ONCE a market matures businesses must look further afield to grow.
And in what appears to be a case of selling ice to the Eskimos, our own Caddies Coffee is shipping roasted beans to Melbourne, and as far afield as Perth.
The decision came about after some of Caddies' long-standing loyal customers moved out of the area, and were unhappy with what was being served up in their new home towns.
Caddies founder and owner Bill Sheaffe responded by offering mail-order coffee in 1992.
However, that new side of the business didn't really take off until the company purchased a full-page colour ad in The Weekend Australian later that year.
“It was the smartest thing we ever did,” Mr Sheaffe said. “We had an incredible response.”
From a standing start, the company now sources, roasts and ships 15 tonnes of coffee beans across Australia.
“Coffee has a lot of history so you have to be respectful of that, but also stay alert to new approaches and opportunities for your business,” he said.
Mr Sheaffe purchases his coffee beans from a Melbourne-based wholesaler, which imports them from the best coffee-growing regions in the world.
Caddies then roasts the beans at its facilities in South Lismore, where it moved after outgrowing its retail premises in the heart of Lismore.
The company then ships its roasted beans around the country via Australia Post.
Mr Sheaffe said the expansion was made possible by changes in transport, technology/the internet, and more willing use of credit cards.
The mail-order business was one of the latest innovations Mr Sheaffe has overseen since opening the cafe in 1985.
In 1988 Caddies led the trend of footpath dining when it became the first in Lismore to apply for outdoor seating.
Many others have followed, and rarely does a day go past now when customers are not seen eating and drinking at tables on Lismore's streets, helping to revitalise the CBD.
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