Back­yard Beans brews plans for fu­ture

Lo­cal cof­fee com­pany brew­ing a for­mula for suc­cess

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Deneia Washington For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

“We’ve been able to guide our cof­fee pro­gram in a way that has al­lowed us to be more cre­ative in what we’re roast­ing, but while also sourc­ing some sta­ples that our core cus­tomers will con­tinue to en­joy.” — Matt Adams

LANS­DALE » Matt Adams was an avid cof­fee drinker in high school, but his shift into the cof­fee in­dus­try was all but con­ven­tional. As a Penn State stu­dent get­ting a job to make ex­tra cash, Adams worked at one of the many cof­fee spots on cam­pus, and from there his ap­pre­ci­a­tion for cof­fee grew to some­thing much more.

“I en­joyed the cof­fee scene; I worked in one of the lit­tle cam­pus shops,” says Adams. “From there I just got fas­ci­nated with the con­cept of cof­fee.”

In 2012, Adams and his wife, Laura, moved to Lans­dale and he was able to roast cof­fee out of his garage. But after at­tend­ing a lo­cal farm­ers mar­ket that had no cof­fee ven­dors, Adams saw an op­por­tu­nity and went for it. Ac­cord­ingly, Adams’s next steps was to get cer­ti­fi­ca­tion to roast and grill in his back­yard and be­come a ven­dor at the lo­cal farmer’s mar­ket.

This marked the start of Back­yard Beans Cof­fee Com­pany, with “back­yard” sig­ni­fy­ing his be­gin­nings of roast­ing cof­fee. While in­vested in this new ven­ture, Adams, how­ever, still had a full-time cor­po­rate job, con­sult­ing.

“At the time, I en­joyed my con­sult­ing work I did,” he says. “I didn’t re­ally have a plan one way or the other on if I wanted to run the busi­ness full-time or just keep it kind of as a side busi­ness.”

Two years in and Back­yard Beans was grow­ing in­creas­ingly enough to where Adams de­cided it would be best to take on the busi­ness fully. Re­cently, Laura also left her job to work full-time with Back­yard Beans, while also ded­i­cat­ing more time to their 6-month-old baby.

Along with the name, the logo also shares a unique, in­sider-joke mean­ing. The logo is a llama, and ‘llama’ is both Matt and Laura’s ini­tials: Laura L. Adams and Matt Adams. “It was a joke we found out when we got mar­ried,” says Adams. “It was our in­ter­net, code name type thing. But that’s now our logo.”

Now, Back­yard Beans’ llama logo can found in nearly 100 stores, in­clud­ing Whole Foods and Weavers Way, and in states such as Penn­syl­va­nia, New Jersey, Ohio, Kentucky, Mary­land, Virginia and D.C. In ad­di­tion to that, Back­yard Beans hopes to have its first cafe shop opened in early 2017.

But those in­ter­ested and want­ing to find out more will more than likely head over to Back­yard Beans’ web­site. Though a small busi­ness, Adams wanted to make sure that the web­site re­flects the time and ef­fort put­ting into mak­ing qual­ity cof­fee.

“It pro­vides con­sumers with more in­for­ma­tion on who we are as busi­ness own­ers, our com­pany phi­los­o­phy,” says Adams.

Back­yard Beans also of­fers a brewer’s guide for those want­ing to know the best way to brew Back­yard Beans Cof­fee. Adams says Back­yard Beans re­ceives a lot of ques­tions re­gard­ing the ap­pro­pri­ate way to brew their cof­fee.

“Ev­ery­one’s cof­fee is dif­fer­ent,” says Adams. “It’s im­por­tant for com­pa­nies to be able to in­form their cus­tomers on how to brew their cof­fee,” he adds. Like beer and any other craft prod­ucts, brew­ing cof­fee is a sci­ence and ev­ery roast style re­acts dif­fer­ently if you brew us­ing the same method.

Al­though is was im­por­tant for Adams to have a very nicely put to­gether web­site and good so­cial me­dia pres­ence, he cred­its much of the suc­cess of the busi­ness to­day from the di­rect mar­ket­ing and per­sonal re­la­tion­ships he’s cre­ated.

“So­cial me­dia is a great plat­form, but so­cial me­dia does not lead to sales,” says Adams.

Word of mouth, along with Back­yard Beans’ pres­ence at lo­cal farm­ers mar­ket has been ex­tremely ben­e­fi­cial for the com­pany.

Though not for­mally cer­ti­fied, they also only roast or­ganic cof­fee, some­thing ev­ery­one agreed on at the in­cep­tion of the busi­ness. And un­like their com­peti­tors, Back­yard Beans doesn’t of­fer many cof­fee blends.

But what they do of­fer and what has be­come very pop­u­lar is their ‘Punch in the Face’ canned cold brew, the dark-roast, sin­gle ori­gin cof­fee from Hondu-

ras, which can be found in about 52 Whole Food lo­ca­tions.

Along with their sig­na­ture cof­fee, Back­yard Beans will also of­fer wine, beer, and cock­tails, through a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort with Round Guys Brew­ing Com­pany. They’ll be mov­ing the whole­sale lo­ca­tion on-site, roast­ing and brew­ing, with the cafe placed at the front. “We’re able to go from just that cof­fee drink­ing crowd to the larger craft scene,” he says.

On this jour­ney, cus­tomer feed­back has been very im­por­tant to Adams that cus­tomers are hon­est about their feel­ings on the cof­fee. The hon­esty of the cus­tomers has helped Back­yard Beans slowly but surely in­tro­duce their pal­ettes to dif­fer­ent cof­fee.

“We’ve been able to guide our cof­fee pro­gram in a way that has al­lowed us to be more cre­ative in what we’re roast­ing, but while also sourc­ing some sta­ples that our core cus­tomers will con­tinue to en­joy.”

Once the cafe of­fi­cially opens, Back­yard Beans hopes to con­tinue to build that col­lab­o­ra­tive cul­ture be­tween them­selves and the cus­tomers.

COURTESY OF BACK­YARD BEANS — SUB­MIT­TED TO DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

The farm­ers mar­ket was one re­tail space for Back­yard Beans Cof­fee Com­pany. Co-own­ers Matt and Laura Adams are pic­tured here.

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