The SME Story: Kim Thompson, co-owner and managing director of RAW Coffee Company
Now Reading
The SME Story: Kim Thompson, co-owner and managing director of RAW Coffee Company

The SME Story: Kim Thompson, co-owner and managing director of RAW Coffee Company

Raw Coffee Company imports specialty-grade green beans, roasts and supplies them to cafés, restaurants, offices and home connoisseurs

Kim Thompson, co-owner and managing director, RAW Coffee Company

Can you tell us about the scope of your operations?
Raw Coffee Company imports specialty-grade green beans, roasts and supplies them to cafés, restaurants, offices and home connoisseurs. We [also] support our customers with water treatment that is designed to give the perfect water chemistry for coffee; our barista training sessions are customised for each outlet; we partner with quality Italian espresso equipment; and we roll all this knowledge into a consultancy so that the operator can be financially viable. There are hundreds of cafés and more than 55 roasteries [in the UAE], all competing for a market share.

What is the USP of Raw Coffee?
Raw’s USP is that it adds value to the speciality coffee industry – it adds value to the people it sources its green beans from at origin and also to the businesses it supplies to by being more than a supplier. As the first speciality roastery in the MENA region, we weren’t happy with the quality of the RO water units available here, so we built our own.

What was the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on your business?
We have been incredibly fortunate as we had money in the bank and no debt. We had fresh green stock for the year that we had paid for. We paused elements of the business, we diversified, and we found logistics partners. We reached out to our customers and came up with revised payment schedules. We ended some relationships with customers, who didn’t pay and who didn’t value what we gave them. We made hard decisions for some and we made conciliatory decisions for others.

Raw Coffee Company dubai
Raw Coffee roasts and supplies its beans across the GCC region

How important will e-commerce be for the brand going forward?
Our online business is up 75 per cent year-on-year. We manage the majority of our deliveries in-house, and we have partnered with Quiqup for Dubai, Fetchr for the remaining emirates, and with DHL for all other GCC deliveries. We have made and continue to make improvements to our website and started paid digital advertising.

What are some of the expansion plans you have for Raw Coffee?
At the moment we roast and supply to other GCC countries from our roastery here in Dubai, and we are now looking at GCC expansion next. We have just finished establishing legal entities that will enable us to move into Saudi Arabia. We recently formed RAW Beverage Trading which offers cafés and restaurants beverage solutions for everything other than coffee – for example hot chocolate, iced teas, fruit pulps for smoothies and frappes. We are focusing on R&D, looking at products that will make good coffee available to anyone, while also concentrating on the environment – no single-use plastic, and no artificial additives.

You might also like

© 2021 MOTIVATE MEDIA GROUP. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Scroll To Top