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Wholesale Food & Beverage icon Coffee Distribution Business Plan

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The Coffee Warehouse


The Coffee Warehouse will provide a first-class delivery service of quality hot and cold beverage related supplies, including whole bean or ground coffee, flavor syrups, jet teas, fruit smoothies, bubble teas, concentrated milk, fresh baked goods and assorted paper supplies. Our services will include invaluable trade resources, effective promotional programs, custom-designed marketing material, informative monthly newsletters, training and product demonstrations, as well as information on the latest market trends in the coffee/specialty beverage industry.

3.1 Product & Service Description

The Coffee Warehouse will carry a variety of quality products that will enable us to provide full service delivery to espresso stands and coffee houses. Our underlying philosophy in selecting products is to choose lines that will bring consistent quality, competitive prices, and product satisfaction to our customers. We have personally researched and sampled each of the following products that we offer to ensure the quality we guarantee.

  • Lowery’s Gourmet Whole Bean and Wired Willey’s White Coffee
  • Assorted Gourmet Syrups & Coffee Toppings
  • Chocolate, White Chocolate and Caramel Syrups/Sauces
  • Oregon Chai Concentrate
  • Jet Cafe and Jet Tea Fruit n’ Tea Freeze
  • Cappuccina line of product
  • Big Train line of product
  • Red Bull Energy Drinks
  • Good Cow Concentrated Milk with Custom Dispensing Equipment
  • Fresh Baked Goods
  • Assortment of White, Pre-printed Paper, and Clear Beverage Cups Systems – as well as an assortment of other paper supplies

At this time, the majority of these products are only available to customers through wholesale vendors such as Cash and Carry retail outlets – therefore it is the customer’s responsibility to acquire these products by their own means. The Coffee Warehouse will make these same products available through our high quality, full service delivery – bringing these products directly to their doorstep at a competitive price.

An important component of our business is not just our products, but our service. In addition to our full service delivery, the following are other important service elements that we will offer to our customers:

  • Ideas to help our customers increase sales through menu development, creative promotions, co-op advertising, and much more.
  • Custom designed marketing material such as printed banners, promotional posters, punch cards, pre-purchased beverage cards, reader boards, etc.
  • Distribute a monthly newsletter featuring the latest coffee trends, new industry equipment, breaking trade news, promotional ideas, new creative recipes, and upcoming events.
  • Samples of the latest product releases – with eye-catching point-of-sale to advertise new items to the end consumer.
  • Routine equipment maintenance and training.

3.2 Competitive Edge

No other wholesaler in the market offers full service delivery with the variety of product we feature. We are better positioned than our main competitors to take advantage of the increasing demands of coffee and specialty beverage supplies because we focus exclusively on high-quality distribution and customer service. In addition to the variety of products we feature, The Coffee Warehouse has exclusive distribution rights to Good Cow’s concentrated milk/dispensing system. This product is not currently available in our market by any other suppliers.

Our primary weakness is that we are a new business competing largely against established suppliers. To significantly build sales, we must not just find new customers – we must take customers away from existing suppliers. However by offering a superior selection of supplies, new groundbreaking products to the market, and focusing on high-quality service and full service delivery, we feel will can quickly establish accounts and build strong relationships. Co-founder Jennifer Smith has had many discussions with owners of coffee and espresso businesses that confirm this opinion.

3.3 Sales Literature

Sales literature to be distributed to both current and potential customers will include brochures, fliers, newsletters, as well as other print media such as print advertisements.  Jennifer Smith is highly skilled in graphic design and desktop publishing, and has quality design and printing equipment to publish professional pieces at a low cost.

3.4 Sourcing

The Coffee Warehouse will purchase product directly from manufacturers, as well as master distributors. Because this eliminates the broker or “middle man,” this allows us to operate on a 25-30% profit margin, while providing our customers with competitive prices.

To further reduce costs, The Coffee Warehouse plans to share product shipments out of California with distributors operating in Portland, Oregon and Tri-Cities, Washington. Other product not being shipped directly to Spokane will be purchased and picked up in Seattle, Washington. The Coffee Warehouse plans to send a truck to Seattle on a bi-weekly basis to pick up product, thus cutting costs by an average of 5%.

3.5 Technology

To streamline the efficiency of our distribution methods, The Coffee Warehouse plans to use the latest in cutting edge technology – not only in the warehouse – but also in the trade.

All of our drivers/sales representatives will be equiped with Thinque MSP handhelds and software. Thinque MSP applications will reduce field expenses, decrease day’s sales outstanding, and increase worker efficiency. Features can be used in or out of the warehouse and include managing returns and collections; adjusting item price, profit or margin; applying promotional items to an account; streamlining orders; tracking inventory; reducing out-of-stocks; and providing sales history reports. All information recorded in the handheld is available in real time to be viewed by management in the office.

3.6 Future Products and Services

Within the first year of business, The Coffee Warehouse intends to open a retail/wholesale store and high-quality showroom.  Products will be available for purchase by both our wholesale customers who may need product between delivery days, as well as retail consumers interested in purchasing product for their home use.  We will also offer a showroom that will feature equipment, supplies, trade resources, and information on marketing services with examples of marketing and promotional material available to customers.

With the addition of the product showroom, The Coffee Warehouse will offer customers quarterly product and training demonstrations that will be presented by trained beverage experts from the industry.

The Coffee Warehouse also plans to hold semi-annual trade shows for current or potential customers. These trade shows will allow customers the opportunity to sample products, talk to manufacturers, learn about new industry trends, review marketing material, and network with other business owners in their market.