Xoogler Yehia Elkhouly, co-Founder + Growth Lead, shares more:
Why did you found your startup? We’re digital natives looking to disrupt the traditional retail coffee space. Our mission is to deliver the “hipster café” experience and high quality coffee direct to you.
Why coffee? Coffee is a deeply emotional product and a cherished home ritual for the majority of households in North America.
Unlike SaaS, FinTech or BitCoin for example, a coffee startup can build deep, lasting relationships with customers in their homes.
Stale dinosaur coffee is ready for extinction!
Big CPG brands are already losing market-share to brands that both resonate with the consumer and deliver a superior experience. We’re part of that new wave.
How does your startup work? Subscribe or buy a gift subscription to receive a monthly batch of whole bean coffee shipped the first Monday of every month express to your door.
We have three flagship roast profiles to choose from: drip, espresso or decaffeinated.
You can sign up to receive a free batch of beans (+ flat-rate shipping fee) to taste-test and check your preferences first too.
Where do you ship? Anywhere in North America.
Why direct-to-consumer rather than café? Simple. It’s about scalability. The secret of the “hipster” café is the customer receives high quality, fresh, and personalized experiences each time they walk through the front door.
Our model allows us to skip the café completely and bring that experience direct to their home.
Are there any challenges inherent to running a coffee startup? The challenge is educating the consumer on the difference between fresh and stale coffee.
The moment you open a freshly roasted bag of coffee — that’s the moment you realize you can never drink stale coffee again.
The challenge is actually creating those moments for our customers in a scalable way.
Prospective customers can sign up to receive a free batch of beans (+ flat-rate shipping fee) to taste-test and check their preferences first.
How do you source your coffee? We source from across the coffee growing belt then roast in Mississauga, Ontario, at our roasting facility. Typically we favor high-altitude coffee that’s grown 1500m+ above sea-level.
I also like African coffees, which are typically brighter with nice acidity and floral characteristics.
How did you choose the coffee roast profiles for subscription packs? We chose the three most common roast profiles favored by North American consumers. Coffee drinkers here tend to distinguish tastes and types of coffee using the terms “light”, “medium”, or “dark”, which generally refers to the color of the roasted bean.
Espresso roasted coffees for example are typically darker in color to drip, or medium roasted coffee, and contain more pronounced notes of chocolate and nuts. They also perform better in milk-based drinks like lattes and cappuccinos.
Medium roasts are more nuanced and range from fruity floral coffees, to coffee with notes of chocolate and nutmeg.
What’s been your best startup experience to date? Being able to generate $200K in revenue over 2 years with a bootstrapped business, no marketing budget and still acquiring 1250 subscriptions in that time. A strong brand and compelling value proposition for our customers has fueled that growth.
What’s been your worst? Having to bootstrap!
Do you predict any changes in coffee preferences for 2018? Attitudes towards coffee are and will continue to change in the year ahead. Howard Schultz, Founder and CEO of Starbucks, has already signaled intent to shift his focus to quality and flavor nuance. We’re part of that new trend.
The writing is on the wall. Consumers are losing interest in the Starbucks cookie-cutter coffee shop model. Instead, they’re moving towards higher quality, more personalized experiences.
We can’t wait to this kind of coffee experience home.
Are there any business lessons from your time at Google that have proved useful to growing your startup? Relationship building “the Google way.” That means being humble and respectful to every customer and team member.
It also means listening and accepting feedback about your business based on insights that surface organically or are brought to your attention as your business grows.
My mentors and friends at Google have kindly provided advice throughout the startup journey to date that’s proved invaluable.
We’d be thankful for anyone willing to spread the word, or test out a subscription to our service. Also any advice or feedback you’d like to provide would be extremely valuable.