More Coffee Than Finals Week

In all honesty, I think I drank more coffee today than I have in my entire life. I think that says a lot, especially after just finishing my first year of college. To explain, today consisted of visits to two different companies with rather different approaches to their functions in coffee’s supply chain (and both companies had lots of coffee for us to sample). The first was Doka, a 32-farm coffee plantation responsible for the harvesting of coffee beans and distribution to different locations thereafter. The second was Café Britt, a multilocal company with a very unique approach to their business model.

Café Britt focuses on positioning themselves as an export company (of not only just coffee) in an effort to form their own “Britt culture”. This is different from Doka in that the company incorporates a more local approach into its business model, rather than a national one. Not only that, Café Britt differs from Doka in that they have more competitors due to their various product lines (which are constantly expanding). Oppositely, Doka is responsible for planting, harvesting, and sourcing–resulting in less direct competition.

Café Britt’s successful integration of e-commerce to sell to tourists isn’t the only achievement of this innovative company. A big part of the financial success of Café Britt lies in its focus on providing a sense-of-place in each of their store locations around the world. This means that in every store, the designers (whom have spent a lot of time in the field researching to create a useful database) use local elements for inspiration to create a cheerful, unique environment specific to that country.

From a tourist’s perspective, this idea seems ingenious. The more a customer feels that products relate to aspects of their personal life, like their culture for example, the more inclined they will be to purchase said products (and tell their friends and family to do the same). So far, I think Café Britt has successfully maintained this business model and will only continue to do so as they work towards further expanding the company’s portfolio. The only thing I would change would have to be to add more marketing-focused efforts. Right now, the company does not feel the need to use social media platforms. Nowadays, I think many customers expect companies to have resources in this area, so allocating some funds to social media marketing may be something that Café Britt might want to look into for the future.


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