The year 2020 will obviously go down in history for the negative impact of Covid-19, but I hope it is remembered for the tireless and inspiring efforts of our nation’s frontline heroes battling this invisible enemy. While the team at Cameron’s is not saving lives, we are doing our little part to help loyal ‘always smooth, never bitter’ fans remain alert and energized in these unprecedented times.
Cameron’s Coffee was deemed part of our country’s critical food and beverage infrastructure, such that we continued to roast coffee. We quickly informed our team members that our goal would be to ensure the health and (financial) wellness of our employees while supplying coffee to consumers in need.
While we have always maintained rigorous safety protocols, changes were needed, fast. We incorporated greater physical distancing in the roastery with the use of masks and face shields, added sanitizing stations, and opened offices for our roastery workers to take breaks versus huddling in the breakroom. Even with all these CDC protocols in place, maintaining a safe roastery has not been possible without the commitment from our team members prioritizing the health of their co-workers. The team has been truly outstanding.
Our front office workers shifted to working from home and will remain there until our nation has an answer to this virus. I remain fully confident we will put this virus behind us for a better future.
With the increase of Americans working from home, the demand for coffee purchased in grocery stores spiked. March, April and May saw the largest increases, but more consumers continue to drink coffee at home versus February (pre-pandemic). Our hardworking team at Cameron’s Coffee produced at record levels to keep up with demand, including weekend shifts to work through the incremental 3 million pounds of coffee we brought forward from our (currently) 17 coffee growing regions around the world.
Coffee sales shifted from single serve coffee, like our compostable EcoPods that fit in Keurig™ machines, to ground and whole bean coffee sold for drip brewers (like Mr. Coffee™). As we look ahead, to safer times, we believe at-home demand will continue to be strong throughout 2021. Accordingly, we are making more of our loved holiday flavors (Pumpkin Spice, Crème Brûlée Latte, White Chocolate Peppermint and Winter Blend) to be ready for higher demand. We are also working on enhanced traceability efforts to know the co-op or farm where our coffee was grown to be better able to protect our farmers.
It has been a wild ride the last 6 months. I am so proud of our team for their commitment to safety and providing our fans the coffee they love. We never missed a beat. It is truly an honor to work with my fellow team members at Cameron’s. In the end however, we only make coffee. So, let me give one last shout out to our frontline heroes…we sincerely thank you. Some of you have received our coffee donations. In better times, our coffee would have come with big hugs to show our support and gratitude.