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Customer Success Story: Verve Coffee Roasters

Verve Coffee Roasters is one of the United States’ premier specialty coffee companies. Founders Ryan O’Donovan and Colby Barr built and opened the first Verve coffee shop back in 2007. Flash forward to today, Verve has locations in cities from Los Angeles to San Francisco to Japan, but their roots remain in Santa Cruz, where they roast their coffee.

  Production roaster: L-5 / UG-15 / UG-22 / GN-45 / Loring S70
  Capacity: + 200kgs
Customer since: 2011
# of cafes: 13
Location: Los Angeles - Palo Alto - Santa Cruz, California; Kanagawa - Tokyo, Japan

Like many others, Ryan explored the coffee scene in Seattle and Portland before opening Verve. Colby had a background in agriculture because he grew up farming pears and wine grapes with his family in Northern California. He was active in his family business where he learned firsthand about soil, responsible growing, and the relationship between farmers, processors, buyers, and ultimately consumers. Soon after college, an opportunity came up to buy a coffee shop and he jumped on it. He fell in love with the complexity of coffee and the process from green bean to cup. He reached out to his college friend Ryan with the idea of starting a coffee roasting company together. Without a doubt, Ryan was all in.


Verve Coffee Roaster founders, Ryan O’Donovan and Colby Barr. Photo Credit: Verve Coffee Roasters

What makes Verve Coffee so unique is its California Coast aesthetic. Back in 2007, there weren’t many other roasting companies in the area, most of them were based in the Midwest and up in the Pacific northwest. Their roasting style was also quite different from other companies, a contrast that many Californians were looking for at the time. They describe themselves to be more of a light Nordic Approach style, with low charge temperatures. 

Verve Coffee Roasters has a long history with Cropster. They were one of our early customers back in 2011. Since then, Cropster now has become the number one tool they use daily, especially now during times of COVID.


The Goal: Understanding what their week to week demand of coffee was like during a pandemic.

With everything going on Verve Coffee Roasters was one of many businesses filled with the insecurity of not knowing what the next few months were going to look like. Not only did they have to comply and adapt to new statewide guidelines to keep their operations running properly and safely, but they also had to monitor more thoroughly the changes they were seeing in their production on a weekly basis. Fortunately, they had on hand the tools needed to stay on top of production, no matter the situation, even in a global pandemic.

The Tool: Using Production Reporting to keep on top of business.

Cropster has several production reporting solutions designed to deliver a complete overview of production, saving roasters time in data analysis and giving them confidence when trends change.  Back in March when the shelter in place order went into effect, Verve noticed their online orders skyrocket. By using Cropster's production reporting to monitor their current trends in production, Verve was able to better understand what their day-to-day demand was looking like and they were able to plan for it.

“We saw a huge shift where blends were our biggest seller prior to the pandemic, then our single origins became our number one. We quickly changed our product mix and the way we inventoried our green coffee on site so we could make sure that we wouldn’t run out of our single origins, we were able to get ahead of it by looking at overall production history and use that production reporting to figure out where demand was really happening,” said Jeremy Brooks, Verve’s Head of Supply Chain.


The Result: Keeping up with production demand to deliver a consistent coffee experience to customers, no matter the situation.

Back in 2011, Cropster provided Verve peace of mind for consistency, which is really important when it comes down to customer experience. Since then, Jeremy shares that Cropster has become a much more of an extensive tool in terms of inventory management production reporting.

“In the beginning, Cropster was just a tool to make sure we were getting consistency from batch to batch and being able to factor those things. Ever since then it has become so much more than that in terms of tracking the lifespan of an entire coffee, from when we receive a sample when it gets approved when it arrives here all the way until it is completely consumed.”

In many ways Cropster and Verve have grow up together in the specialty coffee space. When we started working together back in 2011 we shared a strong customer focused business ethic that we still share today. As specialty coffee has grown we have both been fortunate to grow and lead within the industries. Throughout the years we have worked together to better understand how we can leverage technology to deliver better quality results and also smoother running businesses. We're looking forward to many more years of this partnership.

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