Wake Up and Smell the... Cold Brew?
Written by: Abby Eom, Rising Senior at Sunset High School
Vendor: Rocky Butte Coffee
After experiencing a Wednesday afternoon in scorching hot 95 degree weather, Rocky Butte Coffee couldn’t stand tall with only hot coffee pour-overs at the market. Throughout the next week, James, the owner of Rocky Butte Coffee, worked day and night to finish his Rocky Butte Coffee’s newest product: Nitro cold brew. What is “nitro cold brew”, you may ask? It’s basically cold brew coffee, the process of steeping coffee grounds in water for a prolonged period of time, pumped with nitrogen to give it a naturally creamy texture.
Our first day selling cold brew was a success. The moderately sunny weather at the start of the market lured in customers, as Rocky Butte is located right at one of the market’s entrances. James also added a bar-esque area to his cold brew station (shown in the pictures above), which allowed him to converse and make relationships with potential customers, which is James’ main goal at market. The cold brew stand ended up being a win-win situation for Rocky Butte Coffee - enhancing connections with community members and reducing the heat of the steadily increasing summer temperatures.
However, five hours at the market with no obstacles would be unheard of. There was an inevitable obstacle: the changing weather. While the sun shone in the first few hours of the market, Mother Nature turned her back on us during the last hour. Overcast skies mixed with wind and rain did not help Rocky Butte in selling cold brew; especially since it was the one day we didn’t have hot pour-overs.
Obstacles come and go, and James and I learned (the hard way) that the only way to overcome such obstacles was to work harder and sell harder. Figuring out the perfect combination to attract people to Rocky Butte Coffee without burdening anybody or scaring them off was a challenge. James and I have very different personalities, resulting in different sales techniques. I thought there could be a clash, and to be honest, I believe there was at one point. Here, I realized how important communication is within a business. I talked to James about how I felt about our different approaches to sales and throughout the day we experimented with different phrases, techniques, and conversation starters to find the “sweet spot” to make sales and connect with customers.
At Rocky Butte Coffee, we sell three things: coffee beans, hot pour-overs, and nitro cold brew. As a coffee novice myself, I would suggest the beans, in order to see what kind of coffee suits your palette. We make the pour-overs and cold brew out of one kind of bean, so there is not as much variety as there are in the pre-packaged, freshly roast bags of coffee beans. Although the type of beans generally change each week, one mix stays the same: the Boulder Blend. As the most popular bag of coffee beans with its rich, chocolatey, dark-but-not-too-dark flavor, James continues to roast the Boulder Blend every week, and our beloved Moreland neighbors continue to enjoy it. Pick some up for yourself this Wednesday!