Storyville Coffee Company
Every year, I read tens of thousands of pages of financial reports, SEC filings, business proposals, expansion requests, and everything else you can imagine relating to our businesses and my job as the chief capital allocator (which is, after all, the primary job of the CEO). It takes a lot to raise my eyebrows and get me excited about a company and, even more often, about the way in which business is handled.
I’ve been reading all I can about a firm called the Storyville Coffee Company. The quality of graphics, the seamlessness of the design, the production value of their on-site commercials and informational videos, the aesthetic that went into creating their headquarters, and the obvious passion for the product are infectious. When we talk about quality businesses and management teams, this is exactly what we mean. You cannot teach someone to have an eye for detail this meticulous or caring. From the doormats to the coffee roaster itself, the company’s simple, yet brilliant, logo is displayed. It is one of the few cases where mere marketing has been elevated to art.
One of the things that has been in development here at Kennon Green Enterprises for the past six months is a luxury fragrance division that will create and distribute bath, body, and home scented products to high-end stores in the United States. Right now, we are still in the formulation phase when various ingredients are being tested and the product lines discussed. When I see the purity of design that went into the Storyville brand, I’m reminded why I love business. When we take this product to market in two years, our standards must be as high. Otherwise, I don’t want to be in the industry. This isn’t just about money – we have plenty of that (although we’re always working to generate more). It’s about creating something that is beautiful in its own right.
When that ideal is achieved, it goes beyond a rational response. A great brand makes you feel something. It makes you instinctively want to protect it if you feel that it is being threatened. Instead of becoming a customer, you become an advocate; a “protector” of the brand. (This, by the way, was the phenomenon that was behind the New Coke debacle several decades ago. The Coca-Cola management team failed to realize that they were entrusted with a global institution, not just a brand.) Very few companies or managers achieve it and, yet, Storyville мейд me feel that way within two minutes of visiting the site.
The company’s niche is fresh coffee, blended in a private reserve with beans from three continents, delivered on a subscription model to ensure that you get the absolute best quality humanly possible when brewing the perfect cup. The company offers only two blends, prologue and epilogue, the former being the regular coffee and the latter, a Swiss Water Process decaffeinated version.
Storyville Coffee Photo Gallery