Here’s how Brian Mclaughlin, Founder of Seabird Coffee & Co. in Cohasset, MA, boosted coffee sales 300% and unlocked new business opportunities with a Bellwether Roaster.
Background: Seabird Coffee & Co. wanted to build a roasting operation.
Brian Mclaughlin has been a champion of community among New England’s coffee industry since he opened Seabird Coffee in the fall of 2017. He’s rotated regional guest roasters like Barismo, George Howell, and Tandem Coffee Roasters. An ambitious artisan, he wanted to explore coffee roasting in his own business to open up new expansion opportunities, including online sales and more cafes. But, shipping and logistics challenges seemed overwhelming. “I’d always imagined Seabird being a seabird that flies along the coast and opens locations in different towns. When thinking through the logistics and supply chain, I thought: ‘How am I going to get this roasted coffee to each of these little towns?’”
Solution: A commercial coffee roaster that’s as flexible as Seabird.
When Brian discovered the Bellwether Roaster, he knew it was a perfect fit for his vision for Seabird Coffee as a multi-location business with a variety of sales channels. He foresaw new opportunities being unlocked, including:
- Opening cafes in more towns, each with a Bellwether Roaster on-site
- Gaining access to new sales channels, including online and wholesale
- Building a stronger brand with coffee that the whole team is proud of
Within weeks of reaching out to Bellwether, Seabird Coffee & Co. was roasting on a Bellwether Roaster in their Cohasset coffee shop. For the first time, they were able to roast and sell their own beans.
“Bellwether made our entry into roasting and sourcing so incredibly easy and enjoyable. I’ve been overly surprised at how easy it’s been. What an incredible impact it’s made on my business and our community.”
Results: Seabird grew sales 300% and increased team confidence!
Brian and his team quickly learned how to roast exceptional coffee on a Bellwether thanks to the roaster’s user-friendly interface and built-in roast profiles tailored to every coffee in the Bellwether Marketplace.
“The ease and comfort of knowing you are sourcing great quality beans, and that the roast profiles already built-in for them are so well done, makes me feel like I’m given a competitive advantage from the start.”
Seabird’s new roasted coffee offering was an instant hit in the community, generating local pride among the staff and customers, which led to a significant increase in sales.
“I’m selling 3x more coffee and bags than I was before. The response has given us more confidence, especially behind our own brand that we’ve worked so hard for. I’m proud of it. I’m super proud of it.”
Being able to roast their own beans on-demand and not wait for guest roasters to ship beans has created new wholesale and business opportunities for Seabird.
“Now that I can roast my own coffee, I’ve been able to do more catering events and larger format stuff. We are also trying to get online coffee sales going. And I’ve just signed a lease for a Mexican restaurant!”
The transformation from coffee shop to coffee roaster was a spirit of collaboration and empowerment that Brian has found encouraging and energizing.
“Bellwether has been nothing but incredible in their support and ability to respond to any of my worries or problems instantly. I feel like somebody’s always there. The team is the shining star of the entire Bellwether experience.”