Our Focus on Good Drives Growth in 2021

January 8, 2022
Barista wears Coffee+Community t-shirt

“Pouring a cup of coffee is about more than just enjoying a delicious drink,” says Crimson Cup Founder and President Greg Ubert. “It’s about focusing on the good the coffee can create.”

This Focus on Good led Crimson Cup to an outstanding 2021. In our 30th anniversary year, we grew by sourcing exceptional coffees, serving terrific drinks to coffee lovers, helping independent coffee shop owners prosper and expanding our impact in coffee-growing communities.

Meaningful Relationships Drive Growth

Barista wears Coffee+Community t-shirt
Barista at Lock No. 4 Coffeehouse

“In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic forced us to re-examine almost every aspect of our business,” Greg said. “We entered 2021 with a renewed focus on our vision: to establish meaningful relationships that inspire healthy communities.”

Our 2021 milestones included:

  • Celebrated our 30th anniversary with limited-edition 1991 Blend coffee and a series of nostalgic brew bar drinks, coffee shop specials, retro garb and giveaways.
  • Opened 19 new independent coffee shops through our 7 Steps to Success coffee shop startup program.
  • Launched Crimson Cup Coffee Shop West Chester inside the new Beckett Ridge Branch of Telhio Credit Union in West Chester, Ohio.
  • Sourced and roasted exceptional limited-edition coffees, including 1991 Blend and Colombia Arcila Cinnamon Pink Bourbon
  • Gave back to local communities in Ohio and coffee growing countries.

Coffee Shop Entrepreneurs Focus On Good in Their Local Communities

Lazy Labrador Coffee House, Kennesaw, Georgia
Lazy Labrador Coffee House

Looking back on 2021, Greg said he was proud that Crimson Cup helped so many entrepreneurs succeed despite supply chain and staffing challenges affecting almost all businesses.

“I was amazed at the grit and determination of the new owners,” he said. “We look forward to supporting them with award-winning coffee and ongoing teaching and training for many years to come.”

Crimson Cup also helped its hundreds of existing independent coffeehouse customers continue to adapt to changing consumer demands for convenience and safety.

“Our independent coffee shop owners are an amazing group!” Ubert said. “By focusing on speed, efficiency, and contact-free delivery of terrific beverages, many streamlined their operations.”

Welcome to Crimson Cup Coffee Shop West Chester

Ribbon cutting at Crimson Cup Coffee Shop West ChesterAnother highlight of the year was the November opening of Crimson Cup Coffee Shop West Chester.

“We are excited to bring our award-winning coffee and focus on good to the Cincinnati metro area,” Greg said. “Our partnership with Telhio enhances the commitment we both share of serving the best to our consumers and the community.”

The West Chester location is our fifth Crimson Cup Coffee Shop, joining three locations in central Ohio and a shop in Tallmadge, Ohio. In 2020, we also launched a retail flagship store, Crimson, at Easton Town Center in Columbus.

Focus on Good Yields Exceptional Coffees

1991 Blend Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea Columbus OhioLimited-edition 1991 Blend and Colombia Arcila Cinnamon Pink Bourbon coffees headlined our 2021 coffee roster.

“1991 Blend represents our origins and our journey as a coffee roaster over the past 30 years,” Greg said.

To create the new, light-roasted blend, Sustainability Director Brandon Bir and Coffee Buyer Dave Eldridge blended Guatemalan and Peruvian coffees sourced through long-term farmer relationships.

“1991 Blend showcases the hard work of our farmers with flavors of chocolate-covered raisins and s’mores,” Brandon said. “It’s a really approachable coffee, but nuanced for people who like a more exciting cup.”

In October, Crimson Cup airlifted an experimental micro lot of Colombia Arcila Cinnamon Pink Bourbon coffee to Columbus, where it debuted at Crimson.

Colombia Arcila Cinnamon Pink Bourbon In the mountains of Colombia’s Quindío Region, Grower Jairo Arcila has transitioned 10 hectares of his Finca Villarazo from avocados to coffee, focusing on the superb Pink Bourbon variety.

To create the unique coffee, Finca Villarazo workers exposed a micro lot of their best cherries to dry anaerobic fermentation of 72 hours.

During fermentation, they added tartaric acid and cinnamon to enhance the flavor. In the last step, they dried the cherries on raised beds to 10.5 percent moisture content.

“The result is a sweet cup with subtle notes of cinnamon,” Bir said. “Rare cups and relationships like these are at the core of Crimson Cup.”

Over more than a decade, Crimson Cup has forged strong relationships with small-plot farmers around the globe, investing in their communities through our unique Friends2Farmer initiatives. These relationships give us access to some of the world’s best coffees.

With in-person trips to remote coffee farms off the table during the pandemic, we used video conference calls and other software tools to consult with coffee farmers.

Giving Back to Local and Global Communities

Hope House outside Crimson coffeehouse at EastonWe also continued our tradition of giving back to the community. In central Ohio, we supported Cancer Support Community Central Ohio and other non-profits. Through Friend2Farmer, we funded education, water filtration, home building, raised coffee beds and other projects in coffee farming communities.

In June, for example, a Hope House exhibit at Easton Town Center raised $1 for every drink at Crimson for the company’s work in Siguatepeque, Honduras.

“During frequent visits to work with farmers, we’ve seen that lack of safe housing, access to clean drinking water and education are serious issues – especially for families with children,” Eldridge said. “Working with community leaders and our local charity partner, we chose these three priorities for investment.”

Focus on Good Continues in 2022

Looking ahead to 2022, Ubert said Crimson Cup plans innovations to create positive impact throughout its value chain – from coffee drinker to coffee shop to coffee farmer.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present challenges to all of us,” he said. “But I’ve never been more confident of the role terrific coffee plays in bringing people together – and in Crimson Cup’s strength in building communities through coffee.”

“We invite all our customers and coffee lovers to join us in our focus on good, creating a more sustainable future for coffee and the workers who produce it.”

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