Blog Archive

LOOKING BACK, MARCHING FORWARD: OUR YEAR IN REVIEW

Dear friends,

I want to take a moment and wish everyone a wonderful holiday and happy new year! 2012 was a transformational year for Taylor Maid Farms. We looked at everything and questioned how and why we do what we do. Our supply chain became more solid and we began to consistently offer seasonal coffee delivered at the height of their flavors. We began offering coffees we never had before, including India and Bali. This gave our fans and customers a chance to experience coffee from more farms than ever before.

We began the addition of our Coffee Bar and the job title Barista finally became part of our company. This addition has allowed us to present our products as we intend and gives us a test ground to be able to support our business partners. It makes my day to come to work and order a TMF Cappuccino!
Our focus on education and the structure of our training has helped us elevate the skills of those who serve and sell our coffee.  We have also been able to develop our team like never before.

Last year was good for Taylor Maid Farms. 2013 will be incredible! The opening of our new production and coffee bar space at the Barlow will allow us to share with you our passion for coffee and all that goes into it. We will also be celebrating Taylor Maid Farms’ 20th Anniversary! We have lots of ideas and ways to celebrate with you and for you, realizing that we are here because of you!

Thank you for the years of support, for sticking with us, and for pushing us to be a better company.

Rob Daly

 

 

 

A Name is Born: The Story Behind Sweetwater Espresso

Meet Cyndi Yoxall: Cyclist, mother of 2 boys, Development Coordinator at Summerfield Waldorf School & Farm, Winner of 25 lbs. of espresso.

Cyndi became a fan of Taylor Maid Farms after tasting our coffee at local institutions like Wildflower Bakery and Sebastopol Cookie Company. Upon hearing about our naming contest, Cyndi suggested “Coleman Valley”- the name of a scenic Sonoma County biking trial. We loved Cyndi’s idea, so we ran with it! Her name inspired a titular epiphany for Taylor Maid Farms’ Roastmaster Joshua Shaw, creator of our new espresso. With Coleman Valley in mind, Josh pondered the espresso’s juicy-sweet flavor profile. And then it hit him. There was another iconic biking trail whose name would capture the essence of our espresso: Sweetwater. And that, friends, is the name that just felt good in the soul. True to our word, Cyndi won 25 lbs. of espresso for home consumption, a treat she is already sharing with colleagues. “I served Sweetwater Espresso today at a work meeting...French pressed with oatmeal cookies. Somehow everyone said yes to whatever I asked! It must have been the coffee.”  Must have been.

 

 

 

Cue The Drumroll- We've named the baby!

And it’s “Sweetwater” for the win!  After pouring over 153 name suggestions, we feel like this name is a perfect fit for our new espresso’s juicy-sweet flavor profile.   Taylor Maid Farms customer Cyndi Yoxall inspired the name, winning first dibs on enjoying Sweetwater from home.  All 25 lbs. of it.  Always eager to put So. Co. on the map, we love that Sweetwater is also the name of a local cycling trail.  Stay tuned for Cyndi’s profile and Sweetwater specs, available in stores October 8, 2012.

 

 

 

Contest Alert!

We’re launching a new espresso this fall, and WE WANT YOU TO NAME IT! Submit entries to marketing@taylormaidfarms.com through September 16th including your name, email address and phone number. Winner enjoys epic bragging rights, 25lbs of our new espresso and your mug shot on our website. Send as many entries as you like, from the silly to the sublime. We have Central and South American Arabicas, both natural and washed processes represented in our new espresso. Think juicy berry and stone fruit notes with a buttery viscosity and a chocolatey mouth feel for the flavor!

 

 

 

Comments from Customers- Can Refill Pricing

We get many questions, comments and emails regarding an array of topics here at Taylor Maid Farms. The following email is one I wanted to share because it hit on a question about our can refill pricing, a topic many of our customers don't have a lot of insight about. This year we began to change the pricing structure of our Can Refill discount. Please, take a moment and read the following interaction between me and Bob about our change.

If you have questions or comments, do not hesitate to connect with me any time. I value our customers and am always trying my best to over the best product and company to support possible.

Thank you - Rob Daly


Original Email from Bob

From: Bob . . .
Date: July 5, 2012 7:01:24 AM PDT
To: chris@taylormaidfarms.com
Subject: Can Re-Use Program

Chris,

I have been a loyal customer for about three years.  I have been re-using the same cans and receiving the discount.  I understand there has been a change in the Can Re-Use Program such that now it is only $1.00 off the regular price.  I like your coffee, but you may be losing a loyal customer.

Either one of the following two possible solutions would bring me (and perhaps others) back:

1) $3.00 discount for re-used cans, or

2) Re-use Once Program: I buy a can of coffee and the retail clerk puts a sticker on it at the time of purchase.  I return with the can to refill it and purchase for 50% off.  The clerk marks the sticker with an "X" and I cannot use the same can again for refill.  In the transition, loyal customers, who already have cans, can bring in their cans for refill,  purchase at 50%, and, again, the clerk marks the sticker with an "X."

This rewards your loyal customers and is a reasonable solution for you to maintain a healthy business.

Perhaps you have another idea.  Right now, you have lost a loyal customer, and I suspect I am not the only one.

--bob . . .

 


Response from Rob Daly - Taylor Maid Farms

On Jul 17, 2012, at 11:14 AM, Rob Daly wrote:

 

Hello Bob,

 

I am sorry for the delay in responding to your email. Chris sent it my way last week. I appreciate the time you took to reach out to us and provide some feedback about our can refill program. I also like that you put some ideas down for the can refill program. I will provide a little insight to the plan changes so you know why we have changed it.

 

The refill program started just a couple years after we started packing in cans; 1995. At that time it was easy to set a flat price for the program. As you know, much has changed from that year. The biggest impact we ran into last year was a green coffee price that jumped from the average $1.80 per pound it had been up to $3.40. We did all we could as the price went up and up with no end in sight! Just on the green pricing alone we found ourselves actually at a negative margin on many of our coffees. Now today our coffee still averages in the $3 per pound range.

 

The self serve and flat rate price also gave our customers the freedom to pack more than the original 10oz of coffee in the can (which was the original idea of re-filling it to the original volume). Because all coffee is different in size and weight, many customers were finding that about 14 oz. of some coffees were able to fit in the can. At a flat price of say $8, that coffee is now .57 cents per ounce for some customers, while it was .80 cents an ounce for others! That didn’t seem fair.

 

With the cost of the coffee and production so high and the over packing of the can by our customers we also found that we were giving almost $400 a week of unaccounted for coffee away.  No business is sustainable that way.

 

This was the hardest change we’ve had to make, because many customers only looked to us as a cheap coffee. We never looked at ourselves that way and never will. We buy the best coffee we can find and support organic practices and farmers all over the world. I hoped that our community would continue to support us because of the good we do and because we are a small company trying to make it (still even 19 years after we started).

 

While I appreciate you asking for $3 off for the refill, that puts us at anywhere from -$.30 cents to + $1.06 per can sold ( with our most popular can refills of Goat Rock Roast and Red Roosters French Roast (selling at 5 to 1 against the rest of our line) at the negative $ .30 cents). The “X” marking of the can and for the most part taking it our of commission unfortunately defeats the purpose of reusing our packaging. Because we use a reusable package and refill program, we save the need to waste 500 bags per week!

 

I hope I provided enough information and not to much at the same time. This has been the hardest change we’ve had to make and one that our customers are very passionate about, however one we needed to be sustainable.

 

I’d really like to post your email on our web site. I know others have ideas and questions. Do you mind if I do that? Also, I would like to talk with you in more detail if you’d like to talk. Please connect with me when you have time.

 

Thank you,
Rob Daly
executive director
Taylor Maid Farms Organic Coffee and Tea

o: 707.824.9110 x 12
e: rob@taylormaidfarms.com

 


Response from Bob

Rob,

 

I appreciate your detailed response.  I buy your coffee for several reasons: 1) The coffee tastes great, 2) You are a local, small business supported by Oliver's, 3) Your company is actively attempting to reduce landfill waste by the Refill Program, 4) You use a Fair Trade philosophy and buy organic coffee from sustainable farms, and 5) The price is reasonable.

 

I do wish you roasted the Gayo Mountain in decaf.  You did for a while.  Do you plan to offer it again?  I love the flavor.

 

Again, thank you for taking the time to reply to my email.  You have kept a loyal customer.  Feel free to reprint my emails.

 

--bob . . .

 

 

 

 

 

See who we are!

Check us out!

We just updated our Contacts page so you can get to see those of us that roast your coffee, train baristas to pour amazing drinks, sell the coffee, and run the company! Each profile has a photo and little bit of info about each one of us!

 

 

 

Final Roasting Tour at Keating Ave.

Wednesday, July 25th starting at 5 pm; Get a behind-the-scenes look at how your favorite Taylor Maid Farms coffee is transformed from green beans to that perfect roast. Our Head Roaster, Coalmine Spindle will take you through the blending, roasting and packaging process. Take home a complementary sample of still-warm beans straight from the roaster!

After, take some time and connect with the team at Taylor Maid Farms. Discuss the new cafe, changes to our programs and what's up next for our company.

THIS WILL BE OUR FINAL EVENT AT OUR KEATING AVE. LOCATION!

Please contact our retail store to reserve your spot. 707.824.9110 x 16, retail@taylormaidfarms.com

 

 

 

Help us celebrate!

Taylor Maid Farms is moving across town to The Barlow and we want celebrate with you!

We are throwing a Barista Jam with a Latte Art Throw-down! Come check out some the bay areas best baristas pull shots and pour some amazing latte art. We will be serving FREE Iced Coffee as well as $1 off all our other beverages. There will be food available, live music, a latte art throw down and even some door prizes. Discounts on merchandise and demonstrations on how to use some of the new equipment we have.

It’s also the kick off of our loyalty card! Get your first stamp on us at this event!

Saturday, June 30  from 11 to 2. Stop by anytime and check it out at our current location: 7190 Keating Ave, Sebastopol, CA.

 

 

 

Employee Profile: Coalmine Spindle

Coalmine Spindle has been a part of the Taylor Maid Farms family for 10 years! He started in production canning the coffee for retail and as a Support Roaster. Coalmine is now our Head Roaster. He grew up in San Francisco, but has lived in Sonoma County for 16 years now. He moved up north to attend Sonoma State University, where he graduated with a degree in psychology in 2000. He lives in Santa Rosa with his wife of 4 years, Kate. He started off in the coffee industry as a barista, which is a talent he used while working at Howard’s Station Café in Occidental. His favorite coffees tend to be seasonal Central Americans, like Honduras or Guatemala. He’s also the Bass Player and Singer in the band The Chelsea Set, which plays locally as well as does a West Coast tour every year. It's also the music we used in each of our Really Good Coffee brewing videos. Coalmine also helps lead our Behind the Scenes Roasting Tour, so you'll have a chance to see him in action if you join one of our tours.


 

 

 

Buy a can, fill a can, get $1 off a drink

Bulk coffee and our can refill program is what made Taylor Maid Farms what we are. We value those customers that have been loyal to us while we transitioned our program and our company. We will be offering all customers that purchase a new can of coffee, or come in for a can refill, $1 off any beverage of their choice from our coffee cart. The promotion is from This Friday, June 1st through June 28th. It's a great time to take a moment and enjoy the coffee you just picked up through a pour over, or try our espresso in a drink. Stop by the store for details. Monday thru Friday 8 am - 6 pm and Saturday 9 am - 5 pm.

Coffee Cup


 

 

 

Employee Profile: Alisse McBratney

Alisse McBratney has been working at Taylor Maid Farms for 6 months now. She is the Head of Retail Operations & Donations, as well as a barista extraordinaire. She has been in the coffee industry for 10 years; her coworkers nicknamed her “Coffee Goddess.” She’s also a member of the Barista Guild of America. She grew up in Orange County, but has lived in beautiful Sonoma County for 7 years now. She is the hard-working mom of 3 kids—ages 2, 5, and 14—and is involved in the Summerfield Waldorf School that they attend. She is a self-proclaimed ‘tree-hugger’ and pagan.  She loves music and plays guitar as well as used to write her own songs. Her enthusiasm for making quality espresso drinks and knowledge of managing a café make her a great addition to the team as we get ready to move into the Barlow.

 

 

 

Employee Profile: Shannon Marlor

Shannon has been working at Taylor Maid Farms for almost 4 years; she has dabbled in everything here from production to the retail store, and is now the Local Area Representative for Sebastopol, Windsor, Healdsburg, and Lake County.  What you might not know about her is just how tough she really is! This last Sunday she competed in a 5k Survivor Mud Run (along with other TMF L.A.R Dan Kirby!) in Lathrop, CA. In September, she plans on competing in Tough Mudders, a 12-mile military obstacle course designed by British Special Forces, which describes itself as “probably the toughest event on the planet.” She also played roller derby for the Sonoma County Roller Derby for 5 years. Most importantly, she is a very busy mom to her 7-year-old son, Thane, with type 1 diabetes. We’re lucky to have such a great addition to the team here at TMF!

 

 

 

$1 Organic Drinks at TMF Cafe Cart

We're celebrating the first month of our outdoor cafe cart by offering $1 espresso, tea, & pour-over coffee drinks for a whole month! Thank you to all who have stopped by and enjoyed a beverage. We love the opportunity to truly fine tune our barista skills before the opening of our Taylor Maid Farms Café in The Barlow. Come on by if you haven't already! You can refill your can and grab a beverage all in one stop. We're at 7190 Keating Ave. in Sebastopol, and open during our retail store hours (Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 10am-5pm)

 

 

 

 

The many uses of the TMF can!

Of course, the most popular way to reuse your empty TMF cans is our Can Refill Program. But what do you do when the amount of cans you have laying around surpasses the amount of coffee you drink? Well we have some ideas! They make great donation cans- shown in the picture-, or even tip jars (which we've been using at our new cafe cart!), coin jars, or as a pot for plants. How do you reuse your TMF can?

 

 

 

Tired of making bad coffee? Try our Home Brewing/Espresso Classes!

We've had some great classes these past couple months with an amazing turnout! Check in at the retail store (or call 824-9110) to see when we have more coming. In the meantime, watch this YouTube video promo:  Coffee Class Short Promo. Also checkout our TaylorMaidFarms YouTube channel to see demos on our equipment, and learn how to beat those bad coffee brewing habits!

 

 

 

Outdoor Cafe Cart Opens!

We went live today with our outdoor cafe cart at our retail location! We're serving lattes, cappuccinos, mochas, espresso, & tea. We'll be open during our store hours (Mon-Fri 9am-6pm/ Sat 11am-5pm). Please come by and check us out! Here's a picture of our very first customers this morning. Outdoor seating to come--let's hope for sunny weather!

 

 

 

Changes to Our Can Refill Program

As many of you may already know, we have made some changes to our can refill program. We are now weighing out the cans to 10 oz. In our retail store, we will be filling, weighing, and grinding the coffee for you. The price is still $9 a refill, or $15 a pound. As you can see in the picture below, how much volume of coffee you get is dependent on the roast of the bean. The darker roast is lighter, and fills up the can all the way.  This new policy makes the amount of coffee more equal between light and dark roast drinkers. For the light roast drinkers who still want a full can, we're offering to price it by weight and then take the $1 off for reusing the can. You will also begin to see these changes in grocery stores that carry our bulk coffee. They will weigh the can at the register and take the $1 off there. Thank you for your continued support! We want to continue our can refill program and reward customers who reuse their can, but we must do so in a way that is sustainable for us. Please ask us questions-- we are here to serve you!

 

 

 

Home Brewing & Espresso Class Weds. the 28th!

Learn how to brew the perfect cup at home! Class covers the following brewing methods: Hario v60, Aeropress, & French Press.

Want to learn the trick to a perfect home espresso? Learn about: espresso coffee roasts & blends; espresso coffee taste profiles; the structure of an espresso shot & basic milk-steaming skills for making luscious cappuccinos & lattes.

$25 Fee includes one can of coffee, 20% off all home espresso equipment, 10% off all home brewing equipment, as well as enjoy all the lattes and cappuccinos made during the class. Reserve your place by signing up in the store or calling (707)- 824-9110 ex. 17

 

 

 

Pour-Over Brewing on YouTube

Pourover brewing-dripping a really good coffee

We love the full-bodied flavor that pour-over brewing produces. It's a classic method that never seems to fail. Watch this video to see how TMF uses the Hario Dripper to make a really good cup of coffee. We use a ratio of 30 grams of Coffee to 12 ounces of water. Also, drop by the store for a live demo and a free 8 oz. sample with any purchase!

 

 

 

Aeropress Brewing

There are so many great ways to brew coffee these days. We've been playing with a brewer called an Aeropress. There isn't one right way to brew coffee with it. Check out this video we put together to show you what we found worked with our coffee.

Aeropress brewing on YouTube

 

 

 

Coffee and Food Pairing

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What a great pairing of our Single Origin coffees and cheese! Check out our public class to learn more about how to present your dinner guests an amazing experience with coffee and a cheese plate!

 

 

 

Almost there!

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Getting a little better. Anyone for a cap?

 

 

 

Practicing!

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Working on our skills so we can serve the best tasting, best looking drinks in Sonoma County! Our store at The Barlow opens in Spring. Should be a great place to experience our coffee!

 

 

 

The Barlow

The Barlow project in Sebastopol is really moving fast! This will be the home of our new location and first Taylor Maid Farms cafe. Check it out at: The Barlow.

 

 

 

Christmas Hours

In preparation for the Christmas holiday, we wanted to let you know that Taylor Maid Farms - including our Maid at Home store and Wholesale Department - as well as UPS, will be CLOSED on Monday, December 26th. We will not be shipping any orders on Monday and are going to do all we can to get all UPS orders out by Wednesday, December 21 to ensure deliveries are made before the end of the following week.

In light of these short weeks, your Local Area Representatives will be working with you to increase your orders. To all of our UPS customers, please bulk up your weekly orders beginning this week.

Stay warm, and enjoy your holiday!

- Taylor Maid Farms Family

 

 

 

Farm Family Holiday Gathering

Had a great time getting the Taylor Maid Farms gang together this weekend for a holiday gathering. We got in the spirit with some home made eggnog, whipped up by Lisa our Area Manager.

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From the tasting table....

Our roasting crew was  excited on Thursday by the cupping results of our 2010 Flores Mangari which should be in-house early October. This year's pre-ship sample of green coffee was beautifully prepped (as it always is) with an amazing deep turquoise color. Roasted, the coffee was incredibly deep with a distinct bittersweet chocolate (think 70% cacao bar) and a sugarcane sweetness. Barring any mishaps on the ocean voyage to California, this should be a coffee you'll be talking about for the remainder of the year.

We'll keep you updated!

 

 

 

TMF’s Mark Inman Interviewed

TMF’s Mark Inman was recently featured in the Art of Manliness.

Behind every great cup of joe, is a great green coffee buyer like Mark Inman. Mr. Inman works for Taylor Maid Farms, a company that supports small family farmers and promotes organic, sustainable agriculture. Mr. Inman travels the world dealing with coffee at its source and ensuring that every cup of his java is top notch. Mark has spent two decades in the coffee business and today shares a fascinating look into a job that combines adventure and beans.

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