COLUMBUS, Ohio – Crimson Cup Founder and President Greg Ubert is among the business and nonprofit leaders honored as 2020 National Number Ones by The Columbus Foundation. Individuals and organizations were honored at the annual National Number Ones luncheon on February 13. The event recognizes those who have achieved top rankings in their fields.
“Our community is filled with extraordinary talent, and those honored today reflect that greatness,” said Douglas F. Kridler, president and CEO of The Columbus Foundation. “We recognize and thank these top achievers for their contributions to the prestige and progress of our community.”
Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea was recognized as the nation’s top Small Chain/Franchise Coffee Roaster at Golden Bean North America, the world’s largest coffee roasting competition.
At the 2019 competition, Crimson Cup’s Wayfarer Blend, Ethiopian Kossa Kebena and Natural Gesha Oxapampa Peru coffees won eight medals. Their combined scores won the Small Chain/Franchise Championship.
‘It’s an incredible honor to be part of such an accomplished group!” Ubert said. “We’re proud that our hometown ranks number one in the country in so many ways.”
“Crimson Cup is thrilled to roast the best coffee of any small coffee chain in North America,” he added.
In 1991, Ubert founded Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea with little more than enthusiasm and a determination to succeed. With little business experience – and none in the coffee industry – he learned coffee roasting from the grounds up, with no formal training.
From the start, his vision focused on providing the best-tasting coffee and coffeehouse products. He wanted to create a relationship chain that rewarded suppliers and customers rather than a supply chain.
After he saw that coffee-house customers were struggling, he studied their operations and developed a service platform called “Seven Steps to Success.”
The program offered a unique proposition: Crimson Cup would teach entrepreneurs how to open coffee houses and help them stay in business – with no long-term contracts, franchise fees or royalties.
“We offer an alternative to expensive coffee franchises,” Ubert said. “More than a short-term class, our hands-on consulting teaches entrepreneurs everything they need to succeed.
“From finding the perfect location and writing a coffee shop business plan to training baristas and ongoing marketing support, entrepreneurs receive all they need to open a coffee shop.”
In 2003, he published Seven Steps for Success: A Common-Sense Guide to Succeed in Specialty Coffee.
This book and Crimson Cup’s program have put more than 350 independent coffee businesses in 38 states, Guam and Bangladesh on the road to success.
About a decade ago, Ubert turned his attention to making an impact in the coffee-growing world.
Commodity prices, climate change, crop diseases and systemic poverty made it hard for farmers to eke out a living. Many considered leaving coffee altogether.
In 2011, he started the Friend2Farmer direct trade initiative to help farmers thrive, one farm and community at a time.
Today, the company is making economic, environmental and social impacts through over 60 farmer relationships in Central and South America, Africa and Asia.
“I’m proud that we discovered the coffees that won Golden Bean awards through our Friend2Farmer relationships,” Ubert said.