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Wholesale News, March 2020
By Honor Forte
Director of Sales, Wholesale Support and Training


This month is a little different.

I'm writing to let you know that we are creatively looking for ways to be here for you, however we can. The roastery is still open and roasting coffee as we work to support as many of our partners and staff as possible. Our company mission is to "Improve Quality of Life for our Farmers, Staff, and Customers." Farmers are often the most in-need of creative answers, but this month is offering a new challenge for all of us at this end of the supply chain.

Everything is changing day-to-day, but we are continuing to roast coffee and are doing everything we can to give staff hours and fulfill customers needs. If you need anything out of the ordinary or if we can help with your creative pivot to encourage sales in a new format, please let us know. For now here are some ways we might be able to help:

If you haven't already, the easiest thing you can do for your customers is to offer digital gift cards. This can be turned on in your POS, Square and Clover etc, and is as simple as offering a link that allows customers to buy a gift card while at home. Here's how to do it in Square and here's how to do it in Clover.
The most encouraging thing I can offer is that every retail customer I've talked to is looking for ways to spend money at your business. Your stakeholders don't want to lose your business, and pre-selling gift cards while closed will give them a chance to support you and encourage some cash flow during isolation.

Next, is that we are live-streaming Fridays at 10am on Instagram - starting tomorrow (3/20). The plan as of now is to host a live Q&A for you and your customers. We want to encourage engagement and retail bag purchases for those of you that are still open. Moreover, this can be a fun way to learn something new about coffee! Oliver, co-owner of Olympia Coffee, will be doing the first one tomorrow at 10am PST. Maybe I'll see you on there?

Last up - below is a short global coffee update like we always do, but we've suspended classes for the moment so no training info for now.

Reach out anytime folks, we are here to support you if we can!

Olympia Coffee Director of Sales
Honor Forte
 


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March Global Coffee Updates

By Oliver Stormshak
Owner, Green Coffee Buyer, and Roast Master


This month the world, and especially the coffee industry, has been affected by the spread of Coronavirus/COVID-19. In our 15 years in business, this is easily the scariest and most stressful experience we have ever faced. Coffee is a staple often assumed to be an infinite resource, but as you’ll find with some of our partners, worldwide trade is affected by unforeseen crises such as this. So now more than ever, we wanted to continue sharing the status of our partners globally to remind us all that we are all in this together. We’re glad coffee is something we can continue to celebrate and share, even amidst these uncertain moments.
 


Colombia:
In the roastery, we have a steady supply of new arrivals including the absolutely delicious Clinton Ossa Micro 10. Mid-month we’ll be rolling out Amparo Pajoy’s 23rd micro lot with Olympia Coffee, then in April, we will be roasting Clinton Ossa Micro Lot 11. Finally, you can always depend on a fresh arrival of the delicious Sweetheart Colombia San Sebastian to make its way to your shelves. Later this year, we’re expecting the arrival of more Colombian coffees including San Fermin, San Sebastian Decaf, and San Sebastian Reserva as well as micro-lots from Johany Quilindo, Clinton Ossa, and Amparo Pajoy. 

In Colombia, March is one of two months where the country sees little to no harvesting of coffee. It’s a time where producers get a bit of break to catch up on farm improvements and take a well-earned moment to relax. But April typically brings more ripe cherries so before they know it, it’s back to harvest season!

 
Ethiopia:
Right now, we are loving our coffee from Adame Garbota. It’s been our highest scoring coffee for the last few weeks and we’ve come down to just a couple more weeks worth of this Good Food Award-winning coffee. Our natural-processed Tilahun Gedo is tasting great, too, and is also down to just a few more weeks remaining. I’m sad to report this will be our last natural until fresh crop arrives mid-summer.

Coming up, we await our last washed lot of the year from single producer Desta Gola. As we begin booking shipments of newly harvested Ethiopian coffee for 2020, I’m happy to report that I’ve expanded our single producer program, which has been growing each year, and we are increasing purchasing from some of our favorite cooperatives.
 
El Salvador:
After our recent visits to El Salvador, we’re getting ready to start tasting pre-shipment samples. Production has stopped and coffees are finishing up their drying process. We’re shooting for anew-crop from El Salvador to start shipping in May.
 
Guatemala:
We recently canceled our harvest wrap-up trip to Guatemala due to the pandemic, which put our Guatemalan purchases a little behind schedule. That said, we’re still expecting Guatemalan offerings to begin landing in June.
 
Kenya:
We are on our final Kenyan offering from last summer’s harvest: Kaguma AB. Before it runs out, you can enjoy this sweet, juicy coffee on a nice spring day!

I’m really excited to announce we are now purchasing from one co-op: Gitwe Cooperative. We have developed a strong enough relationship to be in a position where we can purchase exclusively from them. Gitwe has three washing stations Kiburu, Karatu and Karinga and we have sourced beautiful micro-lots from these three to bring home. Arriving in May!

 


Burundi:
Burundi is just about two months from the beginning of their harvest. We expect another top-quality harvest from our partners at Long Miles Coffee. This year will be an especially interesting year politically as the country heads into an election right at the beginning of the harvest in June.

 
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