By Mirianna la Grasta | @mirilagrasta
Dog and Hat are an award-winning multi roaster coffee subscription service, which was founded in 2017 by Su Morgan. The business is family-run, with Su and her husband working from their own house in the south of England. Their coffee subscription boxes cater to people of all ages and backgrounds, including sports people, espresso drinkers, filter brewers, decaf lovers and anyone interested in trying out and learning about good quality coffee.
Having more than 46 partners currently onboard, Dog and Hat’s mission is to provide customers with a varied selection of the highest quality coffees that UK and international roasters have to offer. They also focus on sustainability and take their environmental responsibility seriously, with all packaging and leaflets made out of recycled material.
The business is SCA (Speciality Coffee Association) certified and use SCA methods to select their coffees. TechRound caught up with Su, the founder, to learn more about Dog and Hat…
How Did You Start Dog and Hat?
My husband is a consultant, and he travels the world for work. I used to be a consultant too and did the same. But since having children we realised we wanted to settle down, travel less and do something we really enjoyed. So, back in 2017, we thought about starting our own business and decided to focus on something we both love: coffee. We got a name and a logo, educated ourselves about technology, e-commerce and coffee, and we then started working the nights and weekends to try and get our business going.
By the end of 2017 we had 50 subscribers, who were also founding members of our business, and were finally able to start selling coffee in the UK. The business grew organically from there: we had 250 subscribers by the end of 2018, 300 by the end of 2019 and today we have almost 1,000. This is a turning point for Dog and Hat: from September onward, I will start working full-time on the company so that we can grow it and take it forward.
How Did You Get People On Board?
We found our first 50 subscribers back in 2017, through coffee forums, and they came onboard as founding members for life. They instantly became big ambassadors for us and our brand: after trying the service, they took on the coffee forums and told coffee lovers all about our subscriptions. We also went out and took some exams and courses on coffee and how to select it, so that we could be factual and knowledgeable about the product we were selling. People realised we were not just choosing the coffee we liked, but we also knew our maths. I think they call this “guerrilla marketing”: none of it was paid for. We just told people what we do and how we do it, and people liked us for it.
Dog and Hat Is Not Just A Subscription Service…
We’re more of a coffee club rather than just a subscription service. We provide our members with a forum and a community to discuss coffee and gain advice from like-minded and friendly individuals. We have a members’ area, a Facebook group and an Instagram page too, and we interact with our customers through coffee forums.
We also ship all subscription boxes with our “Dialled In” magazine, featuring roaster interviews, members, athletes we support, coffee recipes and places we visit. I think we’re heavily involved with people. We see a lot of companies who see their customers almost as a problem and deal with them through a very detached customer service. But we really want to be friends with our customers, and always encourage them to drop us an email, say hi and chat coffee at any time.
What’s Next For Dog and Hat?
Aside from going full-time in September, we’ve just launched our new international subscription service. All of our coffee, up until now, was sourced from the UK and Europe only. As of this week, our international subscription option has already got 30 subscribers on board, and we’re looking to grow it over the next few months.