In March 2020, the evolving COVID-19 pandemic led to the temporary closure of Bugwood Coffee’s café operations on Main Street, Smithers. Along with the closure of their own storefront, many of the cafes that Bugwood Coffee supplied with roasted coffee products also closed. This resulted in reduced revenue and a realization that a diversified customer base was necessary to allow Bugwood Coffee to sustain themselves during the pandemic. They identified an opportunity in serving industrial customers, such as mines and camps, as they continued to need beverage supplies during the pandemic.
In June 2020 Bugwood Coffee applied for a $6,800 rebate through Northern Development’s Small Business Recovery (SBR) Consulting Rebate. Nine days later, the Trust’s business development team approved the application and shortly after Bugwood Coffee began working with a consultant.
“Working with our consultant over six months re-inspired my passion for business and now I’m a resilient entrepreneur again,” said Nick Meyer, founder and president, Bugwood Coffee. “When we closed our café in March, we identified an opportunity that existed in serving industrial customers. Working with our consultant has provided us with a business plan and marketing assets to help make this opportunity a reality for our business.”
The consultant designed a marketing strategy specifically for attracting industrial clients. Already, Bugwood Coffee has benefited from increased demand for their roasting operations resulting in increased revenue. Bugwood Coffee has already acquired a larger coffee roaster which allows them to successfully meet the needs of their new clients. Along with this, they have created a new full-time position on their team for a roaster.
Funding for this consulting project came through Northern Development’s Small Business Recovery Consulting Rebate. This program was launched in April 2020 to support small and medium sized businesses that are impacted by the economic downturn. Through the program, businesses in a broad range of industries can apply for rebates of up to 85 per cent, to a maximum of $25,000, of an eligible project’s budget.