K Bean Coffee Machines - The Journey
Hi, this is Paul. I'm a family man and with a passion for travel, hiking and all things coffee. After many years of obsession with coffee and coffee machines I decided to have a little fun with a hobby business. ...and K Bean was born.
Why K and not P for Paul? The “K” comes from the Ethiopian goat herder, Kaldi, who, as legend has it, discovered coffee when he noticed the spirited behaviour of his bean-eating goats. Wow, my first "brand" - how exciting - I quickly slapped together a very simple K Bean logo and dug up a great image of Kaldi frolicking with his merry goats.
I advertised on Facebook and letterbox dropped to offer manual brewing kits with in-home training for Beaumaris locals. My goal was to show people how to make great coffee at home and have a little fun along the way. People were soon asking for my home-roasted beans so I set up an old-school “drop box” honesty system. In the pictures below you can see me looking happy (and yes, slightly over-branded) and your can see my first employees heading off to work. We were having a ball.
I built a website and started offering a larger range of equipment including manual brewing systems, cold drip towers, Italian coffee machines, grinders and accessories. And after 10 years of coffee forum membership I finally became one of the Melbourne Coffee Snobs sponsors, then I also became a sponsor of The Coffee Forum. I was soon run off of my feet, selling espresso machines to Melbourne locals and also, shipping coffee gear all over the country.
As the business continued to grow I stepped back to look at my strengths. Anyone can ship boxes around the country so what is different about K Bean? Of course customer service is a strength, but every retailer claims to offer great service. So what makes K Bean stand apart from the crowd? Well, I do have a point of difference in that I enjoy my time with customers and typically share 2-3 hours for gear selection along with Free Training. This is something that other retailers don't do. The next step was to leverage this strength by really focusing the business of K Bean onto the supply of domestic coffee machines, grinders and accessories with a stratospheric level of service as well as the Free Training
Another strength was my own home barista journey. Along the journey I became an obsessive online coffee enthusiast and contributed over 3000 forum posts to the online "body of knowledge" on "Coffee Snobs" and "The Coffee Forum." This background put me in a great position to fill a website with great info including easy-to-follow guides and tips. It was soon time for a new website and a new logo.
People often ask me how K Bean has taken off and I tell them that it's because coffee is still my hobby. This means that this isn't "work" for in the normal sense so I'm happy to just live it. K Bean Coffee Machines is still "fun and games" for me but it's also now a serious business and it’s my pride and joy. I’m enjoying myself and it's all thanks to you ...so, thank you