Denver-based Luna Gourmet Coffee & Tea Company, which now operates four distinct coffee brands with its recent acquisition of longtime Colorado roaster Boyers Coffee, has taken this holiday season to completely refresh another of its brands, Boulder Organic Coffee.
Luna Gourmet Co-Owner Jason Barrow told Daily Coffee News that the rebranding does not reflect any operational changes in sourcing or roasting for the 16-year-old Boulder Organic brand, but merely updates and reinforces the brand’s internal identity, built upon offering all certified organic and Fair Trade coffees, many of which come from single origins.
“Our commitment has also been really staying true to the brand,” Barrow said of a growth philosophy shared by his brother, Luna Gourmet co-owner and Boulder Organic Roastmaster Douglass Barrow.
The rebranding includes an all-new website and an e-commerce platform led by Josh Bultz, a former Amazon business development manager who recently joined the Luna Gourmet team as VP of e-commerce and business development. Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday alone, Boulder Organic moved through a full pallet-and-a-half of Chemex brewers — one of numerous home brewing products added to the new retail section.
Single-origin coffees and blends are presented on the site with new packaging, color-coded with slightly different hues representing different individual origin countries. “Origin-based coffees are not really understood by all the coffee drinkers out there,” said Jason Barrow. “We wanted to put it out there to make it very easy and clean. We wanted to provide one clean view of what the coffee is all about.”
On the bags, the Boulder Organic logo is somewhat understated, which Barrow described as an intentional decision to focus consumers’ attention on the coffee itself and its associated notes such as origin, elevation, processing method, etc.
The company also renamed its blends, transitioning from more generic names like “French Roast” or “Breakfast Blend” to names such as the Foothills blend and the Indian Peaks blend, recognizable mountain names to people locally and regionally.
“Being a regional roaster, we have to think about how we can be the best regional roaster we can be,” said Jason Barrow, adding that the local and regional food movement through campaigns like “Colorado Proud” suggest there’s plenty of room for regionally focused coffee growth based on responsible sourcing and local craftsmanship in roasting. “We believe that, especially from an organic perspective — offering only organic coffees — Boulder Organic is in a great position.”
The BO rebranding comes as consolidation is a big topic in specialty coffee circles (we’re looking at you, JAB). When asked his thoughts on consolidation given the recent Boyers acquisition, Barrow said Luna Gourmet has from the beginning maintained and built each brand separately, responding to the niche audience for each: Luna Roasters, Boyers Coffee, Boca Java and Boulder Organic.
“We believe the power of the brands is serving different niches in the market,” Jason Barrow said, adding that the strategy served the company well in 2008-9 when the domestic market was sagging and the commodities market was simultaneously skyrocketing. “Predating JAB, if you will, our strategy is based on the fact that the coffee market is a very niche market.”