Fam, we’re sorry. We need to slightly adjust our prices.
Like many other businesses, we are feeling the effects of the cost of things these days. In order to continue operating, we need to adjust.
We dig transparency, and don’t like making decisions like this without offering a peak behind the curtain. We value y’all, and everyone’s unique situation - it’s important to us that we communicate we’re doing this for the right reasons.
So... here it is:
The Cost of Green Coffee
In 2019, green coffee plummeted to a price of $0.90c per lb on the C-Market. (The C-Market is pretty well the stock market for coffee, and kind of ‘benchmark’ for what coffee is sold at globally).
That was bad.
Like, really, really bad.
Those down the supply chain largely benefited, scooping up large quantities of coffee at low prices to store in big warehouses. This allows larger companies to keep their prices where they are throughout the ups and downs, as they were able to get in low.
Unfortunately, coffee producers felt the impact the most.
Many farms shuttered, being unable to earn a living doing what for some, was a generational practice. Others moved to different crops that were easier to maintain and sold for more. Ample supply and low prices quickly began to shift to dwindling supply and high prices.
Coffee is grown seasonally in producing regions, and large parts of the global coffee supply come from a few major countries. Should something decrease yield in one or two of these major production countries - you sir, have a problem.
Unsurprisingly, it’s been a wild ride the past couple of years in coffee production. Climate stuff (which warrants a conversation of its own) can dramatically reduce, and sometimes completely eliminate a producers’ yield. Pandemic stuff has put the world into a complete log jam, accompanied by global increases in prices and shortages of product and labour.
You may begin having a bit of an understanding why the industry is experiencing this particular increase.
Fortunately, there is a silver lining here. The people that benefit from the spike in price and demand? Producers.
Over the years, we’ve worked to develop relationships with a number of incredible Canadian importers who sell us Green Coffee. These importers ensure that the producers they purchase green coffee from receive a higher price than what they would receive on the C-Market or through the Fair Trade market. Long have these importers been paying higher prices for the coffee they bring in, and as the industry adjusts to increased prices for green, so do they.
It’s not a perfect system. The increase isn’t 100% solely to the benefit of the producers (there are people in between that help facilitate these transactions and take small cuts), but it does move the needle considerably for producers to be paid fairly.
With increased traceability of the coffees we buy, we’ve learned that these higher prices often result in more investments into a farms infrastructure, and surrounding community.
All this to say, that for us what may be slightly more, has a major effect on the industry and all those who are a part of it.
Bright Jenny’s Growing
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention our team and how that factors into our decision.
If you’ve been with us a while, you’ve likely seen a fair amount of growth occurring over the past few years. Going from a team of 9 in 2019 to a team of 17 in 2022, there’s a heck of a lot going on behind the scenes.
From growing the Roastery, to building out a full time Kitchen, to bringing on a number of office staff for administrative and creative stuff - our team is compiled of a bunch of talented coffee wizards who make us proud to know ‘em each and every day.
In full unbridled transparency, running a cafe isn’t a super profitable business model. We’re all nerds, and love doing what we’re doing, but are often operating on fairly thin margins. This is a result of a number of choices we’ve made as a business, from the quality of the coffee we’re bringing in, to the commitment we’ve made to be as eco-friendly as possible, and we wouldn’t change a thing.
We want to continue paying our people fairly, along with creating more jobs and opportunities down the line. As margins shrink with rising costs and increased wages, we learned we could no longer eat the cost if we want to continue operations.
Ok, it’s time for a Coffee
So that was a lot.
With all this - if we want to continue sourcing the best, brightest coffee we can find, we need to be prepared to meet the demand at where it is.
Yes, you may see slightly higher prices at the cafe, but rest assured that these increases are solely to cover off the increased costs of the product we bring in. We’re all about the coffee here, so we will spare you the details on increases to milk & alternative milks, packaging, shipping, and many, many more buckets of worms. All of these have an effect on the bottom line, and to continue to operating sustainably, something needs to change.
Simply put, increasing our prices allows us to cover our costs to continue working with the best people, who work with the best coffee, from the best producers, for the best community.
Thanks for your understanding, and mad love to y’all.
- Bright Jenny