A COMMON STORY
Welcome to A Common Story. Our aim… to offer you insight into what we’re up to and share our successes and learnings.
Why a story you ask? At Common, we often talk about the importance of the journey and what better way to elevate our journey than by writing it down and sharing it with you.
Like any story, we want to start at the beginning, the launch at London Coffee Festival… Please bare with us while we cram the last six months into our first post.
As the summer sun fades and the coffee chaff settles, we take a moment to reflect on where we’re at six months since we launched at LCF. Someone pop the prosecco, it’s time to celebrate. Common is six months old and it turns out some of you enjoy our coffee. Phew! We’re not crazy.
Sometimes this journey feels more like a rollercoaster. There was so much planning and organising to simply get us to launch at LCF, we almost forgot we were going to a trade show. A common question (no pun intended) we got asked during and after the trade show was ‘was it worth it?”. The answer…. a resounding yes! What an amazing opportunity it was to be a part of a great event. Industry leaders and brands occupied the room, it was truly energising; the networking alone was worth the price of admission. When we arrived home the next day, we all felt the weight of what laid ahead.
With the launch behind us, we doubled down on defining the path ahead. Like most things in life, something worthwhile is rarely easy, and turning our dreams into reality was going to take a lot of effort and sacrifice. The next step was getting in front of customers. If you’ve met our small team before you’d know the art of selling is not exactly in our repertoire and so we had to learn how to sell coffee. Understanding our customer, their wants, needs, and deepest coffee desires become our immediate focus. How could our understanding of coffee, the taste, the unique differences in roasting styles, help the customer serve a better coffee. With this in mind we went door knocking, talking to super busy baristas, cafe owners, restaurateurs. It was our job to convince people that Common and our coffee was worth giving a shot (pun intended). From day one, we said sales is about relationship building and it will take time. And we’ve been proved right, through getting to know our customers we have guested in cafes all over the country and secured our first house accounts in Edinburgh (Eden Locke and Century General Store).
For those that don’t know, Common was an idea that was born and nurtured as we travelled around the country serving up coffees at festivals and events that bring people together. This idea of bringing people together is in our DNA and so are events. We attend our favourite music and arts festival, Noisily, where we helped kick start each day for weary festival goers. We featured at Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival collaborating with Eden Locke to serve ups some delicious nitro espresso martinis and negronis. And to top it all off, we were invited to serve coffee to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championships in St Andrews.
The last six months have come with a lot of challenges, but perhaps the biggest learning experience has been a personal one. Katelyn and I are business partners, but more importantly we are a young couple. The choice we made to build Common together, has come with its challenges. We had moved to a new city with no family and friends, while launching a new business, having only been together for less than two years. Now, Katelyn and I can work incredibly well together, our values and work ethic are very similar but we are both stubborn and often have contrasting views on a situation or task. This results in disagreements and sometimes it’s hard not to take personally. If our relationship and Common was going to last we were going to have to work at it. And work on it we did. For the past six months we’ve made a conscious effort to separate our relationship and the business. We don’t always get it right but we keep learning and growing, respecting each others views in the process. A huge thanks to our business partners Jess and Ash for their understanding, support and patience while we settled into our new working relationship.
As we sweep up the coffee chaff, we look forward to the next six months. Sam Reed, has joined the team to support our London sales and account management as we continue to develop our customer relationships. Also, we’re pretty excited to be working with Coffee Scotland featuring on their new online website. Other exciting collaborations are in the works so watch this space.
Before signing off, there are many people we’d like to express our utmost appreciation for. None of what we do is possible without you. Our tireless staff slinging coffees non-stop at events, our business partners lending advice (and equipment), and our family and friends who give us all the positive support that keeps us moving forward. Most importantly, we’d like to THANK YOU for enjoying our coffee.
I hope you have enjoyed our story, until next time.
Jason, Common GM