You sit down in the morning and you want to be distraction free for just 30 minutes and enjoy a smooth cup of joe. You don’t want to pay for overprices coffee, you don’t want to brew your own, and you definitely don’t want to bother with low quality instant coffee either. Why shouldn’t it be delivered right to you so that you can soak in your 30 minutes of bliss? Driftaway, a company started so that you can enjoy quality coffee, is delivering it right to your door.
Cofounder Anu Menon, tells us about the journey to the coffee industry and why Driftaway is a perfect for your schedule.
Tell us about the product or service.
Driftaway is a personalized coffee subscription. We deliver premium quality coffee to your home that matches your individual taste.
How is it different?
Coffee is personal. Every person has a specific type of coffee they like to drink, and they make it a specific way. Through our unique starter kit that you rate using our iPhone app, our taste-matching algorithm ensures you only get coffees that you are guaranteed to love. We also change coffees every month, so it’s a great way to learn about new coffees from around the world.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
We’re after the whole bean home coffee market – it’s a $4.1 B market with very little evolution over the past 3 decades.
What is the business model?
Our business model is subscriptions. We have two sizes – 7oz for $12 and 11oz for $16 – both include shipping. Most customers are on a every 2 weeks plan, however you can choose a weekly or monthly frequency as well, it really depends on how much coffee you drink at home.
Why is coffee well suited for a subscription business?
We believe that the subscription business model is ideally suited to any product that consumers consider a necessity – they will need it even in down economic cycles. Over 83% of the US population drinks an average of 2.1 cups of coffee per day. And while we all love the coffee at cafes, skilled baristas and the cafe atmosphere, over 70% of coffee is still consumed at home. Naturally you do not want to run out of coffee at home, and it’s convenient to have it refilled every time you are about to run out.
Also, coffee stays fresh for 14 to 21 days from roasting. Our operations model is setup so that you receive coffee 3-5 days from the roast date and just enough to last for 14 to 21 days. As soon as you are finishing one bag, the next one magically appears!
What inspired you to start this business?
My co-founder and I have always loved coffee. And over the years, our interest & passion for coffee kept growing. Our morning coffee became less about just caffeine & convenience, and more about a ritual we relished. We started taking great pride in brewing that perfect cup at home.
We first had the idea for Driftaway when we moved to New York in 2013, and were looking for good quality coffee beans. We tried supermarkets but they don’t sell good coffee, we tried coffee shops but it was one extra stop to make and remember every time you are running low, and then we tried a few subscriptions, but realized that we’d like the taste one month but not the next month.
Driftaway Coffee for us is about pursuing something we are both truly passionate about. Driftaway was born out of our need to create and our passion for coffee.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
We are gearing up for the holiday season. Last year, we had 3x growth in the holiday season and we’re expecting the same this year from a much higher base. We’re focused on growing our MRR up to $100k in the next 6 months.
If you could be put in touch with one investor in the New York community who would it be?
Wow that’s a tough one. We would love to talk to Matt Meeker and Resolute VC.
Why did you launch in New York?
New York has such a dense concentration of food innovators, tech talent and design thinkers. And the coffee scene is booming as well. We don’t know where else we could have such a large amount of talent, great partners, importers for coffee as well as financing options with the investor community.
What is your favorite fall activity in NYC?
It’s very clichéd! Walking through Central Park and Prospect Park watching the leaves change colors.