Despite all the reasons not to, we were determined.
This was going to work. It had to.
And with that, Gabe, Adam, and I were off, Mission Arabica was born, and we were going to change the world!
This Side Of Crazy
It was a cold January morning in 2014.
After almost a year of learning, planning, networking, strategizing, and whatever else we did, the day was finally here. MissionArabica.com officially launched.
It was humble beginnings.
Three guys that have never been in the coffee scene launched a blog to talk about how they were going to change the world by helping third world coffee farmers.
It seemed crazy.
In many ways, it was.
But it seems that the best things in life usually start out that way.
We were expecting to take things slow. Launch the websiteâ€¦ develop a followingâ€¦ maybe after a year or so actually start considering purchasing coffee and selling it on our website.
However, by spring, we became close with a coffee roaster that helped us get on our feet.
They showed Adam how to roast coffee and for a while we operated on an arrangement where we would collect orders on our website and they would fulfill the orders.
This was incredible.
After just a few months in operation we were already selling Mission Arabica branded coffee!
As good as we had it in that moment, we knew that if Mission Arabica was ever going to be able to purchase coffee from third world farmers at fair prices and then resell that coffee to cover our cost and allow us to purchase from additional farmers, we would have to start roasting coffee ourself to make the numbers work.
So that is what we did.
We bought over 750 pounds of better than fair trade specialty grade coffee and a coffee roaster.
Once again, another big leap.
Thatâ€™s a lot of coffee – a lot of moneyâ€¦
Would we be able to sell it?
Would we be able to cover our costs?
Is this a terrible mistake that will put us out of business?
At that point, only time would tell. Based on our purchase agreement we had till pretty much the end of the year to pay off the coffee. So we knew we had to get moving.
Time to step it up with wholesale
We quickly realized that as great as our single bag sales were on the website up to that point, we knew we would not be able to cover our costs unless we started selling more coffee.
Like, a lot more coffee.
So we figured the best way to do that was to start selling wholesale to grocery stores, coffee shops,etc.
Within our first two weeks of this decision we already landed our first major account. A grocery store in Michigan.
Then we got another grocery store.
A coffee shop.
A grocery store.
This was actually working. We might be able to pull this off!
If your interested in joining our wholesale program, you can find out more detail here.
Momentum is a good thing
Talk about an exciting morning. I wake up to see a bunch of people tweeting about something and tagging us – which doesnâ€™t usually happen all that often.
I check out what they are saying and I see the article! Good day indeed!
Closing out the year
As 2014 came to a close, we were able to sell over 550 lbs of coffee! The profits of which more than covered our original coffee purchase, which was a great feeling.
That being said, we still have a long way to go. In order to be able to purchase any quantity of coffee from a 3rd world village that could make an impact, we will need to continue growing these distribution channels.
We also are going to need a larger facility and more efficient equipment if this is going to work.
So we are still pushing for growth as we look to tackle these investment challenges.
Join the journey
If I can tell you one thing I learned is 100% true, we really would not be able to do this without you. So thank you for all the time you have spent following along with us, sharing our posts, purchasing our coffee, and telling your friends about us. You have no idea the impact that your time and efforts have made.
So on behalf of Gabe, Adam, myself and our families. Thank you!
That being said we are always looking for more people to join this journey with us. So if you like what we are doing, I am going to ask you to do 3 super simple and quick things for me that will help us achieve our mission.
First – Share this post. All you have to do is click either the big facebook or twitter button below – it really does help us a ton. My goal is to see this thing hit 25 shares so lets see if we can do it!
Second – Pick your favorite social media outlet and like/follow us.
Last (and probably most important) – If you havenâ€™t already, join our VIP (email) list. It is free, we donâ€™t spam you, you get special offers from time to time, bonus content, etc. Email is by far the best way to stay in contact with you so please go ahead and type in your name and email address in the box below.
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On to 2015
So what will this next year hold in store for us? New products in the shop, more great content in our blog, or perhaps one of the best coffee recipes you have ever tried. Whatever it is, Iâ€™m excited to push strongly into our second year and am optimistic about where it will take us!
Thanks for joining this journey with us and hope to talk to you soon!