Doing business in a new world

Volume 35, . Comments

When the Wall Street investment banks crashed, the world changed, but fine coffee and chocolate is still our passion.

Our major countries of operation, Costa Rica, Perú and Chile, are somewhat insulated from the latest episodes of the crisis. The impact of high oil prices already had us hunkered down here. But uncertainty is no less high.

All of a sudden, through no fault of our own, we find ourselves in the middle of a situation with unexpected and very difficult-to-evaluate dangers.

I am not in a position to solve the world’s financial problems. But I do know that Café Britt is coming off a year of record sales, that our  balance sheet is strong, and that we have to be flexible.  Café Britt is committed to helping our customers weather the financial crisis gripping the U.S. and world economies.

That’s why you may have noticed a lot more “free shipping” days, and wholesale prices for our case offerings.  We have not raised prices on our wholesale or retail products. Instead, we have actively sought new efficiencies and ways to work even harder to supply the finest gourmet products at prices you can count on.

We intend to use all the tools we have at our disposal in order to offer you even better deals.  I understand that gourmet coffee has become part of your daily life and we will do all we can to preserve that personal gratification through additional savings, wholesale prices, cost saving seasonal offers and a friendly and very efficient service.

In a time of a global slowdown, we believe we have what it takes to succeed. I do know we have a very loyal community of coffee lovers. I do know that we have a well-trained and professional staff. I do know that we roast some of the world’s finest coffee and make a line of fine chocolates that people really enjoy. In fact, in times of crisis, people tend to drink more coffee!

So, here we are. We’ve been pretty successful. We have a pretty strong company. We have a stronger community of customers. That’s how we’ll deal with all of this. We’ll take a look at what we do well, and we’ll do it even better, more efficiently, and hopefully be able to translate those savings to you in the form of better offers.

Right after the U.S. Congress approved the bailout plan, I got on planes and went to see everybody. I told them, “Hey guys, things may be uncertain, but they’re not uncertain at Britt. We’ll be safe if we work together and support each other. It’s a bit like being on a plane when the pilot says: ‘fasten your seatbelts, we are going to be flying in turbulent weather.’

Times are tough. We're all in this together. With a little mutual support, we'll get through it.  And that makes our customer feedback more important than ever. Please let me know of any innovative ideas, fit for these times, that we might be able to pursue. You’re the reason for our success.

Thanks very much for your business. We look forward to serving you.

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About Steve Aronson

New York coffee broker Steve Aronson founded Café Britt in 1985 to market roasted Costa Rican coffees to the world.


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