Gold Country Coffee Roasters gained a little extra notoriety this fall when, alongside winning the 2015 Innovations in Tourism award for Best Retail, they also took home a silver medal in the Golden Bean North America coffee roasting competition.
Already an established institution in Australia for the past ten years, the competition is run by the roasting machine company Compak, and this was their inaugural year in the States. “It was just a lark,” according to Lisa Schwartz, GCR’s owner, who admits she was unfamiliar with the new competition. But she knew enough to enter her two most popular roasts – French and the Murphys Blend. Around 400 roasters from around the country entered, and the Murphys Blend was awarded the Silver Bean in the Emersion Filter competition (which, apparently, is a fancy term for French Press).
Thanks to the efforts of GCR’s resident roaster extraordinaire Tonja Peterson, Murphys and its eponymous blend now have a spot on the national map of award winning coffees.
What is the value to you of these award competitions, you may be wondering? They cost money, and your product must be sent to people you’ve never met who will likely be blindly judging it among hundreds of other similar products in a conference room void of any of the wonderful atmosphere your establishment provides. In a word, it’s some of the cheapest PR and marketing you can buy. Lisa Schwartz says the award created a huge demand for the roast almost immediately.
Placing in industry competitions, be it coffee or wine or ice cream, gets your name out there in front of thousands of potential customers and it also lets you know how your product stacks up against the rest. The process of entering forces you to critically evaluate the quality of the product and its presentation, which can only make it better in the long run. Think of it as part of your annual marketing budget and throw your name in the ring. You may have spotted our Calaveras County Wineries Awards and Accolades guide we sent out recently. Every local winery on that list can leverage their award listings for far reaching marketing potential. Now we can add coffee to the list of award winning, locally produced items Calaveras is known for!