HomeRoast Digest


Topic: SCAA Attendance Worthwhile? (14 msgs / 383 lines)
1) From: Mark Neuhausen
As a recent home roaster and someone with a lot of interest in coffee, would
it be worthwhile to pay the minimum registration fee and attend the SCAA
conference and exhibition in Boston this year?  I could travel there and
stay cheaply.
-Mark
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2) From: Ben Treichel
Sound like fun to me. But I think that Mark Prince has been seen on the 
list before, and Tom occasionally makes an appearance. They could tell 
you best.
Mark Neuhausen wrote:
<Snip>
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3) From: Tom & Maria
I will definitely be there! I think I have to present something or 
other (they never ask me to do interesting stuff that has to do with 
green coffee quality etc. ...they always want me to do 
internet-business stuff: ugh!)
Yes, you should definitely go! The green coffee samples you will pick 
up alone will make it worthwhile! The most interesting aspect of the 
show is definitely the trade show floor -the panels and presentations 
can be a hodgepodge and some that sound interesting end up being 
extended commercials for the companies represented in the panel. But 
go for the exhibit floor!
Tom
<Snip>
-Mark
--
                   "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters"
            Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting  -  Tom & Maria
		1455 64th Street Emeryville CA 94608
                      http://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast">http://www.sweetmarias.comhomeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

4) From: James Gundlach
On Thursday, January 23, 2003, at 08:23 PM, Tom & Maria wrote:
<Snip>
Tom,
    A suggestion about how to not be asked to do this again. Present my 
theory of why Sweetmaria's is an internet success.   I've always 
thought that Sweetmaria's and the internet were made for each other.  
You have a quality product that requires providing a lot of information 
and education to a relatively small but motivated customer base.  The 
internet is much better at reaching the kind of customer motivated 
enough to read all the reviews of the new listings before placing a new 
order.  It is not the route for a low knowledge mass produced product 
to the mass market.   In other words, just tell them that the internet 
is not a good match for the kind of business most of them want to do.  
Which is just what they DON'T want to hear and they won't ask you to 
tell it to them again next year.
Jim Gundlach
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5) From: Ben Treichel
Tom,
I'd have to say that Jim nailed this one pretty good. I don't know if 
they will ask you to talk again or not about the subject, but a big 
competitive advantage for you (with first timers) - is the amount of 
information that you provide. Actually as I write this I can't come up 
with a good reason for you to explain this to them. Why help them 
compete against you. If they can't figure it out themselves ....
You can tell them that you keep your customers because of your fair 
prices, and first rate customer care. Of course then that's not internet 
specific.
When I have someone that is interested in the topic, I always point them 
to your site, because of just offering some "Kenya" etc., We know that 
its lotted and cupped, and is some of the best available. This seems to 
make you unique, I wouldn't be in a hurry to tell others in the industry 
about it.
James Gundlach wrote:
<Snip>
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6) From: Mike McGinness
Excellent analysis Jim! And so very true.
MM;-) aka Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
Dual Variable Transformer Rosto Roasting
Rocky grindin' - Miss Silvia brewin'

7) From: David Marley
I went last year to SCAA in Anaheim.  About 1 month from when it was held
many companies were giving away "free" passes to the floor on alt.coffee,
which is what you want!  The seminars are usually aimed at companies so I
didn't miss much there. But here is my experience from a homeroaster stance:
1.  It's true about the mass of greens you can get.  I got about 35 lbs of
greens (most of them were really good, including a Kona I got).  
2.  The whole things is aimed at people who are in this for a living (duh).
Some booths wouldn't even give me the time of day since I was just a
consumer (Mazzer, La Pavoni for example).  However Baratza was great!  I saw
Kyle give a Hottop demonstration when they were considering importing it.
The Rancilio people were really nice, they let me pull a shot on their 3
group flagship model.  I even have David Schoomer make me a macciato from
the Vivace booth and Dr. John pull me an espresso from Josuma!  
Overall, you'll see lots of Mocha-freeze type booths, packing companies,
etc.  It is really worth your time, just realize that most of this stuff is
for companies who are in the business of selling coffee.
David Marley

8) From: Mark Prince
At 10:43 AM 24/01/2003, you wrote:
<Snip>
There will be MUCH more this year for the consumer, including some serious 
surprises (soon to be announced once finalized) specifically for eMembers 
(either the charter 50, new sign ups, or those thinking about signing up).
Events are planned mainly for the Monday, but there will be other things 
going on on Sunday and Saturday as well.
I can't say much more at the moment as things are in flux, but we're 
working with folks like Don Schoenholt, Ken Davids, possibly Mark 
Pendergrast (author of Uncommon Grounds) and possibly others to keep "the 
common dude and dudette" entertained, informed, and happy. Stay tuned 
mainly to the scaa.org website because once it's official, details will be 
announced there.
One more thing - the focus at Boston is going to be on ESPRESSO (the show, 
not just eMember stuff). Wooo hay baybee!
Mark
Mark
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9) From: Mark Prince
At 06:23 PM 23/01/2003, you wrote:
<Snip>
Tom, you better hang around for more than a morning this time!!! :) :)
People had a hard time believing me when I said "yeah, Tom Owen was here! 
Damnit! Good thing I snapped a few photos of you with the digicam... I had 
proof!
Mark
PS... to be fair to Tom, his travel agent screwed up on the departure date 
for his flight.
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10) From: Ben Treichel
Do emembers exist? I thought you were still working on that.
Mark Prince wrote:
<Snip>
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11) From: Wendy Sarrett
Exactly!   When someone I'm talking to shows an interest in fine coffee
or better still, home roasting,  I point them to your site as the place
to begin because you provide all the information they'll need to get
going (in addition to the beans, etc.)  Furthermore,  I know the high
quality of the product you sell, so if they decide to take the next step
and try roasting they won't be disappointed.  For the purposes of your
talk, however, I concur with the others that for the niche product the
SCAA members sell providing information is critical.   I knew nothing
about roasting coffee until I discovered your site and I'm sure a lot of
others have the same experience.  By providing me everything I needed to
start you got a regular customer.  My experience has been that people
like things put together in "kits" when they're trying something new or
not experts at.  In a sence the SM site provides a "kit" for the novice
homeroaster who then developes into a sophisticated customer.  Actually,
this leads me to thinking about the uniqueness of the new ZD roaster.
On the infomercials they're selling a complete package.   First time
I've ever seen homeroasting marketed in a "mass" sort of way. (BTW,
thank you for the detailed review you posted on it...it was excellent.)
Hope this helps (Ben does have a point though, if you discuss this
you're giving away the secret of your success :-))
Wendy

12) From: Mark Prince
At 07:16 PM 24/01/2003, you wrote:
<Snip>
There's 50 charter members, and well, I hope we can get a few hundred 
signups before the SCAA.
We're also thinking about offering a deal: if you buy the $45 4 day pass to 
the SCAA show, you can qualify for a "introductory" eMember premium 
membership that is valid for six months at no extra charge. We're going to 
discuss the logistics of it during a phone conference next week.
Speaking of that deal, what does everything think about it? Nice way to get 
a $48 membership (well, a $24 membership) and see the show, for $45? The 
charter members will have to pay that rate (but they are a full year's 
membership, valid once the program officially launches).
Mark
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13) From: Jack Berry
Excellent Wendy! Also, as Jim said, "If they can't figure it out..." - and I
add, "they won't figure it out after you tell them either." What we all
appreciate about Sweet Maria's is the same basic stuff good retail
operations are made of, great customer service, knowledgeable staff, great
product selection, appropriate accessory products, fair pricing. No
mysteries and nothing you have to dig too deep to learn. Retailers (internet
or bricks & mortar) have had this advice available to them from myriad
sources but only a few put it to use.

14) From: Ben Treichel
Truth!
Jack Berry wrote:
<Snip>


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