The morning cup of coffee, in all of its glory, uplifts your day from sluggish to spirited, yet at the same time, it costs way too much and takes forever just to get a small cup of that magical bean juice. Your solution? App of Joe. Simply log onto the app and pick up a $1 cup o’ joe at a pre-approved location and get on with your day. No more waiting on lines or paying over three dollars for something that takes pennies to make—It’s time to embrace the App of Joe.
Today we sit down with Ohad Attias and he spilled the beans about the new startup and its future.
Tell us about the product or service.
App of Joe, NYC’s newest coffee app, was launched on iOS and Android this week, and allows users to enjoy $1 coffee & tea and pre-order to skip lines, at the city’s favorite local coffee shops on the Lower East Side and East Village. After users install App of Joe on their devices, they are geolocated to discover participating coffee shops within the vicinity. From there, they are able to order and pay through their smartphones and, in turn, pick up the order without waiting in a line. App of Joe provides a fast and practical service for coffee lovers for their daily New York routine and constant state of hustle.
How is it different?
Everyone who has ever visited New York for more than 5 minutes knows that decent coffee can cost as much as $5 here, maybe $3 dollars, if you’re lucky. Other apps have tried making coffee cheaper for consumers using various strategies, but App of Joe is the only platform that cuts down the price for a cup of coffee down to a third of the price. I mean, think about it, if you buy a cup a day for $3 five times a week – that’s almost $800 you’re spending a year just on coffee, and I’m being very conservative here. Wouldn’t you rather pay $260 and at the same time support a local business and enjoy better quality of coffee?
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
The coffee industry in the US alone is currently worth about $10 billion dollars, with the 50 largest chains (Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Caribou, etc.) taking 70% of the market share. We are looking to enable smaller businesses to become a larger piece of the pie. America was built on family-owned businesses but somehow the American Dream seems to have been lost over time. Once established in Manhattan, we will scale in the general US coffee market, wherever the geo-economic climate will allow. We will go to city centers that have those privately owned cafes and reinforce them by giving their potential customers more reasons to chose the small shop over a Starbucks branch.
What is the business model?
We partner with local, independent coffee shops and provide them with the technology to accept mobile orders, as well as market to our customers and group them together to get lower prices on supply orders. Our unique business strategy truly makes it a win-win-win situation: New Yorkers save loads on their daily coffee, local coffee shops are introduced with an influx of business, the likes of which they haven’t seen before, and we use the margin from the cost of a cup of Joe to the coffee shop and the lowered price for the consumer in a way that will allow us to rapidly grow and bring the affordable-coffee-affordable-life vision to more and more markets cross country.
What inspired the business?
Our families are based in the Middle East and on one of our visits, we saw the power of ‘Cofix’, a chain of Israeli coffee shops that sells everything on the menu for a $1.50. With living expenses as high as New York’s in many regards, Israel adopted this concept extremely fast, making ‘Cofix’ one of the most successful players in its coffee market. That was the proof of concept we needed – charging less at a higher volume of sales proved to be a sustainable working model in the coffee market and we know it’s only a matter of time before the same model will be deeply rooted into New York’s coffee scene. So Instead of opening another big chain we decided to partner with the best cafes in town, arm them with the top of the line technology and fight the big chains together.
How will you compete against some larger, more established players in the space?
Listen, Starbucks is Starbucks is Starbucks. Some people swear by their Starbucks- that’s their choice and that’s ok. We are here to put the alternative out there for people who are open to seeing beyond the corporate brand and everything it entails. I believe that eventually even the strongest Starbucks-heads will see the value. After all, paying $3 instead of $1 just doesn’t make sense. The modern consumer gets it.
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
Someone I’d love to meet is Jack Dorsey. I think he had the greatest impact on small businesses since Salesforce- with the Square revolution that literally transformed the face of small businesses. New York is a great example of that – you can survive without so much as a quarter in the city, as long as you have a debit or a credit card. The App of Joe business model is based on small shops, and I can’t think of anyone who understands small businesses better than Dorsey.
Why did you launch in New York?
It was clear to us from day one that New York is the perfect market for us to start in, with multiple coffee shops per block and New Yorkers taking coffee as a way of life and a mean of keeping up with the city’s hectic pace. New Yorkers are used to paying a lot for their essentials, but they are also very savvy consumers who understand the meaning of value. Besides, we are avid New Yorkers ourselves, we live and breath this city and that gives us more precision and a better understanding of how to tap into the city’s economic tapestry. When going for a grassroots movement, you need to know the people. In New York – we ARE the people.
Where is your favorite bar in the city for an after work drink?
That’s like asking me who my favorite child is… Honestly, we are based out of the East Village and Lower East Side, where there are probably more bars than people, so it’s a tough choice, but if I had to choose one I’d have to say The Fish Bar on 5th & 2nd. It’s a cool, tiny dive bar. There’s nothing fancy about it and it’s everything but pretentious. You know, the kind of place that doesn’t make you feel like you have to be somebody to fit in.