The Power of Three

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The number 3 has had significant meaning throughout history.  Time itself is divided into 3….past, present and future.  “According to Jewish law, once something is done three times it is considered a permanent thing.” – Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David (Greg Killian). The ministry of Jesus lasted 3 years on Earth and His resurrection was on the third day….3 is definitely a victorious number. It’s exciting to think about our company as permanent and victorious.

Although it feels more like a little while ago that we made the decision to start Tap Dancers Specialty coffee. We are officially 3 years old this month (March 2015).

Last anniversary we talked about the past and the lessons learned through our mistakes. While it is important to remember times like smoking up the entire warehouse so bad I couldn’t see the other side of the warehouse, this year we are way more excited about our future and what it will bring.

At present, we are excited and frankly dumbfounded at times to be invited to participate in more and more events. Instead of us going out and finding where to market our coffee, things are coming to us. We even get to be a picky about which events we choose. We have a ways to go and we are absolutely grateful for this journey that we get to experience. We are even more grateful for people like you who are encouraging us and cheering on to our next levels. It makes us want to be better at everything we do.

I used to joke that we are “almost world famous”, but recently I checked on where our emails are read and we were humbled to discover that we have people from as far away as Japan, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and South Africa that read these emails. We also have several countries represented in our Facebook profile including The Philippines, Sweden and Serbia. This year our coffee has actually been sent to and enjoyed in The Bahamas!

We have developed a great relationship with a direct buyer from Guatemala and currently we are in the beginning stages of developing relationships with folks from Mexico and Colombia. In just three years I can say that Tap Dancers Specialty Coffee has become known throughout the world.

What is our goal this year besides growing and keeping our commitment to the world’s finest coffee roasted fresh for you?  We hope to begin to make more positive differences in our local community and our world by supporting organizations that help individuals and families get to their next level. After all, isn’t that one of the purposes which we were created for….making a positive difference?

Inflexible and Uncompromising

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Last week I wrote about the importance of being agile and flexible. Just after we sent out our email, we had an order requesting to grind our coffee before delivering it. This request had me over a quandary.  I realized that we said we were flexible. Now what do I do?  My immediate thought was NO! We will only sell whole beans. After I took a breath and calmed myself, I will admit that the answer did not come quickly. The reality is only 8% of Americans buy fresh whole beans. Also, ground coffee isn’t just outpacing whole bean coffee; ground coffee is increasing its lead each year.  After looking at the facts and re-examing our no grind position, We decided to stand firm on the no grinding issue……we simply want your last cup to taste as great as your first.

Coffee sales graph
Coffee sales graph

I also have been very adamant and outspoken about K-cups. I will confess that we looked into having our coffee packaged in K-cups.  Why did I look into the possibility of coffee pods? Sales of coffee pods have grown by a blistering 138,324 percent — yes, 138,324 percent — over the past 10 years, according to data from Euromonitor. They have jumped more than tenfold since 2009 alone. And they’re still rising at an annual clip of more than 30 percent.

K-cup sales graph
K-cup sales graph

But, for us to make a profit, we would have to sell the pods from $1.50 to $2.00 per pod.  That is with us doing a volume discount of producing 5000 pods at one time. The packaging company asked how I came up with that price? I told them I was basing it off of using 14 grams of coffee per pod. Their response?…..”Do like everyone else does and cut it down to 7 grams per cup to drop the price.” Hmmmm….so you want me to compromise both having ground coffee AND less coffee than I should per pod?  Did you know that the pod packaging is more expensive than the coffee itself?  Again, we decided to stand firm on our no pod position.

So while we are agile and flexible, we are also inflexible and stubborn. Instead of stubborn it sounds better to say uncompromising. As a brand, Tap Dancers Specialty Coffee stands for something. What it stands for is more important than market share. After all, like my father always told me, “if your name doesn’t stand for something, then it means nothing” We are Tap Dancers Specialty Coffee…..the world’s finest coffee roasted fresh for you. And that’s who we intend to keep on being.