YourCoffee has combined specialty coffee roasting with scalable production to offer an innovative contract service to online retailers, independent grocers, major retailers, and other specialty coffee roasters.
Australia is at the forefront of specialty coffee and that means that even general consumers have high standards when it comes to their coffee.
Large retailers and grocery chains have also had to raise the bar to meet their customers’ coffee quality expectations. Seeing demand from the market for private label or contracting services, Industry Beans Co-founders Trevor and Steve Simmons thought about how they could bring specialty coffee to a wider audience.
“Industry Beans has its own place in the market and we wanted to retain it as a premium specialty brand and operation, so its journey and growth has to be carefully managed. We’ve always wanted to keep Industry Beans as a closely managed, fully serviced wholesale brand and direct to consumer model,” Trevor says.
“At the same time, we were getting so many inquiries and interest in stocking Industry Beans or doing contract work for larger companies. While we couldn’t facilitate those requests for Industry Beans, but we still wanted to take our learning and skills from over the past six years – at that point – in specialty coffee and share it with other people to develop their brands and products, with the goal of making quality specialty coffee more widely available in new markets and channels.”
Thus, YourCoffee was born, with the brothers launching the contract roasting business in 2016. Trevor tells BeanScene the vision behind YourCoffee was to offer the finer points of what they did as a small independent roaster at scale.
“Taking a single-batch and post-roast-blend approach to roasting means we can upscale specialty coffee and maintain the same quality and consistency, even at volumes of more than 30 tonnes per week,” he explains.
“We also roast to order and don’t sit on stock. The coffee comes in, goes through our silos and roasters, then is out the same day. This means even our larger clients can get a genuinely fresh roasted product with genuine specialty credentials into hundreds of stores around the country.”
YourCoffee roasts on two production lines with Loring S70 Peregrine roasters, providing flexibility and a high degree of control in how they roast. Due to shared controls and custom software, Trevor says the business treats the Lorings as modular units of the same machine, making it easier to scale roasts or profiles and to roast single origins separately before post-blending.
“On an average week, we sit at around 50 per cent of our total capacity, making it easy to accommodate sudden large orders with such fast turnaround,” Trevor says. “Because we use several 70-kilogram roasters instead of one larger model, when we need to increase our capacity further, we can do that by simply adding another module – or production line – to the system.”
Over the years, YourCoffee has built strong partnerships with online retailers, independent grocers, and major retailers who want their products to compete on a quality level.
“We work with clients and brands that see the value in cup quality and find that businesses that are perhaps more driven by price than quality aren’t the right partners for us,” Trevor says. “However, we are starting to see potential clients from two or three years ago who didn’t see the value in taking a more specialty approach come back to us, because they’ve realised that consumers will pay more for and, importantly, are now actively seeking quality.”
Thanks to its focus on specialty coffee at scale, YourCoffee has even attracted other specialty coffee roasters as a core customer base.
“YourCoffee has become the roaster for roasters and partners with many leading coffee brands. Some of our customers may not even roast their own coffee anymore and instead focus their attention on building their brand or customer service and account management – leaving the coffee roasting to us,” Trevor explains.
“We offer assistance with quality and consistency, managing production, or launching new products. There is also significant demand from roasters who are growing and need to produce increased volumes but can’t make the investment in new equipment.”
Despite working with customers who operate in the same market as YourCoffee, Trevor says the business takes an anti-competitive approach, providing confidentiality to its customers for an added layer of reassurance.
“YourCoffee is completely agnostic and is run separately from Industry Beans, so our customers can be sure we will keep their information and work with us private,” he elaborates.
“There are a huge range of opportunities in the coffee market for different brands to get their coffee into people’s homes, cafés, and offices.”
Whole bean and ground coffee are the most popular product formats that YourCoffee offers and can provide a turnkey solution for. Trevor says the business also works with copackers to offer its customers other solutions, like single serve capsules and ready to drink cold brew, that cater to new market trends.
“The conversation always starts with whole bean coffee and then we think about where we can go from there. Pods have a strong hold on the domestic market and they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Cold brew is also on the up and it’s an interesting market we’ve been playing in through Industry Beans,” Trevor says.
“These other forms could help improve brand perception and penetration, but nothing beats whole bean coffee. More and more people have coffee machines at home, and with the number of foodservice venues in Australia, I think that will always underlie what we do.”
Another key principle of specialty coffee YourCoffee champions is the responsible sourcing of green coffee. The contract roaster holds many direct trade partnerships with farmers and producers, as well as qualified sustainable brokers, in key coffee growing areas around the world.
“Not only is it the right thing to do, the customer is aware of ethical sourcing and sustainability and wants it in the products they’re looking for,” Trevor says.
“We practice sustainability in sourcing, roasting, and packaging. It’s a fundamental part of the business and we offer our clients [the opportunity] to leverage off these sustainable practices – like recycling byproducts, recyclable coffee bags, and the lower energy usage of Lorings than other roasters – in their own branding and marketing.”
Despite a strong focus on the Australian market, YourCoffee has formed international partnerships too, with clients in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The roaster is close to attaining British Retail Consortium (BRC) accreditation which will further bolster its global presence and recognition, along with its already robust suite of domestic accreditations including HACCP, RA (Rainforest Alliance) ACO (Australian Certified Organic).
“We’re always thinking one or two years ahead and the next stage for YourCoffee will be another production line coming in mid-next year. We’re really excited to grow and at the same time, keep capacity where we want it to be,” Trevor says.
“YourCoffee has always flown under the radar – which is kind of the idea – but over the years, it’s been rewarding to take what we’ve learned as specialty roasters and successfully share it with other brands.”
For more information, visit www.yourcoffee.com
This article appeared in the October 2021 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.