COLUMBUS, Ohio, U.S. – Columbus, Ohio coffee roaster Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea thrived in 2018 by upholding its “Coffee + Community” business model. The company increased year over year sales while winning national awards for coffee quality. It boosted revenue for coffee farmers in its relationship chain, helped 19 new entrepreneurs open independent coffee shops and gave $89,000 to charitable organizations at home and abroad.
The company also expanded its training mission with certification of the Crimson Cup Innovation Lab as a Premier Training Campus by the Specialty Coffee Association.
Founder and President Greg Ubert said he was pleased with the company’s progress in 2018 and looks forward to further growth in 2019. “Since 1991, my vision has been to succeed by roasting awesome coffee and helping others prosper,” he said. “I look on business connections as more of a relationship chain than a supply chain.
“In the 90s, we began by helping entrepreneurs become successful coffee shop owners through our 7 Steps to Success coffee franchise alternative program,” he added. “Over the past decade, we’ve also focused on helping coffee farmers earn more for their coffee and improve their communities through our Friend2Farmer program.”
On the coffee front, Crimson Cup added a Good Food Award Finalist trophy and six Golden Bean North America medals to its growing list of awards for roasting excellence. The company also launched a new line of limited release craft coffees under the Project Coffee label.
Ubert noted that roasting excellence starts at origin. In 2018, Crimson Cup coffee buyers traveled more than 84,000 miles to source coffee and to establish relationships with coffee growers in remote regions of Africa and Central and South America. They visited farms and cupped coffee or tea in Bangladesh, Colombia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Peru, Papa New Guinea and Uganda.
As a result, the roaster added grower relationships in Colombia and Uganda to its Friend2Farmer program and expanded relationships with farmers in Siguatepeque, Honduras. It increased Friend2Farmer purchases by 18 percent.
“We set up Friend2Farmer in 2012 to ensure that farmers receive a fair share of proceeds from coffee sales,” Ubert said. “We pay an above-market premium on coffee we buy, which gives coffee farmers added funds to invest in their farms and communities. We also donate funds for education and community improvements in Friend2Farmer communities.”
Honoring Crimson Cup’s core value of giving back to the community, the small business donated more than $89,000 to community organizations at home and abroad. Locally, Crimson Cup supported Cancer Support Community Central Ohio, See Kids Dream and other non-profits. Internationally, the roaster funded clean water, housing and education programs in partnership with smallholder farmer communities in Guatemala and Honduras. The company also provided coffee to the U.S. Military through its annual Military Coffee drive and by sending coffee overseas upon request to active duty personnel.
With SCA certification of the Crimson Cup Innovation Lab at 700 Alum Creek Drive in Columbus, the company looks to expand its training mission in 2019. “As the only Premier Training Campus in Ohio, the Innovation Lab offers a calibrated teaching environment to teach within SCA standards and protocols,” Ubert said. “We trained more than 100 baristas and coffee shop managers in the Innovation Lab and on-location in 2018 through our 7 Steps program, and we look forward to offering an increased range of SCA courses in 2019.”