Cafés and Coffeehouses

Café Market

Consumers have never been faced with more choice in selecting a coffee outlet or choosing a speciality drink from a menu board. With high expectations for speciality drinks being derived from branded chains, the market is poised for significant further growth making the need to differentiate your offer more poignant.

Coffee culture has gripped the European nation with coffee outlets growing at an annual rate of 6.8%*. Branded chains are the catalyst for the growth and are helping to shape consumer trends and taste preference.

Coffee shops are an integral part of the European lifestyle and an expectation for an authentic experience will mean that operators must continuously seek ways to improve the quality and range of their offer with espresso-based drinks, smoothies and shakes that cannot be easily replicated at home. With so many looking for that extra special treat in these trying times, consumers are willing to pay more to indulge themselves and what better way than adding a touch of sweetness to their speciality beverage.

Case Study – Fortify Café, Kent

James Hooper, owner of Fortify Café in Maidstone, Kent shares some of his thoughts on DaVinci Gourmet.

“Before Fortify Café, I ran a café and deli locally, but the main reason for starting my current business was that I wanted to sell the type of food and I drink I liked!

Everything we produce at Fortify is vegetarian or vegan – flavour and healthiness is important to me and I wanted to show that a vegetarian and vegan café could offer this too.

I studied cooking at college, and then worked front of house and in outside catering. By the time Fortify came into existence, I’d managed to gain all the skills needed to make the café a success. My background has meant great service and personalisation is an important part of our offer.

We find people tend to have their favourite coffees; they already know what they want to order by the time they come in. Like our food, our drinks menu is quite seasonal, we’ve taken the Hot Chocolate Orange recipe from DaVinci and introduced it in the winter, and sell iced tea in the summer. Gingerbread, Chai and Cinnamon Lattes are an expectation throughout the year though!

Food is a central part of our offer and we’ve been able to use DaVinci syrups here too. Inspired by our Cinnamon Latte, we’ve also used the DaVinci Gourmet syrup in the icing of our cinnamon cake. Innovation is really important at Fortify – I’m always pushing us to try new things, because it means we can introduce new products to our constantly rotating menu, as well as keeping hold of the ‘old favourites’.

I’m really interested in the trends driving coffee drinking. I like the idea of there being a ‘fourth wave’ – consumers are far more interested in the ingredients that go into making their coffee now. It’s great news that the entire DaVinci Gourmet syrups range is made from natural ingredients, it’s perfect for us.
We’re different to many cafés in that we serve a lot of coffees made with soya milk – so much so that even our non-vegan customers want to give them a try! It was therefore important to us to find a syrup range that worked just as well with this as it does with cow’s milk.

We buy our products through distributor Matthew Algie. Working with these guys has been really useful to us, as we’ve been able to take advantage of the POS from DaVinci Gourmet and also lease the coffee machine. This was a big help to us five years ago when we were just starting up, as we had to do everything on a shoestring, from keeping an eagle eye on wastage, to souring second-hand crockery and tables that have given our café a gorgeous mid-century feel. Matthew Algie has shared their coffee expertise with us, and even given us a helping hand with barista training. I’m really proud of our journey and where we’ve come to now.”

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