Merlo explains its turnkey business solutions for the hospitality industry


Merlo talks about growing its reputation and positioning the company as more than a coffee brand.

According to Merlo Coffee, the world is facing an increasing demand for choice and flexibility, underpinned by the assurance of a dependable supply chain, especially one that is Australia based.

Merlo National Business Development Manager Reuben Aiono says rather than seeing this market shift as a challenge, it is an opportunity that allows the roaster the freedom to focus on the two things that have gotten it this far – quality and service.

“Merlo’s turnkey business solutions provide not only specialty roasted coffee, but the provision of premium equipment and accessories, and consumables such as cups, cutlery, alternative milks, sugars and syrups, chocolate powders, and more,” says Reuben.

Having worked at Merlo for 14 years, Reuben’s role entails sourcing new business opportunities and showcasing the company’s turnkey business service for cafés, restaurants, and contract suppliers across the country.

“At Merlo Coffee we don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach. Depending on the needs and preferences of your business, we offer a range of tailored solutions to enhance your business’ image with your choice of machinery from top brands such as La Marzocco and San Remo. We offer large contract roasting volumes, co-branding opportunities, unbranded hand packed bespoke blends for wholesale customers seeking an individual approach, as well as branded Merlo supply,” says Reuben.

“We take great care to source the highest quality beans from around the world, slow roasting those beans daily to ensure a richer, fuller flavour. And because not everyone likes the same coffee, we can create your own custom blend roasted to a specific flavour profile to suit you and your customers.”

Merlo has the capacity to roast hundreds of tonnes of beans a week, ranging from signature blends to single origins, light roast specialties, medium and dark roast signature coffees, cold brew options and more. However, Reuben says there’s one particular blend customers are after lately.

“Lighter roasts are quite popular at the moment. We’ve had quite a lot of interest in single origin Colombian light roasts and light roast blends. The younger demographic seems to enjoy the subtle, fruity flavours with a bit more aromatisation,” he says.

Merlo had always catered in medium-to-dark roasting, but after listening to customer feedback, says it was happy to adapt the offering.

Each order is manually packed and checked by Merlo’s dedicated warehouse team.

“After several trials of light roasts, we realised there was a huge demand for it, so we shifted our roasting to suit the customer,” Reuben says.

Reuben has also identified an increasing market trend for organic coffee, one that comes at the perfect time given Merlo’s newly Australian Certified Organic facilities.

“Everyone’s making conscious environmental decisions around packaging and products now. With an increasing market demand for Organic blends, getting certified just made sense. We can now cater to that market, which is exciting,” he says.

With Merlo’s ability to source specialty coffee from global suppliers at industry competitive prices, Reuben says consumers can rest assured knowing they’re in safe hands with the company.

“We only purchase coffee that passes an external and internal grading to classify as specialty, which is anything between 80 and 100. Each shipment is cupped upon arrival by our licenced Q Grader and Head Roaster and carefully combined to craft our seven signature blends. Specialty to us is putting coffee first and building relationships around that,” Reuben says.

He adds that great tasting coffee is just one of the perks of partnering with Merlo. The company offers around-the-clock customer service, emergency repairs, and freight delivery options.

“We’ve got a great reputation for outstanding customer service and the ability to build long and strong relationships. These are built purely on a long history of delivering quality products and services consistently, and treating businesses like our own. Not only that, but our support is also quite extensive, with 24-hour emergency breakdown and delivery services available every day from one of our eight representatives on the road,” Reuben says.

Three dedicated coffee trainers are available to customers and their staff at Merlo’s Fortitude Valley facility, or onsite in a customer’s own café Australia wide.

“We can help to educate you and your staff in preparing the perfect cup of coffee for your customers, from equipment maintenance to espresso extraction and everything in between,” Reuben says.

“With a network of specialised technicians and a 24/7 emergency hotline, if your machine happens to let you down on a bustling Saturday morning, we’ve got you covered.”

To help stand out from the crowd, Merlo offers personalised packaging and branding to set a business a part.

“Our full marketing team provides branding support through branded and bespoke merchandise, umbrellas, barriers, banners, and collateral such as loyalty cards. At Merlo, we think outside generic marketing offerings,” Reuben says.

He adds that Merlo is proud to be one of Australia’s leading independently owned and operated coffee roasters and will continue to work hard to ensure that every business serving Merlo receives the freshest coffee for their customers.

“Our philosophy has never changed over the last 30 years. We take great care in sourcing the highest quality coffee beans from around the world and roast daily so that our customers can enjoy their coffee at its best, fresh, and full of flavour. That’s the Merlo way,” Reuben says.

“Especially with all the uncertainty going in the world, the one thing we want to offer consumers is a consistently great cup of coffee.”

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This article appears in the August 2022 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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