Do you stand in line for five or 10 minutes every morning to get coffee, pay $4 or $5 for it, and toss your cup into the garbage when you’re done? If so, Vincent Meyer believes your routine is ripe for disruption.
The 35-year-old, French-born tech entrepreneur has raised nearly $1 million to fuel a fast-growing service in New York City that delivers coffee in ceramic mugs to workers’ desks every morning — and picks them up for washing so it can use them again the next day.
Goffee — pronounced like “coffee,” only with a “g” — launched a year ago from an industrial space in Hell’s Kitchen at Eighth Avenue and 39th Street, and is currently delivering 1,000 cups a day to offices throughout Midtown.
That number is expected to climb to 4,000 cups a day by the end of the year, thanks to additional kitchens opening in Union Square and Midtown East, according to Meyer.
Demand for the subscription service is getting fueled by aggravation over lengthy morning lines at coffee shops, which have only gotten more chaotic with mobile apps that let people order ahead and jump the queue.
“As I slowly became a New Yorker, I grew very impatient in the coffee line and realized that the whole ‘coffee experience’ was not what most people want,” Meyer told Side Dish.
Companies can enable their employees to bypass the lines by placing daily orders for up to 120 workers, choosing from 25 different coffeehouse brands, including Starbucks, Dunkin’ and Blue Bottle. In addition to lattes, cappucinos and cold brew, Goffee offers teas, hot chocolate and even matcha.
“It’s a nice perk, and it doesn’t cost that much,” said Brett Strassman, finance director at Adhawk, a digital ad firm. Goffee typically bills a 30-person office $899 a month — a tab that typically works out to between $1.50 and $2 a cup, according to Meyer.
All 44 of Adhawk’s employees were using Goffee until the firm recently moved to a bigger space out of the service’s range. It will become a customer again as soon as Goffee’s able to reach it, Strassman said.
“When people go out for coffee, they’re out for 25 minutes,” he said. “This way, it’s at their desk. Nobody has to go out, we just stay in, which is what people want to do when it is cold out. And the coffee stayed warm.”
Goffee has five full-timers and a part-time staff of 15 who work from 7:30 am to 11 am daily at a kitchen outfitted with coffee machines, coffee beans, and a milk station. Instead of one barista preparing one drink at a time, there is an assembly line.
“We break down the process of production, which makes everything go faster than having a single barista do everything,” Meyer said. “We know what people’s orders are. It’s a routine. So we know we have to make 400 cappuccinos, 400 lattes, whatever. We are far more efficient this way.”
The drinks are delivered in thermos-like mugs made of ceramic, wood and light aluminum that can keep drinks hot — up to 195 degrees — for five hours. They can also keep cold brew and ice teas cold.
Since Goffee launched in Midtown last year, the first cups have been used more than 285 times each — and not one has broken. Goffee further reduces its carbon footprint by delivering the mugs with messengers who carry them in a back pack or roll them on a cart.
“So far, we’ve delivered more than 79,000 drinks,” Meyer said, noting that that’s a big, ugly heap of paper and plastic cups that has been saved.
Meyer says the idea for Goffee began to percolate four years ago when he was shark diving in New Zealand and spotted empty Starbucks cups littering the ocean floor.
“You’re in a cage, under the cold but clear water and you can see everything. It was amazing,” Meyer said. “Then you see the coffee cups at the bottom of the ocean. It felt terrible.”
This month, Goffee will have raised $1 million on StartEngine, a crowd-sharing platform, Meyer told Side Dish. Meyer says Goffee is slated to cover all of Manhattan south of 59th Street in 2020 and that he is also in talks to open on the West Coast.
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