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FOOD: Creating a Coffee Culture Within Mugg and Bean

 





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South Africa’s leading coffee restaurant brand, Mugg and Bean, a wholly owned subsidiary of Famous Brands, Africa’s leading quick service restaurant and casual dining franchisor, has concluded an exclusive supply agreement with the Redberry Coffee Company.

The agreement stipulates the supply of a custom-developed coffee collection of 100% Arabica coffee to all 100 Mugg and Bean restaurants nationwide. It follows an extensive pilot process to develop a full coffee solution for Mugg and Bean, including a range of coffees, barista training, coffee equipment, coffee specifications and future innovations. Mugg and Bean currently sells 11 tons of coffee per month and 15 million cups of coffee-based drinks per annum.

With its roots firmly based in coffee, Mugg and Bean has become a company renowned for innovation in both food and beverage. “The decision to partner with Redberry to introduce this superior coffee product into all Mugg and Bean restaurants was based on our core philosophy of innovation, which is one shared by the directors of Redberry, and a desire to return to our strong foundation in coffee,” says Graeme Morrison, managing executive of Mugg and Bean.

The Redberry Coffee Company is a specialty roaster and marketer, which has its origins in the Cumming family coffee farm of Beaver Creek in KwaZulu Natal, the southern-most coffee plantation in the world. Managing director of Redberry Dylan Cumming, whose grandfather still roasts the beans on the family’s estate and who created the Redberry coffee brand, has extensive coffee knowledge and marketing experience. The Redberry brand gained exposure to the consumer market initially through the Coffee of the Month Club, a joint venture with the Wine of the Month Club, and in 2009 a share of Redberry was acquired by Slo-Jo, a company which specialises in supplying and distributing a diverse range of innovative hot and cold beverages.

Redberry currently imports over 70 types of green coffee beans from all the major coffee-producing countries, including Kenya, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Java, India, China and Panama. Locally, the coffee is grown and roasted at the Beaver Creek farm in KZN and in Cape Town.

“Mugg and Bean shares our commitment to delivering a high quality cup and coffee experience. The supply agreement is based on far more than simply supplying top quality coffee beans to Mugg and Bean, but also on partnering to upgrade the coffee culture in South Africa through training, education and innovation,” says Dylan Cumming.

Innovations such as the introduction of a seasonal single origin coffee from around the world to Mugg and Bean menus will see coffee being elevated to world class status in South Africa’s leading coffee restaurant group.

“We have embarked, with Redberry, our staff and our customers, on an ongoing journey to coffee excellence,” says Morrison.

To date, this has involved extensive training of Mugg and Bean baristas by Redberry coffee experts, instilling an appreciation and culture of coffee among baristas, improving standards and introducing new methods of coffee preparation.

The future is likely to see some exciting steps in the development of a coffee culture within Mugg and Bean. “There is an incredible energy between Mugg and Bean and Redberry, which will translate into tangible reflections of our two company’s shared passion for innovation,” concludes Morrison.


 
 
 
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