We sat down and talked to Roger Meyers from Azucar Loca Coffee Company the other day to discuss packaging and his Houston-based-Cuban-inspired-Latin-influenced business. Here's what he had to say…
We can’t stop looking at your brand. It’s so cool. Who is that lovely lady in your logo?
Well, from the onset, we've been very focused on our brand and Cachita. She’s the strong matriarch and centerpiece of our logo, and she represents a mixture of all of our grandmas and aunties. Once we established the brand, we took those creative elements and carried them through to our bags and stickers.
Your brand -and you- have a lot of energy! Where does it come from?
Well, our motto is "Passion, energy, and the love of life in every cup!" Or maybe it has something to do with eight cups of coffee every morning?
So, now you've got this excellent brand. Then what?
We needed a bag that would showcase all of the great work that my team did in developing our brand. We met Roastar at a Coffee Fest Trade Show. We hit it off, and they helped me through the entire process, walked me through step by step.
First off, I want to say Roastar was super great about sending samples. With other companies, it's like pulling teeth.
We had seven different layouts to start and narrowed that down to two, and we have five panels on our bags. Our back panel has instructions for the French press, which is our recommended brewing process. On one of our two side panels, it took about two and a half months to get the wording right. There are things you need to think about, like how the bag creases and folds. We wanted to have fun with it on the bottom panel, so it says "Bottoms Up" on it. Each bag has a different sticker depending on the blend or the country of origin. All of that, along with sourcing the beans, like anything worthwhile, the branding and physical packaging took some time!
Oh, and I remember calling them up and asking, "How do I seal these bags?!" Of course, they recommended a bunch of sealers. Their help didn’t stop at just the bag itself.
It sounds like you’ve built a solid partnership with Roastar?
Each time I need their help or have a question, they're great. We did the coffee bags first, and then we launched little sample bags to match. So, if someone orders one of our popular blends, we may send them a sample of a different blend. We didn't want our sample bags to look like generic sample bags, so now, when you put 5 or 6 of them together on a table, it's got that wow factor we desired. We wanted that packaging to have the same brand integrity, and Roastar helped us make that happen every step of the way.
The great thing about the sample packs is that now we get calls like, "Hey, I own an Air B’n’B, and I'd love to have some samples in the room for our guests.” As a result, we’re on our second run of those samples, and a third run is probably right around the corner.
Anything else you want to add about the importance of packaging?
If your eyes fall in love with the packaging and it looks cool, you’re much more apt to taste what’s inside. Then, hopefully, they say, "Wow! This is delicious coffee!"
Because of our initial success, I see us using Roastar as we branch out of the coffee market. We are looking to open a café, so we may need cold brew packaging, and teas
would need packaging. So I don't see us ending our partnership with Roastar any time soon!
Thanks for taking the time, Roger! We hope to see you at another coffee industry trade show soon, and good luck with opening the café! Save us a seat!