Quaffee Newsletter April 2020 – COVID-19 update – roasting, delivery and encouragement

We hope this newsletter finds you well. We are indeed living in interesting times.

Elevator summary of the newsletter:

  • For Cape Town – we will be delivered to different areas Monday, Wednesday and Friday – see below for details
  • Tell us you COVID-19 encouraging stories – details below.
  • The rand – as we move out of lockdown, the state of the rand will affect our pricing.
  • Watch our social media for our latest series.

Our process forward

For those that are not already aware, we have an essential services certificate. During the lockdown, we have been trying to roast and dispatch the same day twice a week. Even with a limited number of coffees, this has been a logistical challenge on some days. Paperwork is required for each parcel that we dispatch, which takes around 10 minutes per parcel.

Last week we started experimenting with doing deliveries closer to home (as an experiment and also to reduce the paperwork). We are now looking to extending this. Once we are in Level 4 of the restrictions, we will then begin delivering Monday, Wednesday and Friday (to different areas). The range of coffees we offer will still be limited; however, we will introduce a blend or too.

Coffee will be roasted and packed Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. All coffees whose destination is outside of Cape Town with be dispatched that day via road freight. As Fastway is still not open, we will probably still use The Courier Guy. All Cape Town based deliveries will then take place as follows:

  • Monday: Tokai to Cape Town CBD, including Hout Bay
  • Wednesday: Noordhoek to Cape Town CBD, excluding Hout Bay.
  • Friday: Tokai to Durbanville, excluding Hout Bay.

We currently have some stock; however, some coffee we wanted to offer, and stock that we were hoping to have is either stuck at ports, or at origin. We are hoping that the rand will have some sort of recovery to around R17. But even at this level, it will still mean new coffees will cost 20-25% more, and this will mean we need to review our prices as things unfold.

To view which coffees we are roasting go to coffee.quaffee.com.

Encouraging stories from COVID-19 predicament

In challenging times, we can often see the best of humanity. We have put together a little post of what we have become aware of, we are sure there are more.

Bean There and Motherland coffee

Would you like to buy a cup of coffee or ten for a health worker? You can do so by contributing to an initiative between Bean There and Motherland coffee. For each R15 donated to the cause via this snap scan link (here…), a health worker at either the Johannesburg Gen or Helen Joseph Hospital gets a cup of coffee. Click on the link on your phone or go to the website.

Restaurant closed, making food for the community

Massimo’s in Hout bay worked with Gracie – Love in a bowl and Community Cookup IY to feed those in need in Hout Bay – read more here…

Hillsong church lending a helping hand

Hillsong Church has a great initiative where you can donate money, send an encouraging message, or make a mask. Take a look here at their webpage…

Solidarity fund

Ben Jenkin from Third space coffee tells me that the Western Cape food parcel packing backed solidarity fund, had to stop the number of volunteers at 100. The volunteers help pack food parcels for those that need them. Over 25,000 parcels were packed and are being distributed. And funding has allowed for more. So far, 640 tonnes of food has been packed.

You can read more about the solidarity fund at solidarityfund.co.za

Do you have an upbeat story you would like to share about the best of COVID-19 – share in the comments section below or here…

What about Quaffee?

A number of you have reached out and asked how you can help us, or specifically our staff. I (Warren) have thanked each one of you individually. For those that are curious and have not asked directly. A short response.

Quaffee has always been about great coffee and supporting all the people in the coffee chain. While we are always thinking about those that are at the fruit face (instead of coal face) of coffee, we are also concerned about our staff. Quaffee is self-financed, and besides motor vehicles, we owe no money to financial institutions. We run a cycle of selling coffee, saving up to buy more coffee, to bring in the coffee directly. We typically what enough liquidity to get us through the next import. At the moment that green coffee savings is how we are able to pay our staff. A month before lockdown, we had taken a risk in securing some Burundi’s from Long Miles Coffee Project. These are now stuck in transit. Those coffees have been paid for, but the transit costs may now be extraordinarily high.

We have also committed to the current crop of Colombians, which may have just been shipped. We are also committed to some coffees that have landed in South Africa and have been delayed. This means that we do have some reserves, but they are not limitless.

After opening early in April our sales volumes were down 92% of the same period last year. Last year’s volumes included coffee equipment. Coffee sales year-on-year are down 80%. We have secured partial payment from TERS which has helped. Going forward we will need to secure more to help ensure we get through this time, and hopefully through to 2021. We are hoping to not retrench any staff, rather run reduced hours in line with the Levels the government imposes. Like many of you, our future will depend on our sales, and how things unfold over the coming months.

Besides the Quaffee staff each, of our clients that have supported us has a special place in our heart. Quaffee was created out of a belief that there were other crazy coffee people out there. I (Warren) believe the belief has been justified by each and every coffee client we have. I am sure that many of you face the same sort of predicament we as Quaffee do. Should you be struggling to feed your family, while coffee may be the least of your concerns, we would like to help. If you can no longer afford Quaffee, email us if you are not able to afford this luxury. We may not be able to give you our best coffees, but we will try to find a solution. If the demand is large enough maybe we too will start a fund.

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