When we took over the 41-year-old Ricca Coffee Company this year we expected to do some updating.
There was the customer database – hundreds of physical cards dating back as far as 1995. Some were pretty tattered. Upstairs we had rows and rows of retired supermarket grinders. The 1960s Menado drum roaster, unused since 2008, languished under a thick layer of dust.
And we were returning to the coffee industry after a six-year hiatus ourselves.
There’s so much about coffee that we love – the way it facilitates relationships and commerce, its global nature, the environmental aspects. Oh, and it tastes good too…or at least it should.
Much of the coffee talk in recent years has been about lighter roasts, micro-lots and cold brew. What we didn’t expect was the passion of younger customers for classic styles. Ricca has a loyal following for traditional Italian, Turkish and Vietnamese methods. There are locals who’ve been coming here for decades and I love that we could continue to serve them. But some of the most enthusiastic supporters were in modern coffeehouses and funky pubs.
In the end we’re about serving our customers. It’s great to be able to offer both classic dark blends and more modern styles.
And the customer card file?
We can process orders on a mobile device now. I think the cards are enjoying their retirement..