You’ve created a successful product, established several retail partnerships, and are ready to take your production to the next level. What will it take for you to scale up in partnership with a co-manufacturer? Hear directly from the entrepreneurs behind Kuju Coffee as they share their experience working with Hatchery Network Members creative werks. Topics covered will include establishing a relationship with a co-packing partner, equipment selection, supply chain consideration, product testing & trial runs, and launch!
About the presenters:
As Eagle Scouts whose parents owned coffee shops when they were young, it seems only natural that Jeff and Justin Wiguna would grow up to create a product for the outdoor adventurer. But for the brothers, the thought didn’t cross their minds until a camping trip in Nevada’s Red Rock Canyon in 2015, where they stumbled upon an idea while finally became tired of drinking instant coffee.
Jeff, Cofounder and CEO of Kuju Coffee, graduated from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business with a B.S. in Business Administration in 2009. Justin, Cofounder and COO, received his B.S in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University in 2015; after Justin’s graduation the two got to work launching one of the most innovative products the coffee industry has seen in recent years – the Pocket PourOver – a single-serve pour over filter that makes brewing pour over incredibly easy. A successful Kickstarter campaign provided the funding to launch Kuju Coffee in 2016.
Serving a niche market, Kuju Coffee revolutionizes the way travelers, adventurers, and coffee lovers everywhere can experience delicious coffee while on-the-go. Inside the Pocket PourOver filter are specialty-grade coffee grounds, and the filter anchors to your mug of choice so all you need to do is pour hot water. This enables you to brew a specialty-grade quality cup of coffee without any bulky equipment or appliances, and with minimal packaging.
It didn’t long for the product to garner popularity; the brand was featured in Outside, Sunset, and Men’s Journal magazine. Product was picked up by REI, Bass Pro Shops, Subaru, Backcountry.com, and several other major outdoor retailers across the country. By 2017 the brothers, who were still packaging in their own small facility, realized they needed more capacity. They began to search for a co-packer to partner with them on scaling their business and improving their speed to market.
Colleen Coyle, Director of Marketing, Strategic Accounts and Jim Bandelow, Sr Manager, Procurement at creative werks
Jim Bandelow has been with creative werks for over seven years and brings over twenty years of operational experience to the team. A former veteran of the US Air Force, Jim has traveled the globe serving the armed services. Prior to creative werks, Jim worked for Internal Assembly Inc, an automotive supply company based in Mexico. Jim served as the Plant Manager there and oversaw day-to-day operations. At creative werks, Jim works with billion-dollar brands to help launch products and ensure production goes smoothly. He also oversees our procurement function and manages flow of materials and inventory. When Jim is not working, he plays on various intramural leagues and enjoys working on his Camaro. He is also an avid Bears fan and loves watching football with his family and friends.
Colleen Coyle has been with creative werks since 2009 and has rotated through various roles of the organization. For the past few years, Colleen has led creative werks’ Marketing Department and has helped partner creative werks with new and emerging brands in the food and beverage space. Most recently, Colleen worked with a top 100 food brand to launch 14 new products in a single year. Colleen is passionate about market strategy and helping brands tell their story and share their purpose. She’s also deeply concerned with building a sustainable supply chain and sourcing goods responsibly. Outside of creative werks, Colleen is a regular yoga practitioner and runner, and also enjoys finding that perfect chocolate and wine pairing.