New York-based full-service coffee roaster and coffee equipment seller Chris’ Coffee Service has moved into a massive new $7 million headquarters outside Albany as the company prepares to enter its next generation of growth.
In addition to the 30-kilo Joper, 60-kilo Joper and 60-kilo US Roaster Corp machines overseen by master roaster Jimmy Topaltzas to this point, the company received a new 120-kilo Joper shipped directly to the new warehouse from Portugal this past August.
Also added to the new facility is the company’s second Modern Process Equipment 700 Series water-cooled roll grinder. The company’s improved cupping lab in the new building is equipped with Agtron color comparison equipment, an oxygen analyzer for freshness verification, and more.
“The cupping lab is probably my favorite room in our new building, because it really puts on display the importance of the quality of the coffee that we are roasting,” Chris’ Coffee CFO Taylor Nachtrieb told Daily Coffee News. “We definitely don’t cut corners. My parents have instilled in my sister and I from the beginning the importance of serving quality products and we plan to continue with that philosophy.”
Founded by president Chris Nachtrieb in the late 1970s, Chris’ Coffee Service today employs roughly 50 people, including the founder’s wife and vice president Pattie Nachtrieb, and their two daughters, Taylor Nachtrieb and director of sales Mackenzie Halse, who are preparing to take over the company from their parents in the near future.
“My sister and I have both been in the business since we graduated from college, but we were helping out in the office from as young of an age as 10 years old,” said Taylor Nachtrieb. “We definitely complement each other’s skill sets and have always been able to work well together.”
Construction on the 64,000-square-foot warehouse building located near the Albany International Airport in Latham, New York, wrapped this past summer. Chris’ now occupies about 37,000 square feet of the space and leases the remaining space to hydrogen fuel cell company Plug Power.
Prior to the move, Chris’ Coffee Service occupied a space of roughly 16,000 total square feet in Albany, which included its offices, plus an additional 12,000 square feet of rented warehouse space at a separate location. Not only has efficiency improved by virtue of having everything under one roof, but the company has grown from having two loading docks to six, plus two ground-level doors, greatly increasing the efficiency of receiving deliveries.
The new facility also includes a display room for showcasing some of the home and commercial espresso machines and grinders sold by the company, and for customers to visit to test machines by appointment.
Said Nachtrieb, “We chose specific track lighting to be used in the display room so that we are able to take more demo videos of our machines, which Mackenzie will star in.”
The expansion comes at a difficult time for some of Chris’ longtime customers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including some clients that have worked with CCS for over 30 years.
“To watch them go out of business is truly heartbreaking,” said Nachtrieb, noting that while CCS has also taken a hit to its bottom line, the diversified nature of the company that serves both consumer and commercial markets, on and offline, has helped. “We have definitely seen more of a shift from commercial to consumer sales, but the majority of our coffee distributor sales has steadily increased. However, we are fearful that we will take yet another hit and end up back where we were in March if a second lockdown were to be put into place.”
Yet Nachtrieb said the company plans to continue to grow from within the new digs, including attaining SQF Certification and putting renewed emphasis on its private-label roasting and packaging services.
“Mackenzie and I plan to take the business to the next level,” said Nachtrieb. “From the beginning we have always had very different strengths within the business, which is also true for my parents, which is why I believe they have been so successful throughout the years.”