­ca­tion is one of the most impor­tant and uti­lized skills in busi­ness.” (see page 20). But what hap­pens when com­mu­ni­ca­tions fail? What hap­pens when we feel unheard? That is what I fear is hap­pen­ing at the SCAA. Communication hap­pens when both par­ties feel heard and under­stood. Yet over the last sev­eral months I have heard and con­tinue to hear abun­dant con­cerns from SCAA mem­bers, includ­ing Past Presidents, that lead­er­ship and staff may have lost touch with mem­ber needs and inter­ests. Granted this rep­re­sents maybe 20–30 com­pa­nies with which I have had per­sonal com­mu­ni­ca­tion on the issue, how­ever, that leads me to believe there are more out there. The real ques­tion is, do you feel heard? Do you feel your com­pany is being served by the SCAA?

Solution is OUR Responsibility
Change is never easy. It takes time, energy, tenac­ity. It requires peo­ple who are will­ing to work hard and hang in there against the odds until change becomes habit. Personally I am sup­port­ing Marty Curtis for 2nd VP and encour­age you to read his let­ter on page 16 to learn more about this can­di­date who I believe will work end­lessly to help the asso­ci­a­tion become more trans­par­ent and respon­sive to mem­ber needs. However, every mem­ber needs to make his or her own choice. Please take the time today to famil­iar­ize your­self with the can­di­dates and make your choice by VOTING.

Remember, we ONLY have power if we CHOOSE to use it.

Coffee Chemistry

Categories: 2014, MarchTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Welcome to this month’s issue of cof­fee sci­ence. Last month we briefly dis­cussed the role of two alka­loids: caf­feine and trigonelline, and briefly their role in cof­fee com­po­si­tion. This time we’ll explore some of coffee’s more com­mon com­po­nents, namely car­bo­hy­drates and pro­tein, and dis­cuss how these seem­ingly ordi­nary com­pounds react to form coffee’s allur­ing aroma.

Carbohydrates make up roughly fifty per­cent of coffee’s total dry weight by com­po­si­tion. After roast­ing, remain­ing car­bo­hy­drates in the cup con­tribute to mouth-feel or body, with some stud­ies sug­gest­ing they are also respon­si­ble for the qual­ity of the foam com­mon in espresso beverages.

Although there are numer­ous types of car­bo­hy­drates in cof­fee, per­haps the most impor­tant is that of sucrose. Sucrose, or more com­monly known as table sugar, makes up six to nine per­cent in Arabica with a slightly less (three to seven per­cent) amount con­tained in Robusta cof­fee. During roast­ing, sucrose is read­ily decom­posed, and stud­ies have shown that up to 97 per­cent of the ini­tial sucrose con­tent is lost even in light roasts. Its role dur­ing roast­ing is enor­mous with a large por­tion of the avail­able car­bo­hy­drates par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Maillard and numer­ous oth­ers sec­ondary reac­tions. One class of impor­tant byprod­ucts cre­ated dur­ing roast­ing are those of organic acids. In its native green form, cof­fee con­tains neg­li­gi­ble amounts of formic, acetic, and lac­tic acid. Though once roasted, there is an expo­nen­tial increase in acid pro­duc­tion, along with a par­al­leled increase in cof­fee acid­ity. Since acid­ity plays an impor­tant role in assess­ing qual­ity, it’s no sur­prise why we see typ­i­cally higher lev­els of per­ceived acid­ity in Arabica cof­fee than Robusta, due in part, to its higher sucrose concentration.

Protein con­tent for both green Arabica and Robusta cof­fee varies between 10–13 per­cent and exists as free or bound pro­teins within the cof­fee matrix. Although actual con­cen­tra­tions vary within the bean, there are a num­ber of fac­tors that affect pro­tein con­tent. Factors such as level of mat­u­ra­tion, vari­ety, and stor­age con­di­tions all have an effect on pro­tein byprod­ucts dur­ing roasting.

During roast­ing, pro­teins com­bine with car­bo­hy­drates in what is per­haps the most impor­tant reac­tion for all ther­mally processed foods – the Maillard Reaction. This set of reac­tions, dis­cov­ered by a French chemist in 1910, is what is largely respon­si­ble for trans­form­ing the mere hand­ful of com­pounds found in green cof­fee to the com­plex matrix that cof­fee is today.

As tem­per­a­tures reach 150oC (302oF), the Maillard reac­tion react free pro­teins with sug­ars ulti­mately lead­ing to the for­ma­tion of hun­dreds of impor­tant aro­matic com­pounds. Furans, for exam­ple, impart sweet, caramel-like aro­mas, while more com­plex mol­e­cules, such as pyrazines, impart more nut­tier com­plex fla­vor notes. Ketones, or smaller mol­e­cules, also play a role with diacetyl (butane­dione) impart­ing buttery-butterscotch notes rem­i­nis­cent to fresh pop­corn. There are lit­er­ally hun­dreds and hun­dreds of aro­matic com­pounds being cre­ated dur­ing the roast­ing process, each con­tribut­ing a small por­tion to coffee’s com­plex aroma.

If you’ve ever won­dered why cof­fee is brown in color, it’s due to the very same reac­tion that cre­ates fla­vor. During roast­ing large mol­e­c­u­lar weight com­pounds com­bine with pro­teins to form com­plex brown col­ored melanoidins, which ulti­mately give cof­fee its char­ac­ter­is­tic color. Until recently, very lit­tle was known of these com­pounds, but over the years sci­ence has elu­ci­dated many of their struc­tural prop­er­ties asso­ci­ated with them. Perhaps the most promis­ing is that many of these com­pounds have potent antiox­i­dant, antimi­cro­bial, and anti-inflammatory prop­er­ties asso­ci­ated with them. This is great news con­sid­er­ing that cof­fee is the sec­ond to third most pop­u­lar bev­er­age con­sumed in the world, just after water and tea. It’s just another rea­son to enjoy another cup of cof­fee at home or your favorite café. Cheers!

Joseph A. Rivera holds a degree in food chem­istry and was for­merly the Director of Science & Technology at the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). He’s the cre­ator of and newly devel­oped Coffee Science Certificate (CSC) pro­gram. He can be reached at

Roasters Rock

Categories: 2014, MarchTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

When you wake up in the morn­ing, you are faced with choices, influ­ences, and respon­si­bil­i­ties. For many, the sort­ing out of these things requires a shower, fol­lowed by a cup of hot cof­fee. People in the cof­fee indus­try are no excep­tion to this real­ity, but they tend to go about set­ting pri­or­i­ties in a dif­fer­ent way; they con­sider oth­ers, as well as themselves.

The pur­pose of life is not to be happy. It is to be use­ful, to be hon­or­able, to be com­pas­sion­ate, to have it make some dif­fer­ence that you have lived and lived well.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

When decid­ing what is impor­tant to a cof­fee per­son, they con­sider God, fam­ily, self, and ‘the greater good.’

GOD: Finding some way to con­nect to your spir­i­tual self brings a sense of calm. Whether it is prayer, med­i­ta­tion, or some other method, you build a solid core set of val­ues with which to vet deci­sions.  These val­ues shape the goals and frame the actions taken.

FAMILY: If you have a spouse, chil­dren, par­ents, or sib­lings, you prob­a­bly want to look out for them. (At least some of them!) Coffee peo­ple tend to be in solid rela­tion­ships because they are car­ing peo­ple. There is a burn­ing desire to take care of those clos­est to you. This real­ity also shapes the day’s priorities.

SELF: Coffee peo­ple are also fiercely unique indi­vid­u­als that like to be inde­pen­dent. They know that by tak­ing care of your­self, you can accom­plish a cou­ple of key things:

1)    Nobody else will be bur­dened with tak­ing care of you.

2)    You can truly take care of oth­ers and make a dif­fer­ence when your own well-being is solid.

It is one of the most beau­ti­ful com­pen­sa­tions in life, that no man can sin­cerely try to help another with­out help­ing him­self.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

The above three areas of impor­tance are fairly obvi­ous for most peo­ple liv­ing a thought­ful life. Coffee peo­ple how­ever, have one addi­tional area that makes them dis­tinctly special.

THE GREATER GOOD: By embrac­ing God, fam­ily, and self, the indus­try pro­fes­sional is able to see a broader pic­ture, and they see that the indus­try itself needs help, too. A greater good for these peo­ple involves car­ing about the entirety of those in the sup­ply chain; from the grow­ers at ori­gin to those that need the cof­fee to start their own day. There is a recog­ni­tion that with­out each other doing well, all will suf­fer. Conversely, if the sup­ply chain is thriv­ing, then the world and the indi­vid­ual thrive as well.

So the day gets planned, pri­or­i­ties set, and the morn­ing cof­fee is fin­ished; the cof­fee pro­fes­sional sets forth to change the world. But for some, things just don’t seem to go as planned. They need one final ingre­di­ent to make things work: BALANCE.

”I arise in the morn­ing torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”
—E.B. White

If bal­ance is not achieved in goal set­ting, then it can result in unin­tended con­se­quences. Some exam­ples of cof­fee people’s great inten­tions gone bad:

1)    Giving too much
Charity to oth­ers should be a core value. Balance how­ever, dic­tates that you can give more to oth­ers if you are healthy, wealthy, and wise. Give until it hurts, not until it dam­ages your abil­ity to give the next day and the day after that. The unin­tended con­se­quence might be becom­ing the per­son need­ing the char­ity of oth­ers, thereby cre­at­ing a com­pound­ing neg­a­tive affect.

2)    Offering to pay TOP DOLLAR for the best cof­fee from the farm
On the sur­face, a farmer that gets top dol­lar for the 90+ cof­fees should be happy. In fact, done incor­rectly it can have the unin­tended con­se­quence of dam­ag­ing the over­all profit of the farm. Be strate­gic and inclu­sive of the desires and needs of the farmer, and make sure you don’t move the defects in such a way that the bulk of the crop is worth less in value than what is gained by sell­ing a small amount at a super-premium.

3)    Over-servicing the cus­tomer
Have you ever had a ter­rific barista that gave ‘extras’ to all of her cus­tomers only to quit and then have cus­tomers dis­ap­pointed that the free­bies were no longer avail­able? Customer ser­vice is sup­posed to give a con­sis­tent and pos­i­tive expe­ri­ence every time. To do too much can have the unin­tended con­se­quence of cus­tomers going some­where else.

CEOs hate vari­ance. It’s the enemy. Variance in cus­tomer ser­vice is bad. Variance in qual­ity is bad. CEOs love processes that are stan­dard­ized, rou­tinized, pre­dictable. Stamping out vari­ance makes a com­plex job a bit less com­plex.”
—Marcus Buckingham

4)    Looking at wealth as ‘unfair’ to those that don’t have it

Monetary wealth is not a mea­sure of any­thing except the amount of money that some­one has. Sometimes it is earned, some­times inher­ited. Either way, it’s their money, and their choice on what to do with it. You have the same choice and you get to con­trol your val­ues. Knowing your own val­ues will allow you to rec­on­cile being wealthy and car­ing and fair in what­ever way is com­fort­able to you. Even if ‘the wealthy’ gave all of their wealth away, it would not change poverty. In fact, it might have the unin­tended con­se­quence of cre­at­ing a ‘wel­fare state,’ which is far more detri­men­tal to the rise out of poverty.

It’s no dis­grace to be poor, but it is not a rec­om­men­da­tion either!”
—Zig Ziglar

So wake up, shower, grab a cup of cof­fee, and pre­pare to change the world. Coffee peo­ple can, and do, make a dif­fer­ence every day. Look out for your­self, your fam­ily, and seek a higher guid­ance to know the bal­anced way to help the indus­try. The INTENDED con­se­quences will be wonderful.

Rocky Rhodes is an 18 year cof­fee vet­eran, roaster, and Q-Grader Instructor, and his mis­sion now is to trans­form the cof­fee sup­ply chain and make sweep­ing dif­fer­ences in the lives of those that pro­duce the green cof­fee. Rocky can be reached at as well as

The Last Mile

Categories: 2014, MarchTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

I’ve seen coffee’s future.  It’s right here in Manhattan, and it’s so bright, you might want to grab those Ray-Bans.

I found coffee’s new hori­zon not in a Brooklyn third-wave bar, or snug West Village café. Rather, it lives in two charis­matic and curi­ous broth­ers: Upper West Siders named Lucas and Maxwell, high school and col­lege stu­dents, respec­tively.  Spend just five min­utes with them, and you’ll remem­ber just why you got involved with cof­fee.  Get to know them a lit­tle bet­ter, as I’ve been lucky to do, and you will be amazed by all that they know and by all of the pos­si­bil­i­ties they represent.

Our tale starts one warm June morn­ing last year at the start of the two-day illy University of Coffee class that I teach at the International Culinary Center in Soho.  Among the hotel exec­u­tives and cof­fee entre­pre­neurs enrolled were two young guys sport­ing the title “Coffee Enthusiast” on their nametags.  “My brother and I had a cou­ple of weeks to kill between school and camp, so instead of watch­ing non-stop Netflix, we went look­ing for a cof­fee class,” recalls Maxwell, speak­ing on behalf of older brother Lucas, cur­rently away at col­lege.  After break­ing the ice with (what else) a warm espresso, the sto­ries started flow­ing of the well-equipped barista sta­tions each brother main­tains at home; of pre­ferred prepa­ra­tion meth­ods – for Maxwell, make that espresso and French press; and of the friendly com­pe­ti­tions these barista broth­ers reg­u­larly wage and use to hone their skills.

Maxwell isn’t some teen cof­fee mer­ce­nary look­ing for stay-awake help dur­ing first period.  He claims near immu­nity to the stim­u­lat­ing effects of an espresso here and a mug there. He’s in it for craft and taste, period.  And the love affair goes way back.  While his tod­dling con­tem­po­raries were all a-drool over teething bis­cuits, a one-year-old Maxwell was known to snatch mom’s cof­fee from her very hands, teth­ered to her front by Baby Bjorn.

Fast for­ward about 10 years, to when the boys’ grand­fa­ther let Lucas toy with a rusty, old La Pavoni machine, given as a gift and rarely used.  “We got it to work well-ish,” says Maxwell.  “That was tough because it was a pump machine that took lots of work get­ting the right pres­sure.”  I told Maxwell that his grand­fa­ther gave them an even big­ger gift than they knew, by hav­ing them learn on a (won­der­fully) com­pli­cated, man­ual machine that left every­thing up to the barista to get right.  Master a vin­tage La Pavoni, and you can write your cof­fee future – as these broth­ers did, and are.

Lucas received a spe­cial going-away-to col­lege gift: a shiny new La Pavoni from his grand­fa­ther, prompt­ing Maxwell to lobby for a machine of his own.  Six months later, he marched into Bed Bath & Beyond and plunked down $300 (his own) for a Cuisinart machine he’d pined after.  And that’s when the fre­quent broth­erly “espresso offs,” as Maxwell calls them, started fill­ing their apart­ment with ever-improving aro­mas, each bud­ding barista learn­ing how to exploit the strengths and com­pen­sate for the weak­nesses of their respec­tive, metal-clad weaponry.  “Mine made bet­ter crema, and his steamed milk bet­ter.  I got too many macro-bubbles,” Maxwell says.  “So we learned and adjusted.  Lucas found he couldn’t get the right tex­ture from his burr grinder, so he got hold of a hand crank, and things got bet­ter.”  At University of Coffee, Maxwell would learn how keep­ing the pitcher angled pre­cisely, and how the fine art of counter tap­ping held the keys to steam­ing and frothing.

Maxwell says that the University of Coffee opened his eyes to coffee’s big­ger pic­ture; its rich his­tory and farm-to-cup jour­ney, and to two col­ors he never knew were part of its palate: red (cher­ries) and green (unroasted beans).  He came to see and appre­ci­ate the global com­mu­nity that cof­fee inhab­its and influ­ences, not least the local grow­ers who beat at its heart.  As for the plea­sure of con­sump­tion, “I dis­cov­ered tast­ing notes I couldn’t believe existed in cof­fee,” Maxwell said.  “And I know my palate isn’t fully devel­oped, so I’m bound to dis­cover more.”

During hands-on train­ing, Maxwell learned that estab­lish­ing an orderly rou­tine behind the bar is crit­i­cal to get­ting con­sis­tently good results, and why dou­ble tamp­ing is absolutely, pos­i­tively for­bid­den.  “And I know to be afraid of the dark.  Very afraid,” he warned.  You see, that’s one of my cen­tral tenets: overly roasted cof­fee can either ruin great beans, or mask defi­cien­cies in others.

Like I said, these guys – and cof­fee – have some great future!

Giorgio Milos is illy’s award-winning Master Barista and illy’s North American Barista in Residence who reg­u­larly ven­tures beyond the cup to study the biol­ogy and chem­istry of the cof­fee bean, con­tin­u­ally striv­ing to mas­ter the bev­er­age that is his pas­sion and profession.

The Voice

Categories: 2014, MarchTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Hello SCAA Membership,

As a ded­i­cated SCAA mem­ber, I am hop­ing you also have an inter­est in mak­ing the Association be the best it can be. In the two min­utes it takes to vote in this year’s Board of Directors elec­tion, you have the power to have your voice heard and help set the direc­tion of this essen­tial association.

Who is Marty Curtis
As a ded­i­cated SCAA vol­un­teer since the early 1990s, Technical Committee Member for 8 years, Board of Directors Member for 4 years, and Senior Q-Grader Instructor who has taught and cer­ti­fied hun­dreds of ded­i­cated cof­fee pro­fes­sion­als in 13 coun­tries, I have per­son­ally seen the incred­i­ble dif­fer­ence this asso­ci­a­tion can make in the busi­nesses and lives of peo­ple around the world.

What My Colleagues Have to Say about Me
“I have known and worked with Marty Curtis for over 12 years and found him to be extremely pro­fes­sional with great integrity and hon­esty. He walks the talk and is straight­for­ward with no secret agen­das. He will put in the time to make the SCAA a valu­able orga­ni­za­tion for its mem­bers.”
Dan Cox
SCAA Past President
SCAA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient

I had the priv­i­lege of meet­ing Marty Curtis about 6 years ago when I was going through my orig­i­nal Q Grading/Cupping train­ing and qual­i­fy­ing. Marty proved to be an excel­lent instruc­tor who I would have cat­e­go­rized as “Hard but Fair“. The level of hon­esty and integrity that he dis­played as our coach, teacher and tester is an exam­ple that I con­tinue to fol­low in the devel­op­ment of our peo­ple here at Community Coffee Company, LLC. You only need to speak with Marty for a few moments before you real­ize that the level of com­mit­ment he shows for our indus­try is gen­uine. Marty truly places his heart and soul into every aspect of cof­fee which is the dri­ving qual­i­fi­ca­tion that he would carry as Second Vice President of the SCAA Board of Directors.”
Carl Leonard
VP Green Coffee & Tea Dept
Community Coffee Company, LLC

I’ve worked with Marty since the early 1970′s and I can say this about him with­out equiv­o­ca­tion — he is as hard-working and focused as any per­son with whom I’ve ever been involved. His ded­i­ca­tion to his work, whether that be busi­ness or per­sonal, is offered in one form, and that is with all of his heart, mind, and body.  And per­haps most impor­tant to anyone’s suc­cess, Marty’s com­mit­ment to following-through is both con­sis­tent and com­plete.”
Gary Ladd
Past CEO and mem­ber of the Board, Asian American Coal, Inc.
Past mem­ber of the Board, Trident Academy
Current mem­ber of the Board, Darkness to Light
Current mem­ber of the Board, Piney Woods Resources
Co-founder and President, Aerial Revolution Challenges, Inc.

I had the honor to serve on the SCAA Board of Directors with Marty for one year.  During that time Marty was a glad­i­a­tor for the mem­bers.  When the Board was faced with a deci­sion he was the one who asked two very impor­tant ques­tions:  How will this action make the asso­ci­a­tion bet­ter for our mem­bers and is the action con­sis­tent with our stated mis­sion and val­ues.”
Linda Smithers
North American Marketing for Daterra
SCAA Past President

Why It Is Essential YOU Take a moment to Vote
As cur­rent SCAA Board Member, Andrew Hetzel said in his recent Facebook Post, “This year’s elec­tion is the most impor­tant in recent his­tory.“ This is an unusual elec­tion year for the asso­ci­a­tion. In most years the board sim­ply selects the next slate of can­di­dates they wish to put for­ward on the bal­lot and only about one in one hun­dred mem­bers votes. There really is no need to vote in this case.

This year I chose to peti­tion to be put on the bal­lot and was suc­cess­ful in hav­ing the required per­cent­age of vot­ing mem­bers take the valu­able time out of their day to write and sign a peti­tion and fax it to SCAA head­quar­ters, just to make sure I made it onto this bal­lot. Why would such busy peo­ple, like your­self do this? Because they know that I am ready, will­ing, and able to ded­i­cate myself to this orga­ni­za­tion to bring to it a greater focus on:

✓    Transparency
✓    Integrity
✓    Equal Voice
✓    Dedication
✓    Your Association
✓    Earned Leadership

This is YOUR Association
In 2008 I ran as a peti­tion can­di­date on these prin­ci­ples and proudly served on the board for the next four years. During this period I con­sis­tently fought to make the asso­ci­a­tion more open and respon­sive to mem­bers demand­ing the board meet­ing min­utes be more detailed and avail­able to the mem­ber­ship. This is your orga­ni­za­tion and you deserve to have a say in how it is run. Please take a moment to vote for me and I promise to work for you to have a greater voice and be heard in the lead­er­ship of the Association.

Please take a moment to VOTE NOW, the link is

Remember only ONE vote per com­pany and you will need your mem­ber ID for the vote to be offi­cial. If you can’t find it, call SCAA Membership at 562.624.4100 and the dead­line is March 22, 2014.

Marty Curtis

On the Shoulders of Giants

Categories: 2014, MarchTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

A Dramatic Display Can Pave the Way

Jack Newall, a man with pas­sion, a man with ded­i­ca­tion, and a man with the drive to make a dif­fer­ence in the cof­fee indus­try. For 55 plus years, Newall watched the indus­try evolve and change. He has been deemed a “giant” in our indus­try for his hard work and exper­tise in process engi­neer­ing. Processing sys­tems, roast­ers, and plant design has all been rev­o­lu­tion­ized with Newall’s help. Here is his story…

From the Beginning
Newall was born in 1934, and he grew up in Massachusetts. Furthering his edu­ca­tion, he attended the University of Massachusetts in 1952, look­ing to obtain a degree in engi­neer­ing. Newall left the University of Massachusetts his junior year to be part of a team at Datamatic Corporation, Newton, MA. This team was respon­si­ble for engi­neer­ing, fab­ri­cat­ing, and test­ing a pro­to­type three-inch tape drive for the Datamatic 1000 Computer, a joint ven­ture by Raytheon and Honeywell.

After three years he returned to the University of Massachusetts and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in eco­nom­ics, class of 1959.

How it All Started
During col­lege, Newall started dat­ing the daugh­ter of the pres­i­dent of Jabez Burns & Sons, Inc., which is located in Manhattan. While the love fell apart, her father offered Newall a job at his com­pany. He accepted the offer, and his life would change forever.

It all just fas­ci­nates me,” Newall said.

At Jabez Burns & Sons, Inc., Newall under­went gen­eral train­ing, includ­ing process sys­tem flow, design lay­out, automa­tion, esti­mat­ing, sales, instal­la­tion, start-up, and trou­bleshoot­ing. In 1962, the com­pany opened a sales office in Atlanta. Newall then gained the title of “Sales Engineer.”

Newall was respon­si­ble for all sales in the south­east­ern states includ­ing pre­lim­i­nary plant and sys­tem engi­neer­ing, esti­mat­ing, and pro­posal work. The com­pany at the time designed and man­u­fac­tured pro­cess­ing equip­ment and sys­tems for cof­fee, tea, choco­late, and nuts.

From 1964 to 1972, Newall was the Sales Manager for Blaw Knox Food and Chemical Equipment Co. Inc., in Buffalo, New York. He was respon­si­ble for equip­ment sales of Jabez Burns and B.F. Gump Divisions, a sub­sidiary man­u­fac­turer of feed­ing, screen­ing, grind­ing, and pack­ag­ing equip­ment. Newall was account­able for deter­min­ing sales goals, adver­tis­ing pro­grams, and coör­di­na­tion and prof­itabil­ity of 17 in-house and regional sales engineers.

Moving On Up!
From 1973 to 1981, Newall moved up in the com­pany. His nametag now read “Senior Sales Engineer.” He was liable for all Burns’ export mar­ket­ing pro­grams (exclud­ing Europe). It was here where he estab­lished sales agen­cies in Mexico City, Caracas, Bogota, and San Juan. He increased export sales by 400 percent!

Newall later estab­lished effec­tive sales pro­grams in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan when he became a Division Manager. He coör­di­nated and com­pleted a $950,000 new prod­uct devel­op­ment, includ­ing sig­nif­i­cant, per­sonal design con­cept con­tri­bu­tions. He was at this posi­tion until 1997. Total respon­si­bil­ity for Burns’ profit cen­ter rested on his shoul­ders, this includes long range plan­ning and fore­cast­ing, mar­ket­ing, sales, adver­tis­ing, and inter­fac­ing with all engi­neer­ing, pro­duc­tion, and account­ing functions.

Probat Burns Inc.
In 1998, the com­pany became Probat Burns Inc. Newall stayed with the com­pany and is a Senior Key Account Manager. His main focus is on the Burns prod­uct line, as well as aid­ing and sup­port­ing in Probat processes and engineering.

Still work­ing at the age of 80 shows just how much I enjoy the cof­fee fam­ily,” Newall explains.

I tell them I’m retir­ing at the end of the work­day Friday, and then I show up to work on Monday morn­ing,” he continued.

Newall has a love for the cof­fee com­mu­nity. He explained how rela­tion­ships go far beyond just rela­tion­ships, some peo­ple become like fam­ily. He urged other sales peo­ple to develop rela­tion­ships with cus­tomers on more than just one level.

Coffee Remains an Art Form
While talk­ing with Mr. Newall, some­thing he said really stood out to me. He said, “Coffee remains an art, no mat­ter how much sci­ence goes into it.” He explains that Probat sup­plies the indus­try with the tools and sci­ence to do just that, cre­ate art.

He com­pares a cof­fee pro­fes­sional to an artist, “We don’t want to give them oil-based paints if they want do a water color painting.”

The indus­try is quality-conscious and that is reflected in the entire cof­fee process. Newall says, “We are in this indus­try to make money, but so is every­one else on the sup­ply chain. It takes two to tango!”

In Conclusion
Jack Newall has been a giant in the cof­fee indus­try with his exper­tise being in process engi­neer­ing and sales. Clocking in decades of work­days shows just how much the indus­try means to him. He has for­ever made an impact on the way plant design effects the func­tions and processes of the cof­fee world.