Just being local isn't enough
Just being local isn't enough. I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Although our reach is national because of the wonders of the internet, we really want to be a great local producer for local people as well. Walsall really has nothing else like us, and the revolution of speciality coffee has only just reached here.
The problem with trying to be a local producer for local people is that being local just isn't enough. And nor should it be. We don't want to just trade on the fact that we've lived here for most of our lives. Just because we're a local business doesn't mean that our coffee is going to be any good. It has to go beyond that.
Here's a photo I took back in 2017 around Mother's Day. It was outside a florist's shop in Walsall town centre:
I hated this sign. I think it's a terrible piece of marketing. It was an independent shop basically saying "We're independent, so that makes us better than the big supermarkets - and if you don't buy from us, you're just as bad as them." That's a terrible message.
That sign told me that this shop doesn't care about its customers, just about the money it takes in. There was no care taken to show how much better the product is, maybe by a beautiful arrangement in the window (there wasn't - I looked). There was just this message scrawled on a blackboard as an afterthought, and then a fallback on the fact that they're an independent, local business.
We will never be like this business. We will always care about what we produce and how it's enjoyed by you either at home or in one of the coffee shops that we supply. It will always be important to us that the coffee is the best that we can make it, or we won't sell it. Many of you reading this will hark from further afield, but for the people of Walsall we will absolutely trade on the fact that we are local coffee roasters.
But fortunately for Walsallians - and for those of you not from our little town - our priority will always be to roast the best coffee that we can offer. Because just being local is never enough.