Editor’s note: This month’s Business Beacon is a spotlight on Amavida Coffee, where they believe “spectacular coffee helps people live life well, and not only in the ‘Oh, that’s good!‘ sense.” We talked to founder Dan Bailey about what makes Amavida Coffee different. Check them out on Facebook, too.
Do you have an interesting topic you think we should cover? Leave a comment below!
1. How did you get the idea or concept for your business?
DB: Amavida Coffee was created to improve the lives of coffee farming communities abroad. Poverty, social and environmental issues exist in pretty much all coffee-growing regions.
2. Let’s discuss numbers: What year did you open? How many locations do you have? How many people do you employ?
DB: We opened in 2004 as a wholesale coffee importer and roaster and then added four retail locations. We employ about 42 people.
3. What do you sell or what service do you provide? What’s your best seller?
DB: Coffee is our primary product, but we aggregate other sustainable products to support coffee houses. These include renewable paper products; organic teas; plant-based milk and so on. In terms of services, we are an integrator, representing numerous coffee equipment manufacturers for sales and service. We are also are one of the Specialty Coffee Association certified training centers (AST) for barista education. Finally, we offer consulting services to help other coffee houses which include: concept, design, education and installation services. Our best seller is coffee.
4. What’s unique about what you do or offer?
DB: We are a high-impact company by balancing our responsibility to our community, employees, environment and our producers. We are a legal Benefit Corporation (B-Corp) and we offset all of our carbon and plastic pollution. Most all of our products are clean and sourced from ethics providers.
5. How would you describe your business to a potential customer?
DB: We have a lot of layers and lenses to our business model to communicate depending on the interest level. The short answer is “We are an importer, roaster and purveyor of specialty coffee, based on sound ethics practices.” We are a friendly company with respect to our growers, community, employees, and the environment.
6. What do you love most about your line of work?
DB: Coffee is my vocation and our business model is impact-driven. “This is my fuel.” It is easy to wake up to work on challenges and see results. I also love being part of our local communities and working closely with our employees.
7. What sorts of trends are you seeing in your industry?
DB: Coffee quality and understanding of specialty coffee continue to advance. Sustainability is also a major trend as growers are impacted more and more by climate change. Consumers are becoming more aware and are making purchasing choices as they learn more about their connections.
8. Tell me in just a sentence or two what you feel sets you apart from your competitors.
DB: We do not focus much on our competitors, although we do watch and learn. We focus our energy on “who we are” and “our and actions.” “They are not us and we are not them.” It seems to work for us and we are true to our values and we hope others will watch and learn from us as well.
9. Who or what inspires you? This could be a family member or celebrity, a particular quote or even a book/movie/podcast. This sky’s the limit!
DB: The Dalai Lama – he is friendly and spiritual with a great sense of humor.
10. What’s the best thing about being a part of the Emerald Coast, personally and/or professionally?
DB: This is our home and it is a special place. We chose to raise our family here because of the small community, relaxed lifestyle, and interesting people. The Emerald Coast allows for very close friendships. It really helps that we also have beautiful beaches.
11. Are you/your business involved in the community in any way? Volunteering or giving back? If so, how?
DB: From my perspective, businesses have a responsibility to improve their community. The community gives us permission to be here and serving is a privilege and requires many small actions all the time. Small actions that we do include donations to local not-for-profits; purchase local where possible, allocating 20 hours of paid volunteer time to each of our employees; serving on the boards of local organizations; coaching sports; and, speaking and teaching at local schools and colleges. It’s in our DNA.
12. What does a typical day in your business look like? (Pretend it’s Monday (or Friday!) and take me through the highlights of your day.)
DB: Each day is about trying to strike a balance. I have to work on the things I have to do and things I want to do. Most all days have something special or a small win. When things are in perfect balance, I can get home to make a sunset.
13. What’s your best “insider tip?” (This could be a community tip for vacationers or homeowners or even a tip for customers related to your business.)
DB: Our community is small and different from the bigger cities and we walk at a more relaxed pace. We take the time to talk to one another and appreciate one another. This is what makes our community special. Keep this perspective when visiting and start relaxing early, as it will be the best experience when we are all walking at the same pace.
14. How do you recharge or relax when the day is done?
DB: Sunsets when I can – I know I am done for the day.
15. Just the deets, please! Where are you located? Business hours? Social media profiles and/or website links we need to know about? (Please feel free to add social media handles or direct links!)
DB: Our retail locations include Rosemary Beach; Seaside, Florida; St Andrews in Panama City, Perla Baking Co. in DeFuniak Springs and our roaster operations in Santa Rosa Beach.
16. One final question: If there was just one thing you wish the public knew about your business, what would it be?
DB: We are a small company with a big voice. When you support us, you are making an impact locally and internationally. These impacts affect coffee growers abroad, political structures, the environment, and you are providing jobs for our local community. We are very grateful for your support.