Saturday, February 22, 2014

K Cups?

Happy 2014 - OK, it's February but I've been cold and busy!
School Spirit Coffee is currently evaluating the addition of K Cups to our line of fundraising products.  I would like your feedback - so read my evaluation and let me know if you would purchase a package of K Cups for a fundraising campaign.
Our samples arrived last week and I purchased Keurig brewer a few days later with my 20% off coupon at Bed Bath and Beyond.  I am usually the person who shows up at a store with a coupon that expired yesterday (that's another personal blog), thankfully BB and Beyond's coupon never expire.
The company who can package our coffee in K Cups sent me samples in 5 different weights for us to evaluate the profile we prefer.  Taste testing began on 2-15-14! 
Until now, K Cups has been what I considered a fad, wasteful and nonsocial.  My answer has always been, "Do you have the adapter that allows you to brew any coffee?"  More comments on that also.  However, I still get the question, "do you have K Cups?".  Time to evaluate!
Evaluation began with learning how to set us and use the Keurig - not difficult, but I didn't see the water filter feature until I was half way through the testing.  At which point I inserted the feature, repeated a few of the samples and couldn't tell any difference.
The Keurig Machine came with two variety packs of coffee - Breakfast Blend, Donut Blend, French Roast and Italian Roast.  I started with brewing one of each, personally tasting and then pouring the sample into a wine glass for clarity evaluation.
Breakfast Blend - tasted like dirty water
Donut Blend - no aroma and very little flavor
French Roast - appealing aroma, stale taste
Italian Roast - most appealing aroma and flavor but a slight burned taste.
In addition, there was a Hazelnut sample that was not subtle at all.  Very Hazelnut and if you like that then OK.  Our Hazelnut produced by Creative Coffees Roastery is very subtle and fresh, didn't get the same feeling from this prepackaged Hazelnut.
All samples survived the test of going cold in a wine glass.  The coffees remained consistent and did not become cloudy, which tells me they were packaged fresh and stored correctly.
Next blog will describe the taste testing of our Signature Roast.  I welcome your comments concerning your K Cups experiences.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Future Business Leaders of America

Monday and Tuesday of this week I exhibited at the KY State Conference for Future Business Leaders of America in Louisville.  What an amazing group of young students who are focused and competitive.  The winners at the State level will compete in Anaheim this summer and obviously need funds to get there.
My vendor neighbor to the left was an accessory merchant - selling product, not fundraising.
My vendor neighbor to the right was Frosty Fruit, a new company to me but not actually a new company.  They provide a slushy machine at no expense to you as long as you buy their products.  The profit you earn is by selling a variety of all natural flavored slushies on campus during school hours, lunch time primarily.  I heard there sales pitch so many times that I can actually give you all the information (and did a few times when they were away from their table), but instead just check out their website.  The representative were very professional and personable.  If you have the need, and the manpower, to run a school business I give them 4 Stars.
Of course it goes without saying that in addition to a product sale with School Spirit Coffee you might consider a coffee shop on campus - there again you will need a business plan and manpower.  Each pound of School Spirit Coffee brews 90 - 100 cups of coffee.  If you sell a cup of coffee for $1.00 your profit on a $7.00 investment will be $83.00 minimum.  That's $415.00 per week.
In addition to promoting School Spirit Coffee and meeting new vendors I was pleasantly surprised to see young ladies that dressed professionally, and by that I mean modestly.  Adorable dresses with sometimes awkwardly high heels.  No worries, they will grow into them!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Plan for Success

It’s not likely that you would leave for vacation without first choosing a destination, packing a bag or deciding on your mode of transportation.   Whether it’s a vacation, a staff meeting or what’s for dinner, planning is an essential part of completing any task successfully.  School fundraising is no different; in fact it’s very similar to planning for a vacation.  So let’s get started.
Choosing your destination should be the easiest part.  The fundraising committee says, “we have X amount of dollars and we need to raise Y amount of dollars in order to purchase the new computers for our lab”.  Substitute whatever your need is and your done! 
Although that sounds like a no brainer, I have found that schools will often skip this step because their fundraising is planned more like a Field Day Event or Open House.  It is on the calendar for August, November and January but no one really knows what the destination is for those funds.   Not planning for Y destination creates numerous problems including parent apathy, volunteer burn out and lack of financial accountability.  On the other hand, planning for Y provides a goal that everyone can get excited about.
 How are you going to get to your destination - by boat, by plane or by car?  Translation - by product sales, by carwash or by carnival?  Choosing the mode of transportation involves careful planning in order to reach your destination successfully.  Product sales raise over two billion dollars annually for schools and nonprofits and are usually the fastest means to an end.  However, choosing a quality product at a correct price point takes time and research.  Fundraising companies that are members of the Association of Fund-Raising Distributors and Suppliers is a good place to start but don’t take a plane when it would make more sense to drive a car.  Think locally. Is there a business in your area that has a quality product and would work with you on a fundraiser?  If you have a candy company in town, talk to them before you sell a national fundraising chocolate.
Having more than one product fundraiser annually is not the answer to raising more funds. There’s a reason schools don’t plan multiple carnivals a year because too much of a good thing is counter-productive.    I guarantee that if you put the same amount of energy and planning into one product sale per year you will have more success and happier parents.  In other words, your travel companions won’t be asking, “are we there yet?”
While on vacation everyone is fully aware of the day it ends.  There is a beginning and an end, and barring a natural disaster, that is not open for discussion.  So it should be with fundraising.  That’s easy to do with a fundraising event but more challenging when it comes to products sales.  Plan to keep everyone fully aware of the day your product sale ends.  That means effective communication prior to and during the sale so that the parents will know there is a fundraising brochure in their child’s backpack.  Post information in the school newsletter and have reminders read during the morning and afternoon school announcements.  Send flyers home, have the students make posters and use email and Facebook when available.  With proper planning and communication everyone will know when you have reached the end.  Product sales that are allowed to linger are rarely successful and cause a delay in product delivery to your supporters.
We are almost through with our vacation analogy, just one last thing to cover.  When packing for a vacation it’s important to include some fun – a deck of cards, the book you’ve been meaning to read or maybe a dvd or two.  When fundraising, you should also have a bag of fun packed that includes thank you prizes for participants.  Fundraising professionals provide incentive programs but using a purchased program is not always necessary.  Again, think locally.  Bring on the fun by taking your high sellers to the bowling alley, the movie theater or out for a pizza and ice cream.  Local businesses are surprisingly generous with discount cards and donations when asked.  It requires planning and good communication but it is a fact that using prizes will dramatically increase your sales.  Remember to “talk it up” so that all participants know about the incentives you are providing.
Finally, just like a well-planned vacation, everyone involved in your fundraiser will have a rewarding experience and look forward to the next “trip”. Nothing breeds success like success so plan, communicate and execute to achieve all your future fundraising goals.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Reuse your K-Cups

The Keurig Coffee brewer is a "once and done" coffee pod that has certainly reached a level of popularity. However, the pod itself is trashed each time you brew one cup of coffee and that has caused some environmental concerns. Click here for more information about that.

Now there is a way to reuse your pods many times. My-Kaps has developed the tools you need to refill and enjoy many cups of coffee from one pod. In addition, you are no longer restricted to purchasing the packaged K-Cup coffee exclusively. Fill them with School Spirit Coffee or Teas!

K-Cups can cost you anywhere from .45 - .65 per cup. One lb of School Spirit Coffee will brew 85 to 100 cups of coffee (depending on the strength you prefer). That makes your costs between .14 and .16 per cup. Obviously a smart choice for Keurig owners.

Carl Powell, the owner of K-Kaps, has provided this link where you can purchase with a discount. Click here for more information.

Your feedback is important to us. Please let us know what your results are with this product since I am not and don't intend to be a Keurig owner.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Boost Your Fundraiser

Our most successful fundraisers are administrated by a Booster. These programs have a base of support (even though it may be small) that will take the pressure off the teacher, director or adviser. They meet on a regular basis, plan for fundraising and other events and take ownership of making your program successful.

School Spirit Coffee provides a Parent/Guardian letter with our Sales Package. It is intended to help you inform and solicit the resources of your participants biggest fans - their parents. The notice lets them know when the Fundraiser is beginning, how much you would appreciate their help and how they can do that. This is an automatic jump start to a great fundraiser.

I also recommend that you enlist the help of Boosters in summarizing the forms, collecting the money, placing the order and distributing the products upon delivery. It is the hands on involvement and a measure of their success that will keep them engaged in your program.

Hence the name "Boosters". If you are conducting a fundraiser but not enlisting your Boosters you may have a good sale, but believe me when I say it could be better.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Meet Tamatha

It is actually hard to catch a picture of Tamatha. She is in motion 99% of the time.

Tamatha joined the staff of School Spirit Coffee last year and has become a valuable part of our family.

A mother of four boys (can you imagine), wife, professional photographer and so much more!!!

Tamatha works with Sandra to fulfill School Spirit Coffee orders. She is conscientious, careful and committed to helping School Spirit Coffee succeed.

Tamatha organized a fundraiser for the Clark County Orchestra (she too is a professional booster Mom) last spring which was a great success and hopefully the beginning of many more fundraisers to help the orchestra of Clark County meet their needs.

School Spirit Coffee is blessed to have Tamatha as part of our amazing team. Thanks Tamatha for all your hard work and commitment to SSC.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Meet Sandra

Today's post features one of our key employees, Sandra Leal. Sandra has worked for School Spirit Coffee for five years and oversees the daily operations of our Roastery. The only thing she doesn't do is roast the coffee!
Sandra is an expert at labeling the packaging, filling the orders, shipping and quality control. She never takes a short cut with our orders and constantly gives me knew ideas on how to make our production smoother. I seriously stay out of her way once I hand the order over to her, confident that it will be completed with our quality standards in mind.
When Sandra is not at work she is a devoted wife and mother of four beautiful girls, ages 12, 9, 5 and 3. Obviously a busy woman! Her hobbies include dancing, reading, walking and watching her favorite TV shows. Her favorite products that we sell are the Mocha Jo, French Vanilla Cappuccino and Snicker Doodle. She is just learning to drink "real" coffee!