This week, in our Producers Profiles series, we sat down with Alan Philips of the multi award winning The STUDIO Coffee Roasters ,which is located in the scenic seaside village of Bettystown, County Meath.
Following a long career in pharmaceutical finance Alan founded the STUDIO Coffee Roasters in 2017.
He trained in Amsterdam with industry expert Kees Kraakmann and is now a certified member of the European speciality coffee association.
Alan together with his wife Louise import & roast a wide range of award-winning speciality grade coffees from Latin America and Africa. Speciality coffee is a term for the highest grade of coffee available using single origin or single estate coffee.
The ethos of the company is very much directed by sustainability & ethical and organic sourcing. The sustainable approach to their coffee sourcing is mirrored at the roastery which is largely powered by renewable energy and they send their used coffee sacks to a social enterprise in Malawi that makes rucksacks & shopping bags which in turn creates jobs and develops production skills.
The range of products includes 10 single origin speciality grade coffees from Africa and Latin America in ground, whole bean, capsule, and cold brew form.
The company maintains wholesale accounts with coffee shops, fine food stores and restaurants in Louth, Meath, Kildare & Dublin.
The online channel is growing quickly too, shipping to customers across Ireland, UK & Europe, via website www.thestudiocoffee.com
Cold Brew & capsule products can be sourced in selected Supervalu stores in Meath and Dublin.
The company exhibits at several fine food events across Ireland & at fine food & beverage shows in the UK, including NEC Birmingham and the Olympia London.
The STUDIO Coffee Roasters has experienced great success since its establishment- in 2018 the company won a UK guild of fine food award for its Ethiopian coffee and 3 coffees honoured at the Irish Food awards and then in 2019 the companies Cold Brew coffee, El Salvador & Brazil single origin coffees won Great Taste awards. More locally the company was awarded the McKenna Guide Best in Ireland 2019 and 2020.
On the retail side of things the company was shortlisted to supply 135 Aldi stores as part of the Bord Bia sponsored GROW program in 2018 and in 2019 the company was selected to participate in Supervalu food academy 2019 & is now stocked in selected stores in Meath & Dublin which Alan says are both excellent opportunities to develop the brand.
Despite all the success Alan says that being a small producer offering a premium range of products there is the constant challenge to remain competitive and grow channels. It’s certainly not a Mon-Fri or even a 9-5 job, but it’s very interesting and rewarding in a lot of ways.
The STUDIO Coffee Roasters are proud members of Boyne Valley Flavours and Alan tells us that there was great support from the Boyne Valley network right from the start.
“It is great to be part of a team of producers, in recent years we exhibited under the Boyne Valley banner at events like Gifted at the RDS, Food on the Edge & the Maritime Festival where we made great friends and customers.”
Alan’s advice for others in the food business is to implement a good accounting system right from the start and to engage with the local enterprise office as there are great business supports available. He also advises that it’s worth noting that the average price of food & beverage is 20% lower now than it was 5 years ago and business costs are increasing every year. So it’s very important to be aware from the outset the nature of the business and the appropriate channels for the product.
To find out more about the STUDIO Coffee Roasters and to purchase some of their delicious coffee and accessories from their extensive online shop visit their website https://www.thestudiocoffee.com/
Studio Coffee Ice Cream Recipe
The Studio Coffee produce a unique cold brew coffee concentrate with no added sugar or preservatives.
There are many uses for cold brew not just over ice or with cream but also as a food ingredient which include tiramisu, coffee cake, eclairs etc but for a simple quick dessert try the following
1) Mix 4 tbls of the Studio cold brew coffee concentrate into a litre of vanilla ice-cream
(more or less cold brew can be used according to coffee preference).
2) Stir well and place back in the freezer.
3) Serve 1 or 2 scoops after an hour with a sprinkling of chocolate flake or hazelnuts.