Trip Report: Jay and Jon in San Fran

Thursday February 9, 2012 // By Jay Weller

 

San FranWe're at the end of day one of 2 ambitious days of vendor visits.  Jon and I took a late flight last night from Boston to San Francisco.  We arrived at our hotel around 11:00 pm and got a good night's sleep.  At 9:00 am Tessa from David Rio was gracious enough to pick us up at our airport hotel and bring us to downtown San Francisco to the David Rio offices.  Unfortunately, our tight schedule meant that we didn't have time to visit Four Barrel, Ritual Coffee, or Blue Bottle -- all right in the neighborhood.  We'll know for next time to make time to visit them!

We had a great morning at David Rio, meeting their entire team and planning some strategy for the coming year.  We'll soon be bringing in their latest product, Power Chai, and we're happy to report they're doing some exciting stuff.  You should definitely check out some of the videos on their YouTube channel.  They also did a cool presentation for us of their affiliation with IFAW.

 

After sampling Power Chai and wrapping up our meeting, we headed back to South San Francisco to spend Torani new sauce bottlethe afternoon with Torani.  We had a great meeting with our regional representatives for both our locations.  The highlight of the meeting was their introduction of their new sauce packaging.  The new packaging is beautiful and very functional.  The formulas are all the same as their current great tasting sauces, but the packaging changes are fantastic!  The new 64 oz. bottles are sleek and will be packed 4 to a case.  Barista Pro Shop sells by the bottle, so case count isn't that significant, but lighter boxes will be appreciated by all.  The new pumps are a game changer.  They are angled at the bottom and they have a larger indent at the bottom of the bottle creating a moat at the bottom which, along with the angled "straw" make it much easier to evacuate all of the product in the bottle--yes!  A popular request was to change the dosage from the current 1 oz. dose to a 1/2 oz.  This will make it easier for baristas to maintain consistency across all drink sizes--a great change!  Look for a gradual introduction of the new sauce packaging sometime in March.


We also learned at the meeting that Torani will be exhibiting at Coffee Fest in New York City next month--we are thrilled to hear this!  (Remember to visit BPS at Booth #343!)

Jay and Jon on Torani plant tour

After our meeting, Paula took us on a great tour of the Torani plant. Understandably, pictures aren't allowed, but we were fortunate to see Creme de Cacao and Hazelnut being bottled and packaged on their parallel bottling lines.  It’s always interesting to inspect these production facilities.  The cleanliness and attention to quality really is amazing.  As you can see, we had the full "mad scientist" look going--hairnets, safety glasses, hearing protection and lab coats.  It was a great tour and we appreciated the great reception by the Torani folks.  We ended the evening with a terrific dinner at Kincaid's, with gorgeous views of all the "heavy" aircraft landing at SFO from England, Thailand and all over the world.


A short trip to San Francisco, but a lot of great business done!

 

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