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Building a Coffee Subscription Service

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Courtney Todd, founder of Fenweh was interviewed by Pat Walls at Starter Story and here is a fragment of their interesting talk about Fernweh's story.

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

This idea was birthed over one night over Mexican food while talking to a friend who is in the coffee industry. I’ve always flirted with starting a business in the coffee industry or doing something with coffee, however, the NZ market is heavily saturated so I never saw an opportunity.

When we were dreaming of this subscription service it didn’t take much convincing for me to start it. I love working with people so being in a position to work with the amazing coffee roasters and the customers was a winning situation for me. When looking at the market at the time there were only a couple roasters who offered subscriptions so being able to have a subscription that featured more than one brand was what I thought was a brilliant idea.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Today Fernweh is performing well, over COVID and lockdown we saw sales soar and it has stayed that way which is encouraging as there has been a lot of time and effort put in. It is profitable which is great as it is a side hustle.

All of our sales run through our website and distribution is currently out of my house as there is space for it. We plan to expand, increase sales, and to support local.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting?

When you start as a novice in business it’s all about finding the right people to help and to guide as you start and to help you keep going when you need inspiration. Sometimes rejection is hard but it’s all part of business, you can either use it as fuel or let it blow your flame out. As I found, with some of the bigger names in coffee it took a year or so to get them on board as they wanted to see how I went. It was most of the smaller boutique roasters that said yes from the start that I still work with today.

I think the biggest thing is to just jump and start as you never know how it’s going to work until you take that first step. It’s hard and can be scary but if you have the right people around you as support you can succeed.

Planning everything takes time and there will never be a right time. If I could go back I probably would have launched 3-4 months before I did as I was waiting on details and certain things to fall into place. However, those details wouldn’t have made much of a difference and I probably would have worked out the kinks faster if I had started earlier.

Business is fun and there are always going to be learning curves but if you just jump your ideas could soar.

To read the full interview click here.

To learn more about our coffee subscriptions click here.

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