BeanScene talks to Justin Rejske, Managing Director at Melitta Professional Coffee Solutions Australia, about supplying businesses with end-to-end coffee solutions.
What excites Justin Rejske the most about his role at Melitta is the fourth-generation family-owned businesses’ rich and storied history in the coffee industry, framed by a deep love for coffee preparation and strengthened by entrepreneurial mastery.
“Before becoming the household name that we are recognised as today, Melitta has a humble origin story that began in 1908 at the home of Melitta Bentz in Dresden, Germany,” Justin says.
Akin to the timeless sentiment of coffee lovers everywhere, Melitta was in search of the perfect cup of coffee. From her kitchen at home, she was working on developing a way to prepare her coffee that would filter the coffee grounds from the drink, while retaining the full flavour of the beans.
Tinkering in her kitchen one day, Melitta reasoned that if she punched holes in a brass pot and lined it with ink blotting paper, this would filter the pure coffee out. Upon testing her method, it proved successful, and thus, the coffee filter and drip coffee were born.
Melitta’s early coffee preparation device soon gained popularity as a coveted household staple. Now 124 years and four generations on, Melitta’s entrepreneurial spirit lives on in the self-titled business name.
“Over the years, our company has grown into a global coffee superpower, standing for excellence in every aspect of coffee preparation, and becoming well-regarded by coffee professionals the world over for our portfolio of coffee products and services,” says Justin.
When Melitta landed in Australia in 1986, the focus of the business was on ground coffee for the retail segment. But according to Justin, things really started to take shape in the Australian market when they expanded their focus to include professional coffee equipment in the early noughties.
“In 2021, we redefined our strategy around six strategic pillars which includes coffee, machines, customer service, finance, digitalisation and bespoke solutions,” explains Justin. “These core competencies really strengthened our offering to clients interested in creating a positive coffee experience for their business.”
At that point, Melitta Australia established itself as a professional coffee system solutions provider, partnering with clients to provide a broad portfolio of coffee products and services. “By assisting in every aspect of coffee preparation, we are living out our true purpose,” Justin says.
And with the addition of financial solutions to its portfolio, Melitta entered an entirely new field of coffee expertise.
“We can consult with clients on everything from the lease or sale of a piece of equipment to the types of products they should sell to increase profits – right down to the cost per cup,” Justin says.
From there, the team at Melitta can build out custom products and solutions. For some of their larger key clients, this means designing and customising specific products, developing their menus, implementing digitalisation processes, and assisting with marketing for their business.
Additionally, Melitta also offers staff training and servicing for equipment.
“Whether we are working with a catering company, hotel, restaurant, or another industry market segment that provides coffee services to their guests, clients trust us to provide end-to-end tailored coffee solutions that are specific to the needs of their business,” Justin says.
Retaining its roots as a family-owned operated enterprise means that Melitta prefers to look at its customers as an extension of that family operation by developing a true partnership with clients.
“Clients come to us because they understand the importance of offering their guests a professional quality coffee experience however, they don’t have expertise in coffee in their own right, and this is where we excel,” says Justin.
“The value of a true partnership is that our clients can leverage our coffee expertise as a competitive advantage for their own businesses. There are many aspects of a business that will get clientele through the door, but a positive coffee experience gives them a reason to keep coming back.”
Simplification is key to the services Melitta provides to its clients. An example of this occurred a few years ago when a petroleum chain approached Melitta to assist with growing their hot beverage sales.
“The client was seeking a long-term solution that would allow them to capitalise on the strong growth of their coffee sales in their petrol and convenience segment,” Justin says.
“Our first step was to send our experts to learn about their objectives and understand the status of their business. What we discovered was that the client had amassed numerous suppliers over time. This was fragmenting their business, as there was little room for standardisation in the quality or consistency of products and services. Ultimately, this was preventing them from achieving their business goals.”
To address this issue, the team at Melitta recommended a scalable solution consisting of coffee, equipment, service, digitalisation, and customisations that took into consideration the different needs of the client’s national business.
The end result was a success with the client gaining the ability to deliver consistent premium quality hot beverages to their customers, while at the same achieving their profitability targets. Melitta continues to consult with the client regularly to monitor the performance of its coffee system and ensure the business is aligned with changing market trends.
“In the past few years, we have observed that global supply chain disruptions have made running a business even more challenging due to supply shortages and rising shipping costs,” Justin says.
“By offering our clients a true partnership arrangement, we invite our clients to rely on us for all their coffee requirements. This way, they can continue to focus on what matter the most – running their business.”
For more information, visit www.melitta-professional.com
This article appears in the August 2022 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.