The Roasters Pack from March 2014.
I bought my last pound of coffee because there was a tiger on the packaging.
Suneal Pabari, co-founder of six month old e-commerce coffee subscription service The Roasters Pack, thinks that’s a bit weird.
“If I really care about my cup of coffee, I’m going to want to learn about how to brew it better [and] where it came from,” he said in an interview.
“It’s almost as if we’re trying to bring the roaster to the customer.”
Suneal Pabari, CEO and co-founder of The Roasters Pack.
It’s the goal of The Roasters Pack – and Pabari – to make sure that people know a bit more than that when they decide what coffee they’ll be drinking regularly for the next month. Their efforts have garnered them the distinction of being a Finalist in the Most Innovative Startup category at the Canada Post E-Commerce Innovation Awards on September 23.
For about $26 per month, the Oakville-based two-man startup will send its subscribers three four-ounce packages of coffee beans along with the story of each roaster and tasting tips. Pabari said the service is perfect for stay-at-home parents or busy professionals who can’t take the time to arrange their own sampling and find their favourites.
“We try to tell an in-depth story about each of the three roasters,” Pabari said. “Whether that’s a text article explaining what makes them unique or different, as well as what makes the coffee unique or different.”
If the roaster is in southern Ontario, Pabari will grab a camera and shoot a video about the people and processes behind the coffee.
“It’s almost as if we’re trying to bring the roaster to the customer. So that they can almost meet the person who made their product,” he said.
“You can learn so much about the cup of coffee you’re about to buy, as opposed to how you make your decision today, which is basically: ‘Which bag looks cool?’.”
“Most people who do subscribe end up staying on, which is amazing to see.”
Now, The Roasters Pack is hoping to push its subscription numbers higher with its unique combination of convenient delivery, educational coffee content, and e-commerce options that allow subscribers to re-visit their favourite coffees from past months by buying them in The Roasters Pack online store.
Like any subscription-based service, The Roasters Pack is concerned about customers dropping off or cancelling their subscription, but Pabari says the quality of the coffee is what keeps people hooked and retains customers.
“Most people who do subscribe end up staying on, which is amazing to see,” he said.
The variety and unique nature of each roaster creates a sense of anticipation for the next package, like waiting on that freshly brewed cup in the morning.
“You get to go on a bit of a coffee adventure… I don’t think a grocery store or the current model can really compete.”