Season 12 episode 25 of ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ saw entrepreneur Debbie Wei Mullin present to the Sharks her coffee company hoping they will take a sip out of it. Copper Cow Coffee, the name her company goes by, offers authentic Vietnamese coffee. What is interesting about her product is instead of being packaged like regular coffee, each product comes with all the condiments needed to make a proper cup of Vietnamese coffee. With such an interesting product on display, we got intrigued to learn more about the company, and here is what we found out!
Copper Cow Coffee: Who Are They and What Do They Do?
The creator of Copper Cow Coffee, Debbie Wei Mullin, has her roots in Vietnam. Before establishing her coffee company, Debbie garnered experience in sustainability work and even held a job at the World Bank. In 1975, Debbie’s mother moved to the United States from Vietnam. Debbie, who was born years after, mentioned that she grew up on Vietnamese coffee and was an ardent lover of the beverage. In all her years of making and drinking Vietnamese coffee, Debbie came across one particular problem. Vietnamese coffee is bitter, and if not prepared properly, can ruin the taste of this wonderful beverage.
Not everyone knows how to make it properly. Hence, to bring her beloved Vietnamese coffee to the world, Debbie gave birth to Copper Cow Coffee. Through her company, Debbie tries to provide the most authentic Vietnamese coffee experience packaged in an easy-to-brew format. She sources her coffee directly from Vietnam and uses Robusta beans. The bitterness of the coffee can only be combatted by the sweetness of condensed milk. Thus, Debbie provided every unit of her coffee with a small portion of condensed milk.
Additionally, instead of being packaged like regular coffee, Copper Cow Coffee claims to be “pour-over.” It comes along with a small brewer and a disposable filter. All the consumer needs to do is pour hot water through the filter which contains the coffee. One can then add sugar or condensed milk according to their needs. It is also effortless to customize the coffee as the temperature as well as the concentration of the coffee can be controlled. Furthermore, Debbie mentioned that all her packaging is eco-friendly and can be easily recycled.
Copper Cow Coffee: Where Are They Now?
Even before starting Copper Cow Coffee, Debbie used to sell other Vietnamese products like kitchen ingredients since 2014. In 2017, she began Copper Cow Coffee with investments from her family, friends, and relatives. In the beginning, Debbie concentrated mainly on wholesale and focused very little on the online retailing of her product. After attending the 500 Startups program in March of 2018, Debbie realized that she needed more funding to increase production.
Debbie started pitching her company to investors, but none seemed to be interested. She then received her big break when Walmart approached her and told her that they were interested in stocking the product. With her products already in Walmart, Debbie started to seek funding through a seed round and was able to raise a hefty amount, giving her a head start in the industry.
The pre-Covid months were highly profitable for the company, and it grew in leaps and bounds. The pandemic, though, had a pretty grim hold on Copper Cow Coffee. Debbie found most of her revenue sources like wholesale, offices, and restaurants close down, offering her no way out. That is when she decided to focus on getting her product online and in grocery stores. The plan worked, and Debbie mentioned that her company earned significant profits in 2020.
Copper Cow Coffee comes in different delicious flavors like Salted Caramel, Churro, Vanilla, Coconut Vegan, Lavender, and Rose latte. Each pack of Copper Cow Coffee holds five individual servings and will set you back by $15 for the classic one, while the flavored ones come at $17 each. There are also different bundles and packs available for sale at a higher price.
Additionally, Debbie also launched a subscription service for her coffee where the user pays a monthly discounted fee that allows them to get the coffee below retail prices. Currently, Copper Cow Coffee can be found in various grocery stores as well as supermarkets. For those who wish to purchase online, the coffee is available through their own website as well as retailers like Amazon and Walmart.
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