In 2015, I was determined to bring a new kind of coffee experience to Canada - one that hadn't been seen before. Something social, sustainable, and empowered by technology. Something that brought a true sense of community to urban centres and a place everyday people could bring their ideas to life. I could envision a place, much like the cafés in Boston or San Francisco, where millennials would gather, work, and meet the other movers, shakers and disruptors in their community.
Think about it.
In the 1950's, Tim Hortons used coffee to create a place in small-town Canada for people of all ages to congregate, inspired by General Stores of rural Canadiana.
In the 1990's, Starbucks used coffee to create the Third Place - a space separate from home and work, where people of all ages could read, work, or socialize with a friend, inspired by the cafés of Italy.
In the last decade, we've seen the rise of artisanal, third-wave coffee, fueling about 6% of the growth in a massive $22B market in Canada, and an even larger $31B one in the United States. While several offerings like Blue Bottle and Stumptown have proliferated to great fanfare and success down south, I think we're just seeing the tip of the iceberg, especially in our country. Customers aren't just desiring more personalization & choice, but also a more enriching, immersive experience.
That experience isn't only one where you can get a great customized product, but also one where you can deepen your sense of self, engage in your interests and discover other people in your community who believe in the same things or share the same passions.
I've heard all the naysayers - Is this idea scalable? Is it repeatable? Is there really any money in coffee? I hear you loud and clear, and the answer is yes. There's 300 Second Cup locations in Canada, 500 Canadian Tires, and 1500 Petro-Canadas. It's capital-intensive for someone in their 20's, but not in the grand scheme of $1M restaurants or big box stores. Plus, using a franchise model, we actually give local business leaders the chance to run their own "innovation hubs," thus leveraging a proven model to waken the entrepreneurial spirit in small to medium Canadian communities.
So what makes us different?
We really do it three ways - through the mission, the product, and the technology. The brand is pretty straightforward - it's an inspirational brand that's all-inclusive. Anyone can make the 'Rockstar hand,' so anyone can join our community. I believe that anyone can have unique skills & characteristics within themselves to craft something unique or add meaning to a conversation.
Secondly, it's about the product - everything we do is steeped in quality and sustainability. We strive to produce the highest quality third-wave coffee with the smallest environmental footprint. This means using omnidegradable packaging and sustainable printing solutions, even though it cuts down our margin. It's just what's right, and that resonates with people.
Finally, there's a technological component, that's utilized to scale and amplify the value we create to our customer base and entrepreneur community. It starts with network effects - the ability to be connected with other likeminded people from coast to coast, all engaging in a conversation as unique as they are. From there, we create a platform that unlocks further value - all the resources you need to start a business, some seed funding, communities to help you along the way, and a suite of exclusive perks & discounts that help you live your busy entrepreneurial lifestyle. You can now join us, absolutely free.
People will go out of their way to find a good product, engage in a new experience, and be part of something bigger than themselves. We all dream of pursuing something meaningful and discovering genuine connections that help us live a richer, more fulfilling life. That doesn't necessarily have to be a business - it could be a community impact project, poetry slam, or simply a book club. This isn't something you can find at a Tim Hortons or Starbucks; but it's definitely something you can find at Rockstar Café.
We're coming to wake you up and to shake you up.
This is the new Rockstar experience, and it's coming to a town near you.
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