Coffee Friend is an international omnichannel retailer for coffee and coffee machines, operating in Europe under locally created names in each market. The journey to success began in 2010, Lithuania, when two friends Aurimas Vainauskas and Vytautas Alekna decided to pursue their dream in the coffee business.
Passion for coffee and a circle of friends grew rapidly. Now, according to “Business research centre group” study, Coffee Friend is one of the leading retailers in coffee and coffee machine industry in Baltic states. According to Aurimas Vainauskas, the co-founder and CEO of Coffee Friend, they are not planning to stop here – their dream is to share good coffee with the rest of the world.
What was the inspiration behind the start of Coffee Friend?
“After studying, my friend and I wanted to try ourselves in trading. The coffee world has always been very close to me: my grandfather and dad worked in the coffee industry, so we decided to choose this field.”
“We went to a coffee exhibition to find an exclusive product: there we found Japanese coffee filters and ordered a huge number of them. It took a long time to manufacture and supply the filters, and we were very eager to start our own business, so we found one pad coffee machine and launched our first online store overnight. This is how Coffee Friend has started – from Japanese coffee filters and one pad coffee machine.”
What does the growth path of Coffee Friend look like?
“Every year our team was growing in all fields of activity – it’s a result of consistent work and determination to succeed. Today we are proud to count more than 130 Coffee Friends located in 8 markets: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Finland, United Kingdom, Germany and Austria. There are 15 stores and 8 e-shops, where you can buy everything that is needed for the best coffee experiences at home or at work: from all types of coffee to all kinds of coffee machines and popular brewing tools.”
“Clients can reach us in shopping malls, old town stores, e-shops, via phone or email, and on social networks. Our close partnership and joint activities with the well-known manufacturers from all over the world ensure exclusive deals for our clients, with only the best offers and new assortment in our shops. And what is most important – our eyes are still burning with enthusiasm and we are not going to stop here. We want to share good coffee with the rest of the world.”
How do you determine the quality of the coffee? And why is good-quality coffee important?
“Customers often ask what coffee is the best. Coffee Friend’s answer is – the one that tastes best to you. We respect different lifestyles and tastes of people, so we offer an extremely wide selection of coffees: from coffee capsules, pods to freshly roasted beans from various regions of the world, from espresso blends to the highest quality Specialty coffees.”
“However, we do not forget to educate our customers and offer to discover the world of coffee, which is highly valued by coffee experts: it is one type of freshly roasted coffee beans, coming from one region, one area, one farm. They have an especially rich palette of flavours. According to one famous saying, life is too short to drink bad coffee.”
What are the benefits of having a coffee machine in the office?
“In these times, a full-fledged office is simply unimaginable without a coffee machine. It’s just part of a good company’s image: we offer coffee to incoming business partners or guests first. What’s more, scientists claim that coffee stimulates workability and creativity. After all, the most brilliant ideas are born when drinking coffee!”
“Therefore, every employer should have an interest in having a coffee machine in the office and enjoy when employees drink coffee. Coffee breaks are truly an integral part of office life. It’s an opportunity to take a break, have colleagues communicate with each other, and get back to work with new energy and ideas.”
What should employers look for when buying their first coffee machine for the office?
“There is a huge number of coffee machine models, so it is very difficult to choose the right one from such a variety when you are not a specialist in this field. First of all, we suggest answering the following main questions: will you drink only black coffee in the office, or with milk? How many cups do you plan to drink per day? Will the coffee machine be in a visible place and be part of the company’s image? Will coffee be made by the administrator or by the employees? What budget do you plan to allocate for the purchase of the coffee machine?”
“Once you have the answers to these questions, simply get in touch with our consultants and we will offer the best options to suit your individual needs.”
Are there any future plans for Coffee Friend you’d like to share with us?
“Here, at Coffee Friend, our mission is to bring everyone closer to the best coffee experiences at home and at work. We believe that everyone has the right to a good cup of coffee and we strive to become their best Coffee Friend.”