The curated coffee subscription service concept is still in its infancy, and questions abound: Can the market handle all of them? Will consumers really develop loyalty to curators rather than roasters? Are consumers willing to pay a premium for curation? Where is the real value in a multi-roaster subscription service and how will they set themselves apart?
A pair of entrepreneurs based in Ontario, Canada, are the latest to test these questions, this week launching The Roasters Pack. Business partners Suneal Pabari and Adam Frank are offering consumers 4-ounce packages of whole bean coffees from a rotating roster of roasters throughout Canada and the United States, with packages beginning at $26.95 per month. They are calling the subscriptions “issues.” Why? Because each participating roaster is accompanied by a narrative, as Pabari and Frank produce videos and write copy that tells the stories of the roasters and their coffees. Here’s a video from the first “issue:”
As time goes by, the Roasters Pack team also hopes to build a collection of instructional videos featuring some of their roaster partners, like this one:
In addition to coffees and their stories, The Roasters Pack will donate 50 cents to $1 from each box to the venerable nonprofit Coffee Kids, which runs numerous programs that assist coffee farming communities throughout Latin America. “It’s a portion of our profits and that figure is variable depending on the shipping costs,” Pabari says. “It’s a small number when looking at it on a per-box basis, but it’s something we feel that if we have a consistent number of subscriptions monthly that the total will be substantial on a monthly to yearly basis.”
The Roasters Pack is also selling a small selection of home brewers and accessories online, as well as providing gifts and perks like coffee art or free gear with longer subscription terms. Says Pabari, “It will vary from month to month, but our goal is for people to be excited when they receive theirs at the doorstep.”
The inaugural March “issue” of the Roasters Pack will include coffee from three Canadian micros: Carvalho Coffee (Oakville, Ontario), Bean North (Whitehorse, Yukon) and Diesel House Coffee Roasters (Muskoka, Ontario).