True Life Stories

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Sticky Business

This month’s story is dedicated to how some customers are using our Coffee Coin® labels in creative ways that extend beyond their original intended means. In fact, our custom-printed labels are being used for more than just labeling our coins.

Donna from the Coffee Corner in Douglas, GA took the time to email us. She is located on a college campus and was having trouble with teenagers remembering to bring in their coins (I have a teen and they seem to lose everything!) So she came up with a terrific idea for these forgetful kids – why not place our stamp-card labels directly onto the back of their student IDs? After all, they need their student IDs to enter the library, gym and dorms. Maybe you know a few forgetful folks… Do they wear badges that could use a label too?

Another customer, Massapequa Perk, was nominated for Best Cup of Coffee by the Long Island Press. For this competition the nominated coffee house with the highest total vote count would win the coveted title. Of course Massapequa Perk wasn’t satisfied with just being nominated, they wanted to win! In order to get the word out to their customer base to go online and vote for them, Massapequa Perk used a special “Vote!” label we created for the top of their coffee cups. Not only did they make an impact with their customers, the Long Island Press also recognized their creativity and decided to write a story about their innovative marketing campaign.

We also have plenty of customers who use our Coffee Coin® labels with just their logo (no text ) for pastry bags and gift baskets. This is an inexpensive branding technique which also improves the appearance of an assortment of products. Not only do we sell labels to bakeries that will use them to seal boxes but we even supply labels to a custom lollipop company. Some requests do seem a bit strange – once we even got a request for labels with pictures of a realtor team’s heads ? It’s amazing the things that will fit on a label!

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“A Latte’ Competition”

This month’s story comes from Andover, MA, home of Ultimate Perk Coffee House. Toni and Rich Hadad run their shop on the corner of Main Street. They have a great set of skills between the two of them since Rich is a CPA and Toni is a Graphics Art Designer. Because of this, they’ve saved a pretty penny designing their own logo and unique marketing materials. And they’re proud of the interior design and atmosphere they’ve created in their coffee shop too. After all, you just never know what special guest might be coming in to visit your store…. In fact, the Ultimate Perk got a nice “perk” when Alan Alda visited their very own shop while his wife was in town signing books at a local bookstore.

The Ultimate Perk has a diverse customer base that ranges from the “Joe Lunch Bucket” type to the “downright rich” folk. Of course, along with all these coffee drinking people comes plenty of competition from corporate coffee chains like “DD” and “SB”. In fact, SB is just a few blocks away and DD is almost directly across the street. Growing an independent high-quality coffee business with two large chain stores in such close proximity requires clever guerilla marketing tactics.

It wasn’t until last year that the Ultimate Perk Coffee House found Coffee Coins® through Fresh Cup Magazine and began a business relationship with us. (Needless to say, Toni has been quite involved in the design and marketing of her store’s Coffee Coins®!) The Ultimate Perk uses both our plastic and ceramic coins for two different business needs. They use our plastic Coffee Coins® for the majority of their marketing needs and to support community-building events. And they use our specialty ceramic coins in lieu of gift cards.

Where others have cowered and caved to the pressure of deep-pocketed rivals, Tony and Rich have hit the competition head-on with a “Buy 7 get the 8th cup free” promotion. In their storefront window a sign proudly proclaims “FREE COFFEE just by joining our Customer Rewards program!” For this campaign, Ultimate Perk purchased custom plastic coins hot stamped with their logo (a coffee cup with wings) in gold foil print on a black background. By using savvy guerilla marketing techniques like these that reinforce their brand with high-quality products and services, we’ve been told that customers are “flocking” to Ultimate Perk from their low-cost chain rivals.

(Note: You too can customize your coins with a 1000 pc minimum order. Simple graphic logos tend to work best on custom print jobs like these.)

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“Why didn’t we think of that?”

This month we wanted to provide a mix of Coffee Coin® stories from years past along with some brand new ideas.
To begin with, here is how our loyalty Coffee Coin® club coin began. About six years ago one of our customers asked us to design a label with 8 tiny squares that they could stamp once each time a customer purchased a cup of coffee. Soon we noticed that this coffee house began to purchase an unusually large number of coins and labels. Inquiring we were told the following story. Apparently one of the owners (and parents of a young child) attended a “take your parents to school day”. Like all good parents, this mother described how she owned a coffee house and what she did all day long. Prepared for coffee and hot chocolate related questions, she was surprised when one the children raised his hand and said, “I know who you are…my mother has one of your cool coins!” At that moment it really hit home just how well coffee coin word-of-mouth marketing works. As this story illustrates, it’s no wonder how our Coffee Coin® club became one of our best sellers.

The “Oops Coin” (also known as the mistake fixer) was another great customer idea. Of course when it was brought to us we had one of those V-8 Juice moments when you slap your forehead and think…”Wow, why didn’t we didn’t think of that?” Anyway, a neat twist on this about five years ago came from a customer named Heavenly Coffee. Their logo consisted of an angelic image and the words “Heavenly Coffee”. For their Oops Coin they used the image of a smiling little red devil holding a tiny pitchfork with the words “The devil made me do it!” We just love some of the creative ideas that folks have come up with to personalize these coins for their shops!

We’d like to close with a few new Coffee Coins® ideas we heard about last month. One of our customers located in Massachusetts is giving away free drink coins to the Red Cross for blood donors (coins are red of course). Another in New York is preparing for an upcoming street fair and will be giving away “Free Gift Coins” for “Free 2 oz bags of coffee.” We are also quite thankful that they are using our mini Coffee Stamp labels for the coffee bags. Lastly, a brand new Midwestern customer will be tossing out our plastic coins during a Rodeo Parade. This customer is also planning on having her local high school cheerleaders give out 50 cent off smoothie coins. There’s nothing like summer time…enjoy it!

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“A Couple of Crazy Cats”

This month’s story comes from Madison,WI, home to JavaCats Coffee owned by Renee Raspiller and Shari Olson. Some years back Shari was a special education teacher and Renee drove trucks for a living. According to Renee, on the road she drank too much bad coffee and decided to do something about it! So about 4 years ago they created JavaCats.

As you can guess from the name …the theme is cats, cats and more cats. And we can tell you firsthand that they have some unusual things in their store, including a “cat scratching post” that the locals use to post everything from pictures of their pets to apartments for rent. They believe in supporting coffee producers by selling only 100% Fair Trade Coffee and offer a variety of other niceties such as free Internet stations, a drive thru window and an excellent selection of Gelatos.

Because they’re such a big part of our daily routines, life is lived out in specialty coffee shops all across America. For example, recently a couple got engaged at JavaCats. They had met at the shop for their first date and the groom-to-be thought it would be a good place to propose to her. Lucky for him, she thought he was just purr-fect for her too! So now JavaCats is also helping out with the wedding by providing JavaCat wedding favors that consist of our colorful organza gift bags filled with a gift coin inside!

Needless to say Coffee Coins® are a great fit for these creative shop owners’ shop. They’ve been using our purple coins (both ceramic and plastic) for about 3 years and have used over 15 different purple cat caffeinated labels. Their most popular labels include Free Specialty Drinks (they leave them at restaurants with their tips and as general business cards), gift coins and prepaid coins. They also use our $1 Stimulus Coins as “mistake fixers” since humor really helps to assuage negative feelings. With this unique business model it is no wonder that they are busting out (or should we say scratching out) one of their walls and expanding to an adjacent store.

Lastly, here’s something you may not have heard of before…it turns out that our Coffee Coins® are being purchased at JavaCats for Geocaching. For those of you not familiar with this, it is an outdoor urban treasure-hunting game where participants use a global position system (GPS) to seek a small treasure, usually toys or trinkets of minimal value. JavaCats has a devoted customer who comes in on a regular basis to buy their coins, which are a perfect Geocache object and redeemable only at JavaCats. So now the JavaCats are turning Geocache into JavaCats cash!!

Have you considered promoting your treasures as Geocache? Just Google “geocaching” to learn more about this fun pastime and creative marketing opportunity.

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“The Poker Player”

This month’s article comes from the Belgian Chocolatier and Beanery out of Newport News, VA. The coffee house is located in City Center at Oyster Point which was designed & built as a place to work, live & play. There are apartments & condos, retail spaces, business offices and also a convention center. Carol Berg owns the Belgian Chocolatier and sells coffee based drinks and a light lunch menu consisting of sandwiches and wraps, pot pies & quiches. A good part of her revenue is generated from Belgian Chocolates which are imported from Brussels, Belgium. Her store has been using our ceramic Coffee Coins® since early 2006 mostly as gift and coffee club coins. Like all good business owners she always has her eyes wide open for new ways to increase customer traffic and generate additional revenue.

In the game of life hobbies often bring rewards in unexpected ways. It turns out Carol loves the game of poker and had been an online poker player for some time. But like most of us closet poker players she didn’t feel comfortable playing the tables until a friend of hers suggested she join a local league. That league, the (WPTAPL) Virginia World Poker Tour Amateur Poker League plays in Newport News. This is free poker league with winners moving on to Regional’s and the final two lucky winners going to Las Vegas for the Nationals. In fact about a dozen local businesses and restaurants locally host this weekly event.

Being a bit gutsy, Carol decided to begin hosting (WPTAPL) at her shop. So on Saturday’s around 1:00 p.m. you’ll find around 28 poker players (with their poker faces) playing free Texas Hold-em in her shop while drinking her coffee and snacking.

So how Coffee Coins® fit the mix? Well early this year we got a call from Carol inquiring about…you guessed it… red and black plastic Coffee Coins®! She thought it might be nice to award the weekly 1st place winner a $10 Gift Coin (red), and the 2nd place winner a $5 Gift Coin (black) redeemable at her shop. To Carol it seemed like some cheap marketing and certainly was, but what happened next was unexpected. It turns out that some of her customers really liked those Coffee Coin® red & black chips so much that they use them for card markers instead of redeeming them. Not such a bad thing for Carol as each one of those card markers has her Belgian Chocolatier logo printed on the label!

So what’s the take-away from this story? Increased traffic and additional revenue can be found in the strangest of places. Consider taking what you love to do outside of work and finding a way to incorporate this into your business. For Carol this “bet” is paying off!

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“Lingering Longer”

This month’s article comes from a couple of real Coffee Coin® pros at Linger Longer Café. This store leads the way with innovative ideas and has placed a whopping 34 orders with us in the last 3 years! Located in Allegany, NY, the store is managed by Beth Mitchell and her long-time business partner Christina Scott. It’s always fun to learn a bit about a coffee house and the history behind it. It turns out that Linger Longer is located on the main street of a small town in a very old building. Just five short years ago it was a pizza parlor prior to being converted to a coffee house. If you went back hundred or so years earlier, the building was used for furniture sales and even housed an undertaker at one time! Nowadays, entering the café you’ll notice a map on the wall with many pins showing the places their visitors have come from (including Beth’s origin of South Africa).

Now on to their ideas… To begin with, some of you may have heard us tell the story of how Linger Longer partnered with their local YMCA in a membership-building drive a few years back. Their YMCA started a program called “Mission Meltdown” that rewarded folks who took on a personal weight-loss challenge. Linger Longer stepped up to the plate (no pun intended!) and awarded those goal-oriented individuals a Coffee Coin® for a FREE SKINNY LATTE along with a copy of their menu, a magnet and some coupons. Talk about creating a neat little niche market!

On another occasion Beth & Christina asked our company to create a custom label with the caption, “ONE…TWO…THREE…FREE!” This truly one-of-a-kind coin label has four small ink-stamp squares each containing a number. Square #1 says 10% off… Square #2 is 20% off…Square # 3 is 30% off and Square #4 is good for a free drink. (We could send you a sample if you like). This Coffee Coin® label was distributed to 200 attendees at a Chamber of Commerce event hosted at the shop. And we’ve been told that quite a few of these coins were redeemed afterwards!

As business grew for Linger Longer we provided them NEW STORE OPENING coins good for a free drink at their 2nd business location. Along the way they have also become regular users of our Coffee Coin® Club labels (buy 7 drinks / 8th free) and $5 Gift coins.

We’d like to close with another great idea they mentioned to us. At times, college kids come in wanting to charge a single drink (which can get pretty expensive with all the credit card processing fees these days). Some stores even have informal policies for imposing a minimum credit card purchase. (This of course does little to promote customer goodwill.) Linger Longer solved this problem by selling these students PREPAID 3 DRINK coins (retail price about $10). This minimizes credit card processing fees, provides upfront revenue and all but guarantees a 3X repeat customer!

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“Spending Less and Getting More”

In a break from tradition, this month’s article comes from us the coffee coin guys and gals instead of a customer story. We thought it fitting to provide ideas to stretch your dollar in 2009. Here are our top 7 ideas that will help you get maximum bang for the buck.

  • Order lower cost plastic coins when possible for applications like Coffee Clubs, $1 Gift Coins & low cost giveaways. Our new BlackGold Plastic Coin looks pretty upscale! Save your premium ceramic coins for selling $5 & $10 Gift Coins and other applications that require a major “wow” factor.
  • Save your broken & chipped Coffee Coins®. When ordering new coins let us know how many you have and we will comp you with free product. This informal program is based on the honesty system. It works well and will get you a few extra coins with your new order.
  • Re-label coins that you aren’t using to get them back in circulation. Remember a coin in circulation has the potential to touch multiple people and bring in new customers. This year focus on lower cost drink & gift coins.
  • When buying labels consider us shipping larger quantities (200 or greater). It costs 50¢ extra to ship additional 100 labels. Our coins can be purchased in bulk at reduced rates.
  • Share a True Life Story, and if we decide to publish it we will give you ten dollars of free product – no strings attached!
  • Ask us if we have any clearance items. We generally don’t post them on the web, but often do…so those who ask come out ahead.
  • Volunteer to help work our Coffee Fest booth. You don’t have to sell anything, just answer customer questions and discuss how your shop uses them. It’s fun and we’ll pay you 20 Coffee Coins® per hour.

We hope these ideas will help you save money on your Coffee Coin® needs this year. We wish you the best of success!

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“Burritos & Coffee in Alaska”

This month’s story comes from Joe & Lulu Garza, owners of the Burrito Factory out in Anchorage, Alaska. The Burrito Factory serves up some of the best burritos around and is well-known for its tasty breakfast burritos. The business began some 15 years ago when Joe was serving homemade burritos at a bazaar. A lady approached him to compliment his cooking and also mentioned that her dad owned a gas station down the road. She suggested that Joe talk to her dad about placing a burrito stand inside the gas station. This turned out to be a great move for Joe. As time went on they expanded and now own a 2nd location called the Burrito Factory Café (a sit-down restaurant). In addition, they also supply burritos to many coffee houses in the area.

We’re not sure what you know about Anchorage Alaska, but it’s home to about 300,000 people who crave coffee (and for good reasons to be sure!) (As a quick sidebar, we’ve been told that in Alaska they sell more ice cream in the winter than anywhere else in the US!).

Well, back to the story… Recently Joe and Lulu attended a Coffee Fest show and stumbled upon our booth. They were looking for ways to increase their established business (to include revising their current loyalty program) and a way to attract new customers by giving out free specialty drinks.

After talking with us, Joe & Lulu decided to use our plastic Coffee Coins®. They found them durable and inexpensive, but really wanted something more attuned to their burrito application (instead of our signature Coffee Coin® text imprinted on the face of the coin). So they asked us to design a custom-printed plastic coin (colored red, of course) with the words “Burrito Café” hot-stamped on the front side.

For the labels they asked us to design multiple label types for the back side of the plastic coins. Lulu manages the sit-down restaurant, so Free 12 oz Latte drinks and Coffee Club labels were a must, while the location within the gas station was looking for a burrito stamp card replacement that also had advertising value. In all, we provided 4 different label styles that Joe and Lulu apply to the coins based on their application.

It took only about four weeks from design to completion and soon the coins arrived in Alaska. Unbeknownst to us at that time, Joe and Lulu decided to take customization a step further and spent an evening at a drill press… drilling holes in the plastic coins and creating key chains for their Burrito Club customers! They tell us that their customers love their Burrito Club key chain coins – and why wouldn’t they?!? Customers collect a stamp for each five dollar purchase and after ten stamps they receive five dollars off their next purchase! When a customer fills a label up with stamps, Joe and Lulu just place a new label on top of the old one and the coin is good as new! Thanks again to our friends in Alaska for this month’s story.

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“Holiday Coffee Cash (Part II)”

To begin with, thanks to everybody that e-mailed us feedback on the November Coffee Coins® true-life stories! Wow! It seems many of our customers have their own twist on using our coins for the holidays. Here is a compilation of what we’ve heard…

Bobbi Gillespie, an owner of a coffee house in Newburgh, Indiana, wrote us regarding the display of Coffee Coins® on a Christmas tree at her store. “We do the same thing here at La Sombra Coffee Roasting Company, but we change the color of the organza bags with the seasons. We have a tree that sits atop our coffee bean display and each bag sells for a different price, depending on which mix of coins we have filled it with. In the spring the organza bags are pink and blue, but we change them out to gold for Christmas. They make great girlfriend gifts, thank you’s or stocking stuffers.”

Another customer, Kim Diehl from CoffeeHead in Kulpsville, PA wrote to tell us how her unique method of displaying gift coins in organza bags for sale… She uses a small jewelry tree that sits on her counter!

We often advise placing Coffee Coins® in gold organza bags, but here again we heard some different methods of packing our coins. Some shop owners are placing plastic Coffee Coins® in our crystal clear mini bags (with the peel-back tape strip) and applying holiday stickers to the outside of the bags. We also have some ambitious customers who create their own handmade, fabric mini-bags! It sounds like a bit more work, but their results are truly one of a kind.

Out in Alaska, Joe and Lulu Garza of the Burrito Factory spent an entire evening drilling holes in each of their plastic Coffee Coins®. After ordering some inexpensive chains online (more about this next month), they used the drilled coins to create coin key chains! By the way, our plastic coins now come in gold, blue, green, yellow, black, orange, pink, red and bronze so finding the perfect color this holiday is a cinch (drill bit not included!).

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“Holiday Coffee Cash”

This month we have two true-life stories from the East and West Coast we’d like to share with you. They both relate to selling Coffee Coins® for the upcoming holidays.

Our East Coast story started about 4 years ago when David and Betsy Cartier, owners of Starboards Coffee, began using our coins. Starboards is located in Portsmouth, VA in a tiny building across from the Fifth District of the U.S. Coast Guard. Just to clarify…when I say a tiny building, we are talking about a building that is only 60 square feet with a work area of just 16 square feet. Needless to say, everything in their store has to be really small. Each holiday season they place an 18″ Christmas tree behind the counter adorned with gold organza bags where they fill each with a ceramic Coffee Coin®. They also keep a tiny wood treasure chest on the counter filled with the same gold sacks containing the coins and they sell like hotcakes!

Back on the West Coast, we had the privilege of speaking with Michael Snodgrass from Unlimited Coffee Company in Damascus, OR. Michael told us how he and his wife Karie also sell Coffee Coins® in gold organza bags, but with a slightly different twist. Along with a coin, they stuff the bags full of fresh roasted coffee beans to create an automobile air freshener. This air freshener is used long after the coins are redeemed (reminding customers of where to get great coffee). He said they often spot the bags hanging from rearview mirrors of cars as coffee sachets.

And when it comes to coin labels for holiday sales we have seen all kinds of creative ideas and wording. The $5 gift label is still the most popular, although we have had requests $1 to $40. For those customers that celebrate Hanukah, Coffee Coins® make perfect gelt (coins that are used during the celebration of Hanukah).

So whether you decide to place your Coffee Coins® on Christmas trees, hang from rearview mirrors as coffee sachets, or distribute as gelt we wish you the happiest of holidays. We’d like to send a special thanks to the Cartier and Snodgrass families for sharing their stories with us.

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“Politicians Lobby for Tiger Pause”

This month’s story comes from Beverly and Allen Orourke, owners of Tiger Pause Coffeehouse. Located in the small town of Tuskegee, AL there is not much in the way of local businesses. Tiger Pause is built within a historically designated site that was formerly the First Tuskegee Bank. When building out their coffeehouse, the historic building exterior needed to be left completely intact. Instead, they completely remodeled the interior while keeping the original bank ceiling and marble check-writing stations. This gave their shop the feel of an old-time bank.

Just for curiosity we asked Beverly and Allen how they came up with the unique name, Tiger Pause. It turns out that the official mascot of Tuskegee University is the Golden Tigers. With a creative play of words, “Tiger Paws” became “Tiger Pause” (as in to take a break from something and relax).

Tiger Pause uses both ceramic and plastic Coffee Coins®. They’ve used our ceramic coins to promote the introduction of their lunch delivery service.

Recently, Tiger Pause e-mailed us about a new and unique way to grow their business with the help of politicians. Beverly and Allen handed out some free plastic Coffee Coins® to their favorite political contenders (a local councilman and a mayoral candidate) so they could distribute the coins to their community as they campaigned for election. The coins serve as a great ice breaker for the politicians when they hand them out for a “Free cup of coffee on me”. And it’s a great way for Tiger Pause to reach every part of their community. We all know that NOBODY pounds the pavement like a campaigning politician…walking, talking, shaking hands and building rapport.

With the political season in full swing, this is a great idea from Tiger Pause. Bev and Allen get involved in supporting their favorite candidates, the politicians do promotional footwork (literally), while potential voters get a chance to try Tiger Pause for the first time. It’s a win-win-win for all three groups involved!

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“The Toaster Splash”

This month’s story comes from Ken & Julie Mulvania, owners of Oasis Espresso in Spokane, Washington. A regular Coffee Coin® customer, their shop uses both our plastic and ceramic coins. Recently we were approached about providing a customized Coffee Coin® label for a 5K / 8K cross country foot race event known as the Toaster Splash in Deer Park, WA. An annual event now in its 10th year, it draws both local runners and spectators. The Toaster Splash actually kicks off when officials pop a slice of bread out of a toaster! The splash comes when runners wade knee-deep through a creek two times.

As one of the original founders of this event, Ken found a creative way to reward and celebrate a runner’s completion of this race. Each 5K finisher receives a special $3.11 gift coin (5K = 3.11 miles) and a similar $4.97 gift coin for the 8K (which equals 4.97 miles).

When a runner redeems a coin for free food / drink at Ken and Julie’s shop, an Oasis Espresso employee stamps the coin with a” mini running shoe” symbol and returns it to the runner. The Coffee Coin® then becomes a wonderful memento for the runner to remember the race (and their visit to the Oasis Espresso). Of course it’s pretty unlikely a runner could ever forget this race… running up and down hills, through the woods and wading across a 30′ wide creek with obstacles like stinging nettles!!

For those of you interested in participating in this unusual 5K, the record is 17 minutes (set in 2004 by a qualifier for the 1500 meter Olympic Trials). Thank you Ken & Julie for the great story.

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“The Bike Shop Coffee Club”

This month’s story comes from Chafin Rhyne of Fausto Coffee in Lincolnton, NC, where they’ve been servicing their community for over 10 years. Fausto’s is named after a famous Italian bike race and features a unique cycling feel that includes a signed Lance Armstrong jersey and neon bike brand signs. They also operate a bike shop (two businesses in one) out of an old building that was built back around the year 1910. The shop is in a great downtown location with several government buildings, which means that their clientele is mainly government and urban business workers.

A Coffee Coin® customer since 2005, we thought Chafin would be a good person to ask about using our Coffee Coin Club (he uses our “buy 7 get 8th free” coins). Chafin wanted a customer loyalty system to mimic the Starbucks model and uses our Coffee Coins® for both whole bean and drink purchases.

It’s successful because it’s a simple, low cost program without the need for fancy equipment and costly plastic cards. As Chafin explains, “The coins don’t get lost in a wallet with all the cards people carry. And they’re just too valuable for people to throw away. We like the feel of ceramic which shows more substantial value and allows us to talk about our value.” Coffee Coins® is pleased to be helping Fausto Coffee achieve its goals of promoting quality and value while increasing customer loyalty. Feel free to visit their web site at www.rideabike.com.

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“The Doctor’s Office”

This month’s story comes from Dorie Byrd of Sherwood Coffee in Sherwood, Oregon. After five years in business she has had her share of excitement – including a visit by Keanu Reeves while he was filming “Thumbsucker” (2005) in her neck of the woods. (And ladies, for the record his drink of choice is a Mocha Frost.)

Now moving on to our Coffee Coin® story…Dorie has an arrangement with a good-sized doctor’s office located across town from her. They approached her last year looking for a way to compensate patients that had waited too long for service. (We all know how frustrating & annoying that type of wait can be!) So Dorie sells them approximately 20 Coffee Coins® in bulk at a discounted price every other month. Now the doctor’s office staff gives a Coffee Coin® good for a free coffee to patients that have been stuck in the waiting room too long.

Everybody wins! The doctors are happy that delayed patients have been satisfied, the patients are thrilled to enjoy specialty coffee at a place that many never knew even existed and Dorie picks up a steady stream of new customers and prepaid revenue.

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“Showing Appreciation”

Mountain Market Coffee House is located in Haines, Alaska, far away from our Maryland-based company. Last month, we received an e-mail from Mary Jean telling us how she hosts an annual Customer Appreciation Day. She works with the vendors to supply product samples and sells coffee drinks at half price for that particular day. She also likes to hand out Coffee Coins® to her best customers to thank them for supporting her store. Generous by nature (and obviously a person with good business instincts), Mary Jean also likes to reward the store’s “support crew” once a year – you know…the garbage guys, the propane company, freight delivery guys, the recycling center, etc. It’s not often that we think of these people as potential customers, yet they visit our stores on a daily basis. Mary Jean, thank you for reminding us to remember our support crews and for sharing your story to inspire other independent coffee houses with additional ways to grow their business. Best wishes on your Customer Appreciation Day!

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“Teachers Know Best”

Javateas Gourmet Coffee Café has mastered the art of supporting their local schools from their two locations in Pennsylvania. Located in Lancaster (Penn Manor School District) and Ephrata (Ephrata School District), Javateas delights in supporting their educational leaders. We were pleased to hear that earlier this year Javateas used our little Coffee Coins® for their annual Teacher Appreciation Day.

According to owner Ashley Scheirer, “This year I ordered Coffee Coins® for our teachers instead of paper coupons. I thought it would be a nice change and something they hadn’t seen before. We gave out FREE 12 OZ LATTE coins and had great success at both stores. Teachers really appreciated the gesture and most of them bought other items as well when redeeming their coins – which was a bonus for us. We had a greater response from the coins than from paper coupons!”

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“The Shopping Plaza”

Melinda owns the L.A. Cafe and Coffee House in Lehigh Acres, FL. Her store is in a strip plaza on the town’s main street and contains a Publix Supermarket along with other smaller stores. She recently opened and is always looking for creative ways to find new customers. As Melinda tells us, “I give my coins to other business owners in the strip plaza where my coffee shop is located. The shop owners then give them to their customers as a sign of appreciation. As a result, I get new business from patrons of the Mexican restaurant, the florist, and H&R Block (while clients are waiting for their returns to be completed). But I get the most new customers from the blood lab – those people have been fasting all night and when the lab employees give them a coin for a quick cup of coffee they rush right over!”

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“An Unusual Tip”

We’re not quite sure when this story first originated, but it’s almost become urban legend at Coffee Coins. One of our coffee house owners realized that keeping a free drink coin in his pocket while out and about isn’t such a bad idea. This owner frequents restaurants and often strikes up conversation with his waiter/waitress. After his meal he not only leaves the waiter/waitress the standard 15% tip, but he also surprises them with a Coffee Coin good for a free drink at his shop. What a great way to meet new potential customers. Not only that, you can bet that the waiter/waitress shows the coin off to the rest of the restaurant staff as well!

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