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Kona Earth Coffee

Kona Earth


This is what a bag of Kona Earth coffee will look like.  Comments and suggestions are always welcome, but I'm pretty happy with this design.  I think it conveys the look and feel of our premium, tropical coffee:  simple but elegant, exotic but made in the U.S.A.  The only problem is that this bag is nothing but a theoretical idea drawn on a computer.  I still need to get some actual bags.  Easier said than done.

Kona Island Turtle Island Logo


It took a lot of effort to get this far.  We went through many different ideas and about a zillion revisions before settling on this one.  I wanted something that would convey "tropical island coffee" but all I could come up with was a little cartoon island or a turtle petroglyph.  Luckily, my brother happens to be a trained and talented graphic artists.  Without his help, I'm afraid I'd be stuck with a cartoon turtle drawn by Sarah or Emily.

Burlap About a month ago, a friend noticed a bag of Kona Coffee sitting in the break room at his work.  He took a picture and sent it to me.  I've seen this brand of coffee around in stores, it's actually from a distributor, not a farmer.  Out of all the other coffee packages I've seen, the few that I actually like are all from professional distributors, not from individual farmers.  Most farmers have a label that is about as good as a cartoon turtle drawn by their kids.  I saw one farmer that uses a permanent marker to label each bag.  I can do better.

Foil I've always liked the idea of using a burlap bag instead of the more traditional foil bag.  The biggest problem with burlap is that it is very coarse so it doesn't take print very well.  Printing on burlap requires a simple label with bold print and few colors.  In order to stay fresh, coffee should be in a resealable container with a degassing valve.  That means burlap bags need an insert, so they will be slightly more expensive than their foil counterparts.  When shipping thousands of bags (hopefully, someday) the expense can add up.  I can't pass the expense on to the consumer because the price of coffee is too competitive.  Any additional packaging expenses will come out of my pocket.  Still, I think the burlap bags are nice enough to be worth it.  And after they drink the coffee, the consumer will have a nice bag that can be reused.

I have to find a good supplier of burlap.  Then I have to figure out how to sew and print all the bags.  The local screen printer is way too expensive.  I can theoretically make and print the bags myself.  Making a few hundred bags is reasonable, making several thousand bags is much more daunting.  I'm running a farm, not a bag factory.

Eventually, as sales volume increases, having the bags professionally made will be more cost effective.  Until then, the cheapest and easiest solution is to buy a couple thousand foil bags for 50 cents each and have a couple thousand sticker labels printed for 50 cents each.  That's very likely how this first year's coffee will be shipped.  Maybe I'll save the burlap bags for the "deluxe" brand.

In addition to the smaller bags needed for shipping individual orders, I also need a bunch of 100 pound burlap bags for handling coffee in bulk.  It's traditional to stamp these coffee bags with the farm name and logo.  It costs about $1500 to have a professional stencil made.  For $1500, I think I can make a stencil out of cardboard.  If that doesn't work, I'll buy a permanent marker.

100a 100b 100c




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