Created on the principle of helping communities in need, Wild Goose Coffee Roasters was born by Nathan Westwick. Starting as a small, local coffee roaster, Nathan quickly grew his company into a successful ecommerce business. Read on to learn how they’ve donated over one million pounds of food to local food banks, solely by running a business.
Please tell us a bit about yourself and what you sell at Wild Goose Coffee Roasters.
At Wild Goose Coffee Roasters, we source and roast exceptional coffees that do exceptional things: for every pound of coffee we sell, we donate 10 lbs of food to a local food bank. What started off as a small booth at our local weekly farmer’s market has blossomed into a full-scale wholesale operation. What’s so great about that, you ask? Customers drinking Wild Goose Coffee have provided over a million pounds of food to families in need! And we think that’s pretty cool.
When did you get started selling online? Why?
We started our online store back in 2008. We wanted to give people a chance to taste great coffee that weren’t able to visit us in person. The website was pretty funky back then. I remember (much later) when we got our first web order from someone we didn’t know – we felt like we had finally arrived!
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in building and running Wild Goose Coffee Roasters?
There’s always the challenge of getting the word out. With so much competition, what would compel someone to take a flyer on our product over something they already know they enjoy? How do we tell our story in increasingly compelling ways? We’re always seeking to refine our website, our message. The mission has always been the same, but we’re constantly tinkering with new ways to say it.
How do you attract new customers?
We’ve tried Facebook ads. I’m not sure I recommend that unless you have a really refined funnel and process to convert “likes” into customers. We mainly get new customers from word of mouth, which is good, and bad. Good in that customers are telling their friends; bad in that we could certainly be more aggressive in getting our brand out there.
Can you share a tip or something interesting you learned in the process of building and running Wild Goose Coffee Roasters?
Don’t jump at every little thing that moves just to get your name out there. Be strategic and focused. A friend once told me that “marketing is testing”. If you’re not testing something (a new process, a new message, etc.) then you’re not really marketing. Building a great brand is one thing; getting it into consumer’s hands is where the real work lies.
If you’re looking to support local food banks while drinking a cup of delicious coffee, take a peek at Wild Goose Coffee Roasters.