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The Indie Café Alliance Assists Independent Cafes

A nationwide network of independent cafes, The Indie Café Alliance, is dramatically altering play between independent operators and national café chains. Says Todd Carmichael, president, “Simply, a solo independent has little voice with suppliers, what we do is change that.”

The Indie Café Alliance has secured previously unattainable pricing on hot and cold cups (less that 4 cents for the 12oz solo cup), lids, sugar, bags, napkins, as well as on nearly 100 other items, even La Spaziale espresso machinery and Fetco brewers.

Furthermore, members do not “purchase together”, rather prices are negotiated at the hub and categorically recognized by the leading distributors.

“In addition,” says Carmichael, “in lieu of dues, we wanted to do something meaningful, the heart of which is supporting other independents. All members agreed to do what so many already do, support the arts, and in this case, the independent recording artist.”

A novel idea, each member offers for resale the music of selected independent musicians each quarter, with the aim of not only promoting independents, but effectively increasing revenues, profits and eliminating costly membership fees.

Indie Café Alliance, Web: www.indiecafealliance.com.


Baratza Changes

Baratza has announced that Café West Distribution will take over as importer and distributor of Solis products - previously available through Baratza, including the Solis Maestro coffee grinder. Based in Oregon, Café West will continue providing the customer service and equipment support.

Baratza will now focus on designing and manufacturing the finest in home burr coffee grinders. The Virtuoso, which will be available in September 2005, is the first in a series of new grinders that boasts all-new upgraded components.

Solis specializes in the production and marketing of high-quality espresso machines and grinders for homes and offices. Some 22 years ago, Solis was the first company in the world to introduce a fully-automatic espresso machine for household use. Since then, more than 500,000 units have been sold in the Swiss market alone.

Café West Distribution is a full-service product distributor and service company specializing in quality home and light commercial espresso machines and grinders, and other related items.

Café West, Tel: (1)(541) 774-6683, Web: www.cafewest.com; Baratza, Tel: (1) (925) 314-0475, Web: www.baratza.com; Solis, Web: www.solis.ch.


Gulf Coast Roasters Meet

Coffee Roasters from the Gulf Coast states met in New Orleans for the summer meeting of the Gulf Coast Roasters Group, June 25 - 27, 2005. Coffee roasting professionals participated in intensive skill-building workshops, advanced sensory exercises, green coffee grading, a coffee farmer’s perspective, and a historical coffee tour at the Cabildo Museum in the French Quarter.

The New Orleans event was the second such gathering for the Gulf Coast Roasters Group. The Group, all members of the Roasters Guild, formed to unite a regional group of coffee roasting professionals to share knowledge, network, and build their skills by using regional resources.

After two successful Gulf Coast Roasters Group gatherings, plans are well underway for the next gathering. The next event is scheduled for October 21-23 2005 in Clearwater, Florida.The focus will be hands on skill building workshops, and the opportunity for discussions centered on specialty coffee roasting.

For more information, contact Kathi Zollman at: (1)(727) 466-9200.



Tea & Coffee - September/October, 2005
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