Entrepreneur Develops High Tech Coffee/Espresso Bar

Canopy Point CoffeeAfter dipping his toe in the specialty coffee industry with a coffee shop in 2010, Jeff Osburn, a foodservice industry veteran, took a stab at coffee service when he had the opportunity to provide coffee service for a supermarket. He quickly recognized the challenge of providing a high quality coffee service economically, given the cost of labor.

Osburn naturally began exploring self-service options, and he became intrigued with brewing technology. In the process of researching the opportunity for three years, he began exploring a self-serve, single-cup brewer with a bean grinder and two flavor options.

The single-cup brewer that Osburn initially explored produced good American coffee, but it did not use fresh milk and it did not have the correct tamping pressure, grind size or temperature to produce real espresso. Osburn was not satisfied with the customer experience, so he continued studying brewing technology for another three years.

Osburn ultimately designed a coffee/espresso bar under the name Canopy Point Coffee consisting of a brewer from Italy-based manufacturer, HLF Italian Design, an ice dispenser and a payment system. The countertop brewer enables the user to adjust tamping pressure and grind size. It can hold two different milk types, allowing both a dairy and non-dairy based milk. There are three different flavor options, and it can produce ice lattes as well as nitro coffee.

The brewer features a touchscreen menu, and the sanitation cycle operates automatically, eliminating the need for manual cleaning.

Osburn added proprietary programming to the Follett LLC ice dispenser, using computer vision and artificial intelligence to dispense ice at the precise level. Water and ice must be consistent to provide a consistent product for the consumer, Osburn said.

The Canopy Point Coffee system uses all modular components that can be removed without the need for tools.

If there is a problem using the machine, the customer can select help on the interactive card reader, enter their name and cell phone number, and get a redemption code to replace a drink within 15 minutes.

The machine features remote monitoring via the cellular signal that supports credit card authorization as well as remote monitoring.

The machine offers 15 different drinks and can serve 100 to 150 drinks without restocking, depending on the product mix.

Osburn provides the equipment to locations at no charge and services the machines weekly and charges customers by the cup, following a vending business model rather than a traditional U.S. coffee service model. The service also includes customizable espresso bar cabinetry and a video surveillance system.

Customers are taught to do the 45-minute sanitation every 24 hours.

The company can pay the location a royalty on the sales if the customer requests it.

A 12-ounce coffee cup typically retails at $1.75, including sales tax, while ice drinks can be as high as $3.75.

The system has been tested for a year and a half in three locations, including one at a convenience store where customers pay for their drinks at a cashier rather than at the machine.

In one location, a church, the machine has served around 150 drinks in a 5-hour window on a weekend, Osburn said. Ice drinks have accounted for as much as 40 percent of all drinks sold to date.

Locations seeking a traditional OCS service can opt to pay a rental fee for the equipment and have product delivered. A ticket printer has been developed allowing purchases to be made at a payment kiosk for micro market applications.

The company uses coffee that is imported directly from a Central American coffee cooperative, Javalliance, which is a partner company.

Javataza Coffee LLC in Quarryville, Pennsylvania, another partner company, roasts the coffee.

Canopy Point’s mission is “Passion for serving great causes through serving great coffee.” The company believes in supporting charitable causes and donates 10 cents per cup to inner city outreaches. Says Osburn, “We want our legacy to be one of generosity and compassion, not just focusing on the bottom line.”

For more information visit http://www.canopypointcoffee.com, 855-488-8292, info@canopypointcoffee.com.

By Jeff Adair, Editor

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