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Industry

August 4, 2016

Beyond Coffee Culture

DC’s approach to specialty coffee is different.
They see beyond coffee culture and see coffee as a part of culture.

They continue to explore different mediums that bridge the grower to the consumer to deliver the specialty coffee message. This unconventional way of doing business starts at the top, with two visionaries taking this team forward, each managing their own divisions with care. This lateral management model combines Rob Stewart and Derek Doyle’s expertise and experience to what is traditionally the top role, allowing them to share their knowledge and involvement through the entire organisation.
 
Since 2002 DC has been committed to roasting specialty coffee. Rob said, “Specialty grade coffee is a given at DC! We don’t see this as a point of difference. We see this as a non-negotiable and it’s an attitude that is ingrained in all of our staff.” With this mantra, DC has since expanded its operations in NSW by setting up camp in the suburb of Potts Point in an old heritage listed Laundry adequately named The DC Laundry. “We are a Melbourne coffee roaster, simply because our manufacturing infrastructure is there, but we have been servicing the Sydney and Adelaide markets since day one. We found that in Sydney, we needed a base for our team and a place that we could demonstrate the potential of our coffee, so we created the space that is the DC Laundry. This space isn’t a cafe, it is part showroom, part cupping room and part disco,” Rob said. “It’s a relaxed atmosphere, where our customers and their staff can use their time practically away from the pressures of their own businesses. Whether it’s experimenting with alternative brew methods, cupping single origins, barista training or latte art practise, there is always something going on.”
 
DC Culture
DC’s celebration of culture rather than the specialty coffee culture is driven by support they have been giving to independent artists in both the music industry and in the visual arts. DC started supporting the music industry at a time where licencing laws were affecting the live music scene in Melbourne and some of the venues and artists suffering from this were DC clients or employees. Rob said, “We found ourselves in a unique position to offer support and create a program that celebrated and supported unsigned artists and take the financial burden off the venues.
 
“We have since supported over 80 bands, several live music venues, music schools and public radio stations. We assisted in PR campaigns and the recent pressing of an album.” To assist this initiative, DC launched the B-side as a fund raising coffee that supported the program. B-Side’s make up comprises of some beautiful origins such as The Nicaraguan Luis Bellatez and Colombian Santa Rita, maintaining DC’s stance on quality.
 
The music program snowballed and soon DC’s attention turned to the Visual Arts by providing independent artists a giant canvas for them to express their creative flair. DC’s packaging became the medium for these artists, and it was kicked off with Sydney artist, Thomas Townend, and his unique tattoo inspired design for the Monsoon blend. This was followed by another Sydney artist, Sindy Sinn, and his street/rock and roll style artwork for the Reale Blend. Rob said, “We gave the artists a wide berth to create a piece that they felt interpreted the uniqueness of the coffee they were designing for.” Rob said that the exposure given to these artists has had an incredible influence on their work and DC has already two more artists designing more works to be released later this year. This continual push from DC away from the specialty industry and the barrage of noise created from companies spreading the same message, offers DC a unique space to voice their brand culture and have fun doing it. “The team at DC puts a lot of effort into creating a brand culture that is supportive of independent thinking, challenging and fun, but at the heart of it all is coffee. If we don’t get this right than all the peripheral stuff falls over. Our relationships we have built over the years with the farms we support is paramount to DC whether it’s with the Mandiri Coop in Sumatra or Boa Esperanca in Brazil, they are an extension of the greater DC family,” Rob said. “We invest heavily in our staff and in our customers so they understand the philosophy of specialty coffee and the effort we take from origin to cup, to make sure it’s bang on every time.” DC’s collaboration with likeminded entities has seen them explore non-traditional styles of marketing and consumer engagement. This is all underpinned by a commitment to specialty coffee and exceptional service which creates a brand culture none like any you will find in the world of coffee.

DC Coffee: www.dccoffee.com.au

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