Reflecting on 2020 Lessons and Looking Forward to 2021 Growth

May 10, 2022 (Published: February 2, 2021)
Barista serves drink at Crimson at Easton Town Center

Like many in the restaurant and coffeehouse industry, Crimson Cup navigated a rough economy wracked by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

“This was a challenging year for everyone – our company, our employees, our customers, their customers and the farmers who grow our coffee,” said Greg Ubert, founder and president.

“The pandemic forced us to re-examine almost every aspect of our business.

“Still, with a lot of hard work by our team and our customers, we grew more agile. We learned to ride some pretty big waves. And, our persistence during the pandemic paid off with some important achievements.”

2020 Milestones

Our 2020 accomplishments included:

Helping Small Business Owners Achieve Their Dreams of Opening a Coffee Shop

Greg said he was proud that Crimson Cup helped so many entrepreneurs pursue their dreams of opening a coffee shop despite the challenging economic conditions.

“I was amazed both at the diversity of the shops that opened in 2020 and 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.”

Adapting to Changing Consumer Demands

Crimson Cup also helped our existing 100+ independent coffeehouse customers across 30 states adapt to meet changing consumer demands for convenience and safety.

Contact-free training and consulting via video calls allowed our coffee shop start-up consultants to stay in touch with these customers and help them work through any issues they might be experiencing.

“Our coffee shop owners are an amazing group!” Greg said. “They found ways to streamline their operations, focusing on speed, efficiency, and contact-free delivery of terrific beverages.

“In some cases, they had to create an impromptu drive-thru where none existed. One shop put such an emphasis on speed that they now average less than two minutes per car for drive-thru service. That’s innovation!”

Crimson Opens at Easton Town Center

Another highlight of the year was the October opening of Crimson at Easton Town Center, which Greg described as the culmination of our 30-year drive to deliver the best-tasting coffee while showcasing the hard work of the farmers who grow it.

“Crimson ties everything we are and do together,” he said.

“We believe coffee is much more than an enjoyable beverage. It’s a collaborative experience in which every participant is vital, from grower to roaster to barista to the coffee drinker.”

Strong Farmer Relationships Yield Exceptional Coffees

It all starts with the coffee farmer. Over the past decade, Crimson Cup has forged strong relationships with small-plot farmers around the globe, investing in their communities through our unique Friends2Farmer initiatives.

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

The strong relationships give us access to some of the world’s best coffees. For the second time in four years, our Ethiopian Kossa Kebena coffee took home a prestigious Good Food Award. Sponsored by the Good Food Association, the awards recognize the country’s best-tasting and most responsibly sourced coffees.

“Congratulations to Abdulhi Sherif, owner and manager of Ketim Plc., and all the farmers of the region for producing such a remarkable and consistent crop!” said Director of Sustainability Brandon Bir. “Their organic growing methods yield exceptional coffee year after year.”

Mobile App Supports Seamless, Safe and Contactless Orders

Crimson Cup contactless ordering app

Throughout 2020, Crimson Cup also took steps to support consumer convenience and safety at Crimson and our four Crimson Cup Coffee Shops in Columbus, Tallmadge, and West Chester, Ohio.

“We were excited to introduce a seamless, safe and contactless mobile ordering app for coffee lovers,” Greg said. “The app’s digital awards feature also allows us to reward customers for their loyalty.”

Available for download on Apple and Android devices, the Crimson Cup app supports contactless ordering and payment, loyalty rewards and special offers.

“Just choose your favorites from our full coffeehouse menu, select a pickup time, and pay for the order using the app. Your order will be ready when you arrive,” Greg said.

“For even greater convenience, we now have curbside pickup for locations without drive-thrus.”

Celebrating Our 30th Anniversary in 2021

Looking ahead to 2021, Greg said Crimson Cup plans to introduce innovations throughout our value chain – from coffee drinker to coffee shop to coffee farmer.

“The COVID-19 pandemic made 2020 a challenging year for all of us,” he said. “But, as we celebrate our 30th anniversary in 2021, 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.”

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