Why Merlo Coffee is the perfect partner for local cafés

Merlo Wildpear Cafe

Merlo Coffee details how its personalised partnership model adds value through care, connection, and service.

When it comes to offering quality coffee and service to its café partners, Merlo Coffee doesn’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach.

Head of Sales Troy Ryan says it’s this dynamic approach that has made the Queensland roaster the coffee partner of choice for more than 1500 partner cafés and restaurants nationwide over the past 30 years.

“We pride ourselves on both the quality of our coffee and our customer service. Merlo is constantly listening to our customers to ensure we are tailoring our service to meet their needs,” he says.

“Merlo frequently delivers value-added coffee experiences, activated through wholesale partners, passing on our knowledge of coffee and brewing methods to our café customers and loyal patrons.”

Troy says Merlo Coffee provides a team of dedicated account managers who are available to all café partners, as well as coffee trainers who can provide ongoing training and support to help customers craft a quality cup every time.

“We can help to educate café owners and baristas in preparing the perfect cup of coffee for their customers, from equipment maintenance to espresso extraction and everything in between,” he says.

Troy adds that Merlo Coffee’s dedicated customer service team is on hand for all enquiries, orders, and assistance, including weekend phone service and 24/7 machinery breakdown assistance.

“With a network of specialised technicians and a round-the-clock emergency hotline, if your machine happens to let you down on a bustling Saturday morning, we’ve got you covered,” he says.

Merlo Coffee tailors its business solutions to meet the needs of its customers, including customised blends and packaging for those seeking a bespoke solution.

“Our marketing team provides branding from traditional cafe umbrellas and barriers to bespoke marketing pieces such as mural installations, events and activations, and custom merchandise and signage,” Troy says.

Beyond coffee, Merlo Coffee also provides a range of hospitality consumables including non-dairy milk alternatives, chocolate powders, sugars, and syrups, as well as branded and unbranded cups in a range of artistic expressions to suit the café.

“We’ve got a great reputation for our ability to build long and strong relationships. These are built purely on a history of consistently delivering quality products and services, and treating businesses like our own.”

One on La Balsa Café, in the coastal town of Buddina, Queensland, is a prime example of Merlo Coffee’s long-standing partnership approach. Café Owners Jeff and Danielle Le Marseny have worked with the roaster for 18 years. Jeff says the level of support and communication they receive is “just as amazing as the coffee itself”.

“Of all the companies we deal with in our business, Merlo is by far the most proactive and accessible. Over all these years, we have only had four sales representatives, and all of them have been so easy to deal with. Nothing is ever a problem,” he says.

Jeff says when he and Danielle first opened One on La Balsa Café and were looking for a coffee roaster, Merlo Coffee was such a buzzword for residents of the Sunshine Coast that it was a no-brainer choice for them.

“As we had never owned a coffee shop, we asked around, and Merlo kept coming up. We got in touch and our first Merlo representative came to see us. We felt so comfortable with them; their knowledge and help were outstanding,” he says.

“So many things can go wrong every day in a café. If we ever have a problem with the machine or grinder, which is very rare, Merlo is straight on it, and our downtime is minimal. People see the Merlo sign and know they will get a good coffee.”

Jeff says the two brands share an easy-going relationship that contributes to the calm and peaceful vibe customers experience when they visit the café.

“When Troy was our sales representative, the place was busy whenever he came in. Troy was always so loud and funny, he had everyone in stitches. Customers and staff just loved that interaction,” he says.

“Out of all the supply companies we use, Merlo is our only partner that comes in regularly to see how we’re doing. This instils great confidence in our partnership with them.”

Wildpear Café in Dural, New South Wales, is another café that saw Merlo Coffee’s reliable service and high-quality coffee and decided to partner with the brand.

Merlo Wildpear Cafe
Image: Wildpear Café

“We’ve built a great relationship with the entire Merlo Coffee team, which has allowed us to deliver quality espresso and service to our customers,” says Wildpear Café Co-Owner Lorraine Solomon.

“Our fantastic sales representative Glenn May is always checking in on us to ensure our equipment, training, marketing, and coffee supply are all up to date. We couldn’t be happier with their personalised business approach.”

Wildpear Café uses Merlo’s Espresso Blend as its house roast, which includes beans from Colombia, Papua New Guinea, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua.

“The Espresso Blend is definitely a crowd-pleaser. It works well in milk-based and black coffees, with a full-body and rich cocoa flavours,” says Wildpear Café Co-Owner Sid Solomon.

With so many specialty coffee roasters in Australia, Sid says the decision to partner with Merlo Coffee wasn’t solely based on quality but also the connection it has with the roaster.

“To us, coffee isn’t just about the products: you need to be able to connect with the team. How they support you behind the scenes is just as important, and Merlo has provided that support from day one,” he says.

“It’s a true partnership. I feel like we’re in business with family and uphold the same values. The Merlo team have a depth of experience in the coffee industry and understand the challenges and opportunities in the café market to help us grow and succeed.”

For more information, visit merlo.com.au

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

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