Tacoma, WA. - After Forza Coffee Company's Director of Coffee, Phil Beattie, came back from his second Cup of Excellence (CoE) judging in May 2007, the fast growing Northwest coffee house franchise founder Brad Carpenter was introduced to CoE and given the opportunity to share this great coffee and story with customers in his 20 retail cafes.
Forza's roaster, Sumner, Washington based Dillanos Coffee Roasters followed the judging by purchasing 1,500 of CoE award winning coffee from the LaEsperanza Farm of Sataiel DeJesus Zavla Ferrufino in Nicaragua.
Brad was instantly taken with CoE and knew he could convince his customers to share his enthusiasm by reading and hearing the back-story about the winner, his family and his coffee.
Forza bought all of the CoE coffee Dillanos had purchased with the roaster's enthusiastic commitment to craft a Forza branded point of sale package supported by an all-out three month educational campaign to help ensure a fair return on the investment of paying more for the world's best coffee.
"Starting with the visual, we wanted to create a point of sale display that would draw attention to the farmer and his family- adding the element of relationship to the customer's purchasing decisions," said Jeff Woods, Dillanos management representative for Forza.
Dillanos design department paired the display with a Forza branded Cup Of Excellence poster, to draw attention to the new promotion, along with CoE buttons that baristas wore.
Custom label and packaging designed Forza and CoE 3/4 pound whole beanbags and Q& A CoE brochure (displayed in handmade wooden crates with Kraft style valve bags) were created to accentuate the essence of direct relationships.
"The total package has been a hit wherever Forza has made the effort to market with education and sampling," the Forza founder said. He added that the 1,500 pounds he purchased from Dillanos for the quarterly promotion is selling at approximately 100 pounds per week while enhancing the brand's association with premiere quality.
Carpenter reported that customers were eager to hear more options in the industry other than organic and fair trade, giving them a reason to support these relationship coffees while increasing the perception of quality and value that Forza is able to offer.
"At Forza Coffee we pride ourselves on our coffees; but we realize that the specialty coffee industry is first and foremost about relationships and that this truly is a relational business. We work on our relationships amongst each other, our venders, our staff and the relationships within the community and of course our customers.
"To help raise the bar on coffee quality internationally as well as feel a genuine connection with farmers through the Cup of Excellence program allows us to truly "go the full circle from seed to cup" in our relationships." Carpenter said a major benefit of Forza embracing CoE has been the reception by his staff.
"Our staff has been Extremely excited to introduce these "Coffees with a conscience" and we are introducing a program where our staff will be traveling to South America with our roaster, Phil Beattie of Dillanos, to meet with our farmers, learn from them and ascertain if we can assist in their daily lives.
"Our customers have appreciated that we are trying to move towards a sustainable harvest and that the Cup of Excellence program has taken the lead in our industry to assist small retail outfits such as Forza Coffee," Carpenter said.