Question: So tell me about what it was like when you first started. Two years ago.
Answer: I’ve been working here for two years this Saturday, and when I first started working here, everything was done by hand bagging. So you would think we roast about, at that time, probably an average of 700 to 900 pounds of coffee a day. And that was all being hand bagged. So we’re a roast to order company. So what that means is we don’t roast the coffee until we received the order for the coffee. And then obviously we have a turnaround. We like to get those orders out within 24 to 48 hours. So what that means is everything has to be finished within the day. So anything that you roast that day has to be bagged before you can leave that day. So when we started here, we were hand bagging, like I said, 700 to 900 pounds a day. Since that time, we have actually added on three stores.
Our wholesale accounts have grown, our internet accounts have grown. So production is obviously up to the point to where now we’re roasting probably an average of 1200 to 1500 pounds a day. So with that we decided to go ahead and add in our weigh and fill machine. And what that’s given us the ability to do is actually several things. So the first thing is we no longer have to prefill our five pound bags. Now we’re able to just load the coffee into the machine. The machine automatically weighs out the five pounds for us. So that saves us that time. It also gives us the ability of obviously weighing things out much faster. Um, we can go through just this week we weighed out 640 pounds into 12 ounce bagging. Okay, so 12 ounces. And that took us one and a half hours, which is something that you can imagine if you were hand bagging it, it would take at least four times that amount of time.
So with our amount of growth that we have done, the machine has given us the ability to continue to work at the same speed that we were working before and get these more amount of work done with the same amount of staff that we have. So it’s given us the ability to, you know, double, triple the amount that we can do in a day with the same staff. So that’s really good. It’s taken a huge weight off of our staff as well, I would say, you know, I mean sometimes the hardest part of the job lately is kind of making the bags and then you let the machine do the rest and then you put it away. So that’s really nice. We obviously still have our hand weighing stations as well. Um, but we use those for our smaller orders, things like that.
Question: Did you find that before when you were doing more stuff by hand did you ever have problems with seal quality or anything like that?
Answer: We have, we actually have, did have some of that. Um, we actually, I remember when I first started working here, we had an account that complained that the bags were just shy of a full 12 ounces and that’s obviously human error, we’re human, you know what I mean? Um, and so that was something that we had to be a lot more conscientious of back then. And that’s another thing that machine has given us the ability to do now. Everything is weighed out perfectly. It’s not really something that we to worry about. Yeah. So whereas before we would have to go through and we would do checks, we do random checks on our bags to make sure that they were the correct weight. Yeah. It’s something that we used to do at the end of every day. And it’s something now that, I mean, obviously we still random spot check because of course we can’t trust machines completely.
Yeah. But you know, I mean it’s something that we really don’t have an issue with that at all anymore. And so that is something that I would say has also helped us. And then as far as the ceiling, we have two old sealers that we love, that we use at our hand bagging stations. But uh, they’re hard to fix. Yeah. They’re old. They’re harder to find parts for their easier to burn the bags. Yeah. You know, and so there’s a trial and an error with it. And so obviously the machine also makes that a lot easier. Um, it makes when you put it through the machine, the bags, we’ve never had an issue with burnt bags. Yeah. And we have a lot of different accounts that we go through, a lot of different kinds of bags. And so, you know, we have bags of different thickness and things like that, whereas when you’re using that on a hand sealer, it’s very easy to burn the bag. Yeah. And when you’re putting it through the weigh and fill, we get consistent ceiling. We don’t have issues with ugly bags. And so that’s another way that has helped us in kind of made it easier on the employees as well.
Question: Yeah. Um, so can you tell me a bit about, because you said that you have like certain international accounts that sometimes require, uh, the vacuum and gas flush as well. It has that like helped you kind of expand your business more internationally?
Answer: Say that it’s something that we’re looking into right now. We’re kind of more focused on, you know, spreading out here home. But we do have accounts that we do ship to internationally and it has given us the ability, you know, some of those go out on cargo shipments and so they’re going overseas. And so it gives us the ability to make sure that our customers who are overseas are receiving the same quality and freshness of the coffees that customers that we have here in America. And so that’s something that’s really important to us as well. Obviously we’re a specialty coffee company and with coffee, once it starts to age, you lose that freshness and you lose the taste. And so with that vacuum sealer, it’s something that we’re able to give to our international customers as well as our customers here