Local coffee company changes business model because of COVID-19 outbreak

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ST. LOUIS – The coronavirus outbreak causing many businesses to close their doors. But one St. Louis company overcoming adversity to bring a good cup of coffee to your doorstep.

It takes about 16 minutes to roast this raw coffee—four blends from four different countries—that will be packaged and sold to customers.

“We’re roasting thousands of pounds of coffee a week. We import coffee from about 13 countries around the world. We bring them in and roast them single-origin; one bean. Or we’ll form a blend that might be two, three, or five blends together to develop a signature recipe,” said Charles Dubuque, president of the Dubuque Coffee Company.

The 5-year-old coffee company can be found on some retail shelves like Dierbergs. But the St. Louis-based company is an importer and a big supplier to area hospitals, restaurants, casinos, and clubs around the country. And with businesses shutting down, they’ve quickly adapted to the changing business climate.

“We’re open because many of our hospitals rely on us to provide coffee to them. Many of our senior living communities rely on us to provide coffee,” Dubuque said. “So, we have shortened our hours but I want to keep everybody working. So, the goal is to provide, for the time period, make that coffee available who wants to order it online. We’ll deliver it to your doorstep for free.”

For the 19 employees at this small business, they’re now acclimating and packaging smaller bags and staying employed while home delivery becomes a new option.

“I just got a delivery from my favorite coffee place and I’m so glad they did this because I really didn’t want to get out of the house with all this virus stuff going on so this is a real treat they did this;” said customer Deborah Houlihan.

So, you can still enjoy a good cup of coffee, at a distance of six feet apart or more.

“You have to embrace change and be willing to try something you’ve never done before,” Dubuque said. “You have to certainly tighten your belt and look at how you run a business and literally in a day run it tighter and leaner than you ever thought you could. But we want to keep everybody here. I don’t want to lose what is my family, my work family.”

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