Last week a good friend in Berlin asked me a question. What can I do?
Jon runs a successful coffee truck business and was stuck with how to keep things moving during Covid-19. I sent him some ideas. As we talked something struck both of us. We were looking at the problem in different ways. He focused on his truck. I started with his customers. The result is a set of new offers for locked down, coffee-loving Berliners (you can read more about Jon below).
At Local we are now asking ourselves the same question. What can we do?
Our team has incredible experience solving complex change problems for big clients with a fresh people-first perspective. We want to put it to work to help more small businesses, particularly here in Atlanta. To give our experience and ideas to entrepreneurs battling Covid-19 right now.
Here’s Jon’s inspiring story in his own words.
Tell us about 9Grams
9 grams is a Berlin-based coffee truck business that I set up later in life after a full career in photography. The philosophy is simple. Craft and attention to detail. In the coffee, in the design of the truck and in the service.
Starting with one truck in October 2019, we now have a second truck in the works destined for permanent placement inside a contemporary retailer. Then Covid-19 hit and serving coffee outdoors stopped almost immediately.
How is life in Berlin right now?
Pretty good, considering the situation. People seem to be banding together and supporting each other. I’ve seen sheets of paper taped to doors offering help for the elderly, for example.
How did Covid-19 hit you?
It’s been hard. The truck has regular pitches in markets and a co-working space and they have taken a big hit. It was so quiet I had to close the truck for a couple of weeks.
What are you doing now?
Putting some of our ideas into action. Right now I’m doing coffee bean and ground coffee deliveries. More than anything that keeps 9Grams in the public eye and keeps us busy. It has become a real weekly treat for people to have good coffee delivered, and we’re getting good reviews and messages. It’s also helping our coffee supplier (Wood Grouse Coffee), a small independent coffee roaster, stay busy.
We’re also looking at selling “coffee futures” and memberships – giving people the chance to buy discounted coffee from us when things open up again.
Are other entrepreneurs helping out?
Everyone is really pulling together on the food scene. One bakery who offers deliveries is also providing other cafes and coffee roasters free delivery to their customers too.
My wife, who’s also a photographer, is shooting local businesses for free so they have good images to share on social media and they are sending customers to us for coffee bean delivery. It feels like a real community and that is really positive.
What’s the next problem you’re working on?
How to attack the post-corona market. I want to use this time out positively and find a new location for when this is over. That, and keeping the retail store space moving forward so we are ready when that opens, hopefully in June or July.