The air is getting crisp and colder, the sweaters and coats are getting pulled out of storage, and the Halloween decorations have disappeared in favor of those representing the winter holidays. There’s no denying it, winter will soon be upon us. Of course, we won’t reach the true peak of the coldest season without at least one more autumn festivus to send us off: Thanksgiving. So as we all come home from the stores this week with bags full of stuffing, turkey, potatoes and cider, we’ve got the true meaning of the holiday on our mind.
Here at Mandela Coffee, we’re big fans of the Thanksgiving holiday; not only because waking up early to cook gives us a great excuse to drink coffee all day, but also because of the true meaning of the holiday itself. Practicing thankfulness is something that you’re likely going to be hearing a lot about as we head into next week's holiday, so we thought this might be the perfect opportunity to share with you some of the things about our business, our industry, our mission, and coffee in general that bring us the most thankfulness.
So brew yourself a cup of Mandela Coffee, kick back, and take a look at the top five things that we’re thankful for this year!
1) Exposure, Exposure, Exposure
If you’ve been following the blog at all so far this year, you’ve likely picked up on the fact that Mandela Coffee is, at its core, something of an international business. The reasons for this are many and varied, but they aren’t limited to the fact that our outreach projects to increase water access are all carried out abroad. On the contrary, our motivation for operating this way is somewhat intrinsic given the ways in which coffee is grown, harvested and produced.
In fact, the exposure to other cultures and lines of business than we’ve found through Mandela Coffee is really a result of just that: coffee. Many people aren’t aware of the fact that, though coffee can be grown in at least several different climates - people grow coffee on small-scale levels within the continental United States - it’s largely only grown outside of America. In fact, Hawaii is the only state within the union that commercially grows coffee. So with that said, being in the coffee business certainly provides us with not only the means, but also a bit of incentive, to learn as much as we can about new cultures and gain exposure to new sectors of the marketplace. For that, we are thankful.
2) Our Partnerships
One of the best parts of our job is that we’re constantly given the opportunity to interact with people, organizations and advocacy groups who feel as strongly and passionately as we do about working to ensure water access around the world.
While we’ve come to know quite a few players in this space since we started down this road, we’d like to highlight our particular thankfulness for Water Charity, one of our partners. A registered 501(C)3 non-profit organization, Water Charity has been kind enough to allow us to partner with them in our water access efforts.
While there’s a seemingly endless amount of positive praise we could lay on Water Charity, we’ve found it’s best to focus on their accomplishments. Water Charity has - both independently and through various partnerships - completed over 3,600 public health projects in more than 70 countries, benefiting an estimated population of more than 70 million people worldwide, and they’re just getting started. Needless to say, we’re thrilled to be associated with such an accomplished organization.
3) Diversity: Our Clients, Our Products and Our Services
Perhaps one of the most interesting things that we’ve come to realize throughout our time running Mandela Coffee has been that no two of our customers are the same. Not only in who they are as individuals, but also in the ways that they choose to consume their favorite products, including Mandela Coffee.
This might sound like a somewhat elementary realization, but, let us assure you, it’s something that we’ve found invaluable to keep in mind as we’ve gone about building our business. For example, we know that not everyone has the exact same tastes in coffee, and that’s a big part of the reason that we don’t offer only one blend.
Of course, it goes a great deal deeper than that. One of the less obvious ways that we’ve been able to benefit by celebrating the diversity in tastes and consumption habits of our clients is through our distribution model. We realized, one day, that simply selling individual bags of coffee isn’t the most efficient system, because consumers with a small family might require less than individuals, while larger families with multiple members might have less time to get to the store. That’s why we developed our subscription service.
Mandela coffee customers can order their coffee to be shipped directly to them in weekly, bi-weekly or monthly deliveries, so that they never have to go without their favorite blends, and they never have to spend time going out to the store to get them. It’s just one more thing to be thankful for: being able to cater to our customers in ways as unique as each one of them.
4) Timing is Everything
Starting a small business is never easy, but starting a small business that requires stringent quality control, bootstrapped funding, guerilla marketing efforts and endless consumer research is it’s own beast entirely. With as much hard work as the staff here at Mandela Coffee has put in, though, we have to admit some of our success comes down to good grace in timing.
The fact of the matter is that a lot of the success of any businesses’ mission is going to come down to the environment that business finds itself in. Luckily for us, water access around the world is becoming a much more talked-about and well understood issue. In fact, it’s begun to captivate the minds of investors, as well as the traditionally environmentally conscious crowd. To underscore this, it’s been reported that smart water technologies will be worth more, as an industry, than $16 billion by 2020.
5) The Growth of the Coffee Market
Needless to say, the growth of the coffee market is critically important to us, both as individuals and as a company. This isn’t just because without it, we likely would be out a job - on the contrary, it’s something that we feel goes much, much further than that.
The thing is, we’ve come to believe that the coffee market is a strong and potent vehicle for social change around the world and the betterment of society in general, that’s why we’ve chosen it to use as our platform for establishing more meaningful water access across the globe. Luckily, it’s a good time to be in the market, with a recent Gallup poll showing that more than 60% of American adults report drinking at least one cup of coffee daily. With that sort of sustained market, we stand not only to be able to run a successful business, but more importantly, help deliver our message of the importance of water access to a large and robust demographic.
This sort of growth provides us with a platform upon which we feel we can truly make a difference. We don’t view this as just a business opportunity - though that facet cannot be ignored - but also as a means to help spread our message, and for that, we are extremely thankful.
Thankfulness and Mandela Coffee
As we’ve discussed throughout this piece, we’re fortunate to have a plethora of reasons to be thankful - not only with our business, but with everyone involved therein. What would make us even more thankful this Thanksgiving week, though, would be to hear from some of our loyal customers about what they’re giving thanks for this November in their own homes.
So let us know: send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief statement telling us what you’re thankful for! Extra points for you if you include a picture of yourself enjoying your favorite blend of Mandela Coffee.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, and Happy Brewing!