What started off as a coffee making competition between two friends brewed into a successful business. Since 2014, Wandering Bear has been serving up 100% organic coffee and is the first company to put coffee in tapped boxes. We caught up with Matt Bachmann and Ben Gordon to see how they are growing their business smarter.
Company: Wandering Bear
Founders: Matt Bachmann (CEO), Ben Gordon (President)
Mission: We make big strong coffee (with a smooth side) and (try) to deliver it in a 10-star, that-just-made-my-day kind of way
How they're growing smarter: We keep the voice of our customers very, very close. Every review hits our leadership teams’ inbox. Our #customerservice Slack is the most active at the company (usually celebrating “wins”). Our 500+ digital brand ambassadors help us keep a pulse on what’s resonating.
Are supply chain disruptions impacting your business and how are you adapting?: Over the past 6 months every single layer of our supply chain has been impacted. Labor and hiring has been a challenge everywhere and in particular at our warehouses, regardless of geography. Shipping times have gotten stretched due to demand on trucks. Wood, pulp and paper demand is through the roof, sending prices of pallets and boxes to new highs. The global container shortage has made it harder and slower to import coffee. And bad weather (for coffee) in Brazil has sent coffee prices to levels not seen in a decade. I wake up every morning thankful that our supply chain team is still with us and maintaining a positive attitude through some of these career-defining challenges. We’re adapting through better planning and implementing new systems, as well as onboarding new partners to help meet the surge in demand for our products that we’ve seen this year.
Any specific strategies you are putting in place for the holiday shopping season? Throughout the holiday our focus will be on our subscribers and existing customers to ensure that the melee that’s predicted for parcel delivery networks impacts them as minimally as possible.
What marketing channel is working best for you?: Email and SMS are incredibly effective channels for us. It’s also hard to beat the scale of social channels.
What’s the best piece of advice you recently received that you’d pass along to other founders?: Beware of strangers bearing generalized advice ;-)