The Bean Cartel upsizes roasting operations

The Bean Cartel

The Bean Cartel is upsizing its roasting operation after a sustained period of growth, led by a bold rebrand to position the company as a serious player in the specialty coffee market.

Business growth is something to be celebrated, but Melbourne coffee roaster The Bean Cartel admits it almost bloomed too quickly. As such, the company is expanding its operations, starting with the acquisition of additional space.

“We wanted to do this 12 to 18 months ago, but finding a location proved difficult,” says Co-owner Stacy Visser. “We got lucky when our neighbours decided to move, which allowed us to slide straight in next door.”

Now with more space at its Notting Hill HQ, The Bean Cartel will add six two-tonne silos to its roastery to double its current output.

“I originally ordered six one-tonne silos, but we kept growing to the point that two- tonnes made more sense,” says Stacy. “We’re hoping this sends a message that we’re more than capable of servicing larger clients efficiently and effectively.”

The expansion is testament to the hard work Stacy and the team at The Bean Cartel has put in behind the scenes.

This includes the drastic changes to the business that took place during COVID-19, including rebranding the roaster’s identity. Prior to this, Stacy says The Bean Cartel was perceived as an office coffee supplier that occasionally worked with cafés.

“We knew what we were capable of, but we wanted to show others what we could do,” he says. “We’re always looking at how we can level up to the next phase and increase efficiency.”

The goal of the rebrand was to let café owners know The Bean Cartel could supply the specialty coffee they deserve, as well as develop a unique voice for the company.

“We went from a vanilla marketing approach to a crazy one,” says Stacy. “We knew we originally didn’t have the appeal cafés called for – we wanted to be seen as a well-respected player.”

A growing business calls for growing workforce, and Stacy says there are a lot of new faces at the roastery, all with hospitality backgrounds.

“From a wholesale perspective, we know exactly what café owners are going through,” he says. “Our customers feel they are getting extra support as a member of The Bean Cartel’s family, as we make sure to visit weekly.

“Each team member is skilled at solving problems directly when they occur.” Reaching this point of growth has been a team effort, which Stacy believes is the backbone of any business.

“I’m humble enough to understand I don’t know everything, and that’s where the staff around me help,” he says. “With the updated branding and some new additions to the team, we’ve really been able to launch The Bean Cartel 2.0.”

One such addition has been Melissa Glentis, The Bean Cartel’s National Sales Manager.

“I wasn’t aware of The Bean Cartel before I started working for the company, but when I drank the coffee for the first time, I thought it was incredible,” Melissa says.

“Once Stacy showed me all the rebranding he had in place, I thought it was a crazy plan but could definitely help the business grow and really cement its presence in the industry.”

Melissa has seen the company’s new image and goals come to fruition in real time.

“The rebranding has been very successful for us and has led to plenty of conversations,” she says. “Stacy has created a strong brand here which really stands out in the specialty coffee market.”

The bulk of these conversations have been around café owners expressing their appreciation for The Bean Cartel’s prioritisation of their needs.

“Over the last few years, we’ve invested a lot of time in educating our team on the process from farm to cup, so we can handle any questions a café might have,” says Melissa.

Melissa says building team chemistry through opportunities like this has been a special experience.

“We’re a group of professionals who love what we do,” she says. “We’re passionate about the coffee industry, and we’re always customer focused. We’re all invested in this business.

“Our focus is to become an authority in the industry, and we’re looking to get one per cent better every day.”

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This article appears in the April 2024 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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