Recently, I met Susan Song, an active member of one of my WeChat groups. She works for V Coffee and offers me the opportunity to interview the Founder of V Coffee Benjamin. I will ask questions to this Entrepreneur that Choose China to develop his Coffee Brand.
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Benjamin and I am an entrepreneur and hospitality professional. After completing college in Lausanne, Switzerland I worked in Libanon, Holland and China in the hospitality sector. After personally experiencing the exciting situation China was in back in 2008 I decided to open a cafe in and then later a gourmet coffee roaster, namely V COFFEE.
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Can you introduce VCoffee?
We are a gourmet coffee provider. Our goal is to provide better coffee at all locations and levels of consumption – be it in your home, office or wherever you drink coffee. We offer a range of some of the best single origin coffees and blends in the world. We also offer excellent coffees for customers with a specific budget or taste-profile in mind. We import gourmet coffee beans from all over the world and roast them in Shanghai on some of the best roasting equipment in the world, imported from Germany. Since last 2017 we also operate a cafe in City Super in Tai Koo Hui. We have received several awards for our coffees both from Chinese and international publications.
What make this concept special ?
One thing that makes us special is that we provide better coffee at all levels and locations. We don’t just do the highest-end coffee, we don’t just do espresso and we definitely don’t just do budget coffee. However we provide a BETTER coffee experience at these levels. Just because a coffee is inexpensive doesn’t mean that it should be bad. Gourmet coffee shouldn’t just be good but should deliver a unique taste experience. Another thing that we do is listen to our customers and adapt our product accordingly. Illy for example has one blend for every customer in the world, irrespective of their requirements. By roasting locally and by working together with our customers we are are able to to better fulfill these requirements.
Why Customers should like your Coffee?
It is V COFFEE’s responsibility to provide a coffee that our customers like. It is not possible to expect every customer to prefer the same coffee, that is why we have a range of coffees discerned both by their different flavours and price. The coffee that someone brews at home and that a hotel serves for breakfast have vastly different requirements and we have different blends and single origin coffee to cater to these requirements.
What will be your 3main challenges?
1) Finding quality employees
2) Successfully navigating the regulatory environment in China
3) Staying on top of the rapidly changing consumer trends in China
What is your Marketing strategy?
We don’t do a lot of marketing but try to let the product talk for itself. Any marketing we do needs to be very targeted and results-oriented. We focus on getting customers to try our coffees rather than convincing them with words because we are convinced in the quality of our coffees.
What do you think of the coffee market in China?
I think it’s an exciting time with rapid changes, as is the case in many different areas. On one hand people are demand more and more of the highest-end coffees, on the other hand the overwhelming majority of people still don’t drink coffee at home, and if they do they tend to drink instant coffee. The path to educating Chinese consumers about coffee is long but is moving in the right direction. In the major cities coffee consumers are already more sophisticated than consumers in many western countries. What the future holds is anyone’s guess but I believe quality will be at the forefront.
3 tips you will give to Entrepreneurs in China?
1) Educate yourselves about your area and your partners
2) Expect problems that you never even thought of
3) Know that almost any problem can be successfully dealt with, even if daunting at the beginning
If you have other questions to Benjamin, Please writte a Comment.