Coffee has been a popular beverage for thousands of years across the globe, but it surged in popularity in tea-drinking Britain in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
And one local family business jumped on the coffee revolution and began leasing coffee machines to businesses who wanted to take advantage of the nation’s demand for coffee.
Stafco was founded in Colne in 2002, giving businesses the chance to offer clients and customers high-quality coffee without the large initial outlay of a machine.
Fast forward to 2008, and the recession hit. Quick-thinking Stafco switched their business model to importing and sourcing all things coffee related, including European machines and beans. It was a move that paid off.
Alex Heap, sales manager at Stafco, which is based at Vivary Mill on Vivary Way, said: “We do have a small range of domestic products, but our primary focus is supplying businesses across the country. In a world of online sales, we love to visit our clients to fully understand what kind of machine they need.
“We’ve even been known to tell a potential client that their budget is too big for the machine they require! It’s not about getting the most money out of clients, but making sure they’re happy with the machine and serving the best coffee possible. We show them how to operate it and ensure they’re comfortable and happy with their purchase.”
Why not just buy online?
Stafco’s customer base include showrooms, hotels, cafes, offices, restaurants and pubs, so the machines often cost thousands of pounds. With such a big purchase, most want experienced people to show them the ropes.
In addition, coffee beans come in smaller bags in the supermarkets, whereas 1kg bags can be bought from Stafco – and people are more than welcome to visit their Colne premises to sample freshly-made coffee.
“There is also a limited choice in most supermarkets, whereas we have a range of 15 premium blends covering all strength preferences and flavour profiles…everyone is different when it comes to their coffee preferences!” Alex explained.
The family business – with the team being born and bred in Colne – prides itself on being honest and transparent, and you’ll often see the team out and about at local businesses to check they are happy with their coffee machines and the quality of coffee.
But has there been a downturn with the current cost of living crisis? Alex doesn’t think so.
“Despite the recent struggles, people still actively want to go out and enjoy a good cup of coffee in nice surroundings. Spending time with friends and family is an important pastime for everyone and as the coffee culture in the UK continues to grow, catching up over a foamy cappuccino or gingerbread latte is a high priority.
“This has now become an integral social part of our lives and people will pay the price for a cup of coffee providing the coffee is good and justifies the price!”