Via The Jacksonville Business Journal
Jacksonville-based coffee roaster Civilized Coffee has seen tremendous growth within the last year, and co-founder Mark Patterson said most of it comes from the company’s willingness to tap into what’s popular.
There are other reasons for the growth, though, including brand awareness, new additions to its website, new partnerships and sales from Amazon.com, which account for 80% of its profit.
The company, which was founded in 2018, aims to create “civilized conversations” around topics important to its founders like ethically sourced coffee, supply chains, water, food and business, Patterson told the Business Journal Tuesday.
At the start of the pandemic, he said sales for the company’s gluten-free, non-GMO instant coffee sales were very high. This was because millions of people on TikTok, an app for making and sharing short videos, were making Dalgona coffee. The coffee is made by whipping equal proportions of instant coffee powder, sugar, and hot water until it becomes creamy and then adding it to cold or hot milk.
Patterson’s instant coffee ended up making it to the Amazon’s Choice section of the website, where sales took off.
“We had that Amazon’s Choice to (count on) for many, many months,” he said. “There was probably not even a word search term or a keyword within Amazon for Dalgona, so it was something that just happened, and it carried on so we really took advantage of that.”
In addition to instant coffee, Patterson noticed an increase in demand for instant cold brew coffee, too, so the company started rounding up the ingredients for higher demand. Civilized Coffee’s sourcing varies, but Patterson said most of it comes from direct relationships with farmers in Africa, Central and South America.
Although the ingredients come from all around the world, Patterson said local partnerships have been just as important.
“Last year during the holidays we created a program called Civilized Community Partners, where we reached out to local food innovators to claim products using our coffee,” he said.
“We worked with Bee Friends Farm to create a creamed honey, we worked with Good Earth Granola to create a cinnamon latte granola and we worked with Little Black Box to make a coffee cherry jam.”
He said this model, of “strategic alliance,” has allowed Civilized Coffee to collaborate with companies both locally and nationally.