Dear friends, fam + supporters of Nguyen Coffee Supply,
To say that the last year was absolutely mind-blowing is -- an understatement.
When I launched Nguyen Coffee Supply in November 2018, I faced doubt, skepticism, and uncertainty.
People in the industry told me things like,
"No one likes robusta beans."
"Vietnamese coffee is inferior."
"Vietnam doesn't have specialty coffee culture."
And I wanted to prove them wrong.
While some people may believe this to be true, I knew that it didn't reflect everyone in the global coffee experience. Our community is diverse, and so our offerings should be, too.
Too often, folks get trapped in old ways of thinking, and they perpetuate the same ideas by repeating what they think is popular. I wanted to break this narrative around robusta beans, Vietnamese coffee, and the limiting expectations of specialty coffee in general.
I wanted to reach folks like me -- who loved coffee, didn't relate to elitist coffee standards, and wanted to be part of a more inclusive coffee culture.
So I started Nguyen Coffee Supply, and I launched with a test. I offered two options: one was the on-trend blend, 100% arabica (Courage); the other was a (re)introduction to robusta beans with a 50/50 blend of arabica & robusta (Loyalty).
Loyalty became our best seller.
My assumption was right -- people (you!) were ready for something new, different, and bold.
I was blown away by level of reach, positive feedback, and excitement the brand would receive.
Thanks to you and --
your likes, comments, posts,
your efforts to spread the word,
Nguyen Coffee Supply reached incredible milestones in its first year including
- The 2019 StarChefs Rising Star Award for "Roaster"
- Introducing 100% robusta (Grit) and the Vietnamese "phin" brew tool to mainstream audiences at the New York Coffee Festival
- A 4-month pop-up, Cafe Phin, which caught the attention of New York Times & New York Magazine
- And features in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, VICE, Saveur, and more.
My biggest takeaway from 2019, and one I will carry into 2020 --
Lean in to who you are, your beliefs, and everything that makes you unique.
The world needs more diversity -- in offerings, perspectives, leadership, ways of thinking and ways of being.
These are the intersections that will grow compassion, understanding, and connection for the ultimate goal of community.
Thank you for being on this journey with us. Wherever you are, wishing you and your loved ones a sweet and joyous season.
See you in 2020!
Founder, Nguyen Coffee Supply