I am stating the obvious when I say that e-commerce has taken over the world and was truly a saviour for so many of us during lockdown. It allowed to us to continue shopping from our favourite retailers and brands while also giving us unprecedented access to local heroes and other products we might not otherwise have considered.
The Coffeevine was well prepared to supply coffee lovers in quarantine or during lockdown throughout the entire pandemic and managed to thrive as a result of more people finding their way into specialty coffee.
My coffee subscription company serves customers from all walks of life all over the world and over the past few months, I’ve opened up new ways for people in more far-away locations to enjoy my monthly selection of spectacular coffees from the most exciting roasters.
One such way is the so-called ‘Collective’, which stands for a group of people who order as one and get my coffees drop-shipped to a single location where those coffees can then either be picked up or are handed out by the local Collective Manager.
After several months of successfully running trials in places as diverse as Georgia, Russia, Israel, Kuwait and Taiwan, I am now offering this unique opportunity to more people across the globe who want to club together and form a local Collective where they live.
In the words of Anna and Daniil who run the Georgia, Russia and Estonia collectives: “People living in Georgia and Russia do not often get the chance to travel to other countries – even outside the pandemic – and bring back coffees from their trips. It is thanks to Alex and The Coffeevine that we are privileged to have the opportunity to discover new coffees from different roasters every month without needing to pay for expensive shipping fees.”
Since collectives spit the total cost of express shipping evenly by the number of bags ordered and they get substantial discounts on the regular coffee box prices, a bag of coffee sent over from Amsterdam to Georgia rarely costs the collective member more than 10 – 12 EUR.
In places with few local roasters or a less progressive specialty coffee scene, this option is a lifeline for those who want to participate in the specialty coffee community without breaking the bank.
In Israel where the local Collective is managed by Viktoria Tkach, interest was so huge that it now counts over 40 members. When asked to recall how she experienced setting up the collective, Vika said: “The very first time the courier delivered to me the big and heavy box, I knew it’s going to be a long-term relationship. The coffee smell was already doing its magic. Since then the most exciting day of the month is a delivery day! Nothing can compare with the joy of getting all the orders, unpacking, smelling, taking pictures and sharing the coffees with the group. Everyone’s always overjoyed.”
If setting up a collective in your town sounds appealing to you, then here’s a short checklist that you will need to go through before we can set you up:
- Does your group consist of at least 5 members?
- Does your country have any restrictions on getting coffee delivered via UPS? (Examples where this is not allowed include Russia and Turkey).
- Does your country have a weight or value limit on coffee imports? (In Israel the limit is 5kg and in Georgia the customs value may not exceed 100EUR).
- Are you able to manage the receipt of each shipment and hand out the bags to your local members every month?
If you are happy to proceed, then we would love to hear from you. Simply fill out this sign up form and we’ll reach out to you with next steps.