Great question - this is something that we’re always juggling/balancing because like you and your members, quality coffee is a MUST…but the price adds up.
What’s worked really well for us has been to reach out to some of the smaller high-end roasters and let them know about the coffee culture at Indy Hall. Rather than asking for discounts or sponsorship, we invite them to participate, just like we would any other community member. You better believe that with the indie roasters where the owner and the roaster aren’t separated by a layer of management, there’s a TON of excitement to connect with other coffee lovers face to face.
We’ve done everything from inviting roasters to come to our parties with alcoholic & non alcoholic coffee drinks (including small batch coffee beers), to smaller scale “cuppings” which are basically like a wine tasting for coffee. The cuppings are especially awesome because they get to see people appreciate their product, and members get an education on coffee.
Once you’ve gotten to know them, and they’ve gotten to know you and your members, buying local beans at wholesale prices without buying HUGE orders gets really, really easy.
We actually end up spreading our coffee order across a couple of roasters for variety, too, keeping more local relationships active. Once every year or so, one of our members hosts a blind coffee taste-off that includes a bunch of roasters. We let the roasters know about it, and they get excited about participating…they’ll usually even send us some beans for free for the taste-off to get in the running.
I’d avoid the approach of “we’re a huge community and we’ll talk about you so hook us up”. Really go all in on the relationships.
And best of all…this stuff is fun. Coffee culture, like any craft culture, tends to have an appreciation for their local communities.
coworking in philadelphia
On Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 9:48 AM, George Aye [email protected] wrote:
Dear coworkjng gurus,
Our space in Chicago has been on a weekly subscription to Metropolis coffee since we started 1.5 yrs ago. We’ve been ramping up our consumption as we add more people and we’re now level at 4 lbs/week for $60. We’re at a total headcount of 27 individuals.
Anyone have any recommendations on a coffee broker or a wholesaler that can get offer better pricing? Or simply suggestions on managing cost?
Many thanks in advance!
Ps. Chicago has a strong coffee culture with metropolis and intelligentsia being the two big roasters in town. Both are fantastic but expensive. Switching to dunkin donuts for their beans is not a viable option and I personally can’t stand to drink it.
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