With our team working remotely from last week, we have adapted to ‘work’ isolation, but as enforced isolation and social distancing measures escalate in Australia due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) it has become hard to focus on anything else.
For our little work family a big thing has been staying connected to one another. Just seeing each other’s faces in the morning on our Zoom calls has helped – it’s important.
We have also been sharing the various ways we are making our coffee each morning. While we are all accustomed to grabbing a First Press cold drip coffee from the cool room at work, the endless combinations of what’s available at home in the pantry has led to some great combos.
Straight up Original triple shot. Most commonly seen with a beaker full (actually!) in the office, this guy has cold brew in his veins. And before you ask – yes, there is cups available, the beaker is by choice.
Bec – Marketing
The Purest with sparkling water! Bec wants to drink coffee all day long, so has adopted a clever way to water it down but make it seem fancy. Made from Colombian and Ethiopian coffee, the sparkling water really brings out the berry and citrus notes. Oo la la.
Hamish – Cofounder / Production
Hamish is fasting, so with a Big Boy always on hand, he will mix 100ml with 2 teaspoons of Paleo Pure Keto Butter Bomb Coffee Creamer. Now made with 100% organic beans from Honduras, our original range is smooth, clean coffee at its best.
Jimmy – Cofounder / Business Development
Ok. He’s showing us all up. Jimmy has been making Banana Tumeric Cold Drip smoothies. YUM! Just pop all ingredients in a blender with some ice, pour and serve. Ingredients:
200mls First Press original cold drip ½ cup nut or coconut milk ⅛ tsp turmeric ⅛ tsp ceylon cinnamon ½ banana ¼ tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp maple syrup or favorite unrefined sweetener
Luckily for us, one such flavour profile has a bold rich chocolate base with notes of nut and caramel. This is perfectly matched to the original profile of our Kickers and Big Boys, formally from Brazil.
Cerro Bueno Estate, located 1560 miles in the Marcella region of La Paz, is known for their sustainable farming practices. This includes a unique process of growing coffee under shadow trees of different species to help flora and fauna around the region.
What are the benefits of organic coffee?
The general consensus is that consuming organic foods is better for you. While there is not necessarily greater nutritional value, there is less risk of consuming residual chemicals.
Primarily this is associated with soil quality. Due to an excessive use of chemicals, modern farming has decreased soil fertility, and increased poor water quality with issues like blue-green algae and salinity.
Organic farming also has a strong focus on sustainable farming practices. This involves both working in harmony with natural ecosystems while using renewable resources and conserving water.
As sustainable and ethical coffee sourcing is one of the key pillars of our business, we always look to support producers who are invested in sustainability, their land and their people. This includes purchasing coffee from producers who are Rainforest Alliance Certified which ensures environmental protection. You can read more about the sustainable sourcing practices of our other ranges here.
It is the start of a new year, and we are very excited and relieved to have met our goals with our Equity Crowdfunding campaign which finished just before Christmas. A huge thank-you to everyone who got involved. The outpouring of support we received was very humbling.
We are energised for the year ahead and the opportunities that this raise will mean for First Press Coffee and our cold drip coffee revolution!
In case you are wondering what Equity Crowdfunding is, essentially, it is a platform that allows a broad group of investors to own shares in startups and small businesses in return for equity. The platform we chose was Birchal – check them out here.
So what was it that made co-founders Hamish and Jimmy choose equity crowdfunding?
Hamish:For me it was a way to share the journey with our supporters. We could have gone down the conventional capital raising routes but we really wanted to engage our community and give a piece of actual First Press to our biggest advocates.
Jimmy: The strength of our business lies in the strength of our community and we loved the idea of a larger cohort of people having a vested interest in our success.
So how impactful has your community been along the way?
Jimmy:They have meant everything. Especially in the early days when we had a lot of people telling us our idea and productdidn’t have legs. It was the people telling us they loved our product, supporting us, even giving generous amounts of time to help or mentor us, that kept us moving forward. They enabled us to forget all of the challenges which at times seemed insurmountable.
Hamish: From day one we have attracted fiercely loyal fans that, like Jimmy mentioned, have helped us in many ways. It’s more than buying our coffee. They also don’t shy away from giving feedback and helping us to continually improve and strive for the best.
Running a start-up can pull up lots of challenges. What’s been your toughest moment in your six years running First Press?
Jimmy: We learnt some powerful lessons in the early days. We made some manufacturing changes which created a less than desirable product. The issue was only identified once the product was on the shelves. In fact, it was the feedback from our regular customers that helped us quickly change before too much damage was done. It was thanks to them we could turn it around.
Hamish:For me, what has become really clear is that running a small business there is no backup. If you don’t do it, it won’t get done. If you have a great idea you have to carry the torch. As you grow the ideas keep coming but finding the time to work on them vs the day to day becomes much harder. Having said this, it teaches you to really prioritise and only tackle the things that are going to make a significant difference.
Along with challenges, start-ups can provide many wins both small and large. What’s been your highlight?
Jimmy: Releasing ourAlmond Milk Iced Coffeewas a really special moment for us. There were many factors outside of our control that put the project on hold multiple times. When we had that first sip of the final product and started to receive positive feedback, it was quite an emotional experience. The persistence and efforts of the team to bring it all together was incredibly special.
Hamish:As our product range has grown, we have been lucky to also be able to grow a team to support it. In the last 18 months, we have been able to grow from just Jimmy and I to a permanent team of six as well as an extended casual production team. We are excited to be shaping a passionate and capable team with a very fun culture.
What will the equity crowdfunding campaign deliver for First Press? Where will it take you in the next 12 months? How about 5 years?
Hamish:In 5 years, we aim to be the leading cold brew coffee business in Australasia.
Jimmy: Over the next 12 months, we are amplifying our growth to help us to get to that 5 year target, and that is exactly what the working capital we have raised will do. We have seen huge success in the last three months investing in our sales team.We have just delivered our third month of records sales. Our strategy for these funds is to continue to grow our sales team and account base, invest more in our marketing, and work on continued product innovation. There is a huge amount of room to deliver growth in this market and we are just starting to scratch the surface.
Although sometimes impossible, it is important to have balance. When you finally shut the laptop at night, what’s your favourite thing to do to regenerate?
Jimmy:Any chance to travel to a different culture I will embrace. When at home, my priorities have rapidly changed from loving the dance floor to reading books and appreciating wine.
Hamish:For me, it is either building electronics (sometimes First Press related 😉 ) or running long distances. Both are my happy place.
Any last words?
Hamish: Just thank you, to our community and supporters.
Jimmy:We can’t wait to share this next chapter with you.