In case you don’t know him, Chad Bledsoe is one of the brightest and most determined young baristas in Portland, Oregon. I see him at all the local barista events and Thursday Night Throwdowns, and he’s almost always ranking pretty high up there, if not winning the whole thing.: he took first place at the TNT at the SCAA show in Seattle, and went on to win top honors three days later in the Pacific Almond Latte Art Throwdown. Chad’s got it goin’ on.
So when he told me about his new project, a coffee subscription program called My Coffee Box, I wanted to learn more. My Coffee Box is unique in that Chad has designed it to function interactively with the subscriber, meaning that the consumer provides feedback after each delivery that helps Chad design the next box around the consumer’s tastes and preferences. Chad explains it really well here.
I had some questions for Chad about the project, and his answers were really interesting.
Sarah: How did you come up with the idea for My Coffee Box? How does it differ from other coffee subscription services?
Chad: The concept for My Coffee Box was born from the idea of hospitality. Because there are so many great coffees and coffee roasters, choosing a coffee for your home can be difficult. As a barista, I interact with guests to determine what their preferences are and introduce them to great coffees that they will enjoy. I wanted to make that hospitality available to everyone.
My Coffee Box is different from other coffee subscriptions because we custom tailor your subscription to your taste preferences. We send you the coffees completely unbranded. That way you experience only the taste. Then the month after, on our website, we reveal the information about the coffee and a link to the roaster’s website.
We also purchase the coffee differently. Other subscription services only pay the cost of goods. The roaster only breaks even for their craft. That’s not sustainable business. We believe in supporting the craft. Great coffee wouldn’t exist without great roasters. That’s why we offer wholesale prices, 40-60% more than just the cost. After all, that craft roaster has to eat and pay rent just like all of us.
Sarah: How do you determine the specific tastes of your subscribers?
Chad: In every box comes a Tasty Card. The subscriber marks what they liked about the coffees and drops it in a mailbox. The tasty card is self addressed, self stamped, so it comes back to us and we begin building a taste profile and customizing the subscription.
Sarah: How much does it cost?
Chad: My Coffee Box is $25.00 per month with U.S. shipping included.
Sarah: What’s included?
Chad: My Coffee Box includes three, 4-ounce unbranded bags of coffee, for a total volume of 12oz. Its the same amount you’d get buying a bag of coffee in a cafe.
Thanks, Chad! We’re super excited about My Coffee Box! Chad’s got all the details worked out, and energy and motivation to spare, but he needs a little cash-ola to get My Coffee Box off the ground. I urge you to check out Chad’s Kickstarter campaign—it’s creative, interesting, and unique, and something I think a lot of coffee lovers would really, well, love.