January 30, 2016 12:00 pm • By KEVIN ABOUREZK | LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR
Jonathan Primo Fuego Galicia has been roasting coffee beans for 10 years.
A lifelong coffee aficionado, he started cooking them first on his stovetop before he moved to a cast-iron pot over a fire pit in his backyard. Eventually, he and his wife, Nancy Galicia, bought a small micro-roaster, and they began roasting enough beans to share with friends and family.
But after learning some family members had begun selling the coffee beans for a profit, the couple realized they had a product they could potentially share with the rest of the world.
Their entrepreneurial vision took an unexpected turn last February when they attended an anniversary event at Natural Grocers in Omaha. While there, they tasted a coffee concentrate drink called Pur Java. The couple enjoyed the drink but realized they could improve it by providing its makers with their beans.
They then approached the drink’s manufacturer, TenBack Inc., about providing the company with coffee beans but were told the company was considering selling its coffee division. After some deliberation, the couple and one of Primo Galicia’s co-workers, Mark Metzger, decided to purchase TenBack’s coffee division and start their own company, The Basket Is Full Inc.
“We ended up getting into this business by accident,” Primo Galicia said. “We knew that Pur Java was a good product, but we knew we could make it better."
Since then, The Basket Is Full has continued manufacturing Pur Java and another drink produced by TenBack, Joe Fizz Coffee Soda, at 3939 N. 48th St. and has its products on the shelves of nearly 100 retail stores.
In September, the company signed vendor agreements with Hy-Vee, Akin’s Natural Foods Market and Natural Grocers to supply those chains’ Midwest stores.
Over the next five years, the company plans to expand aggressively and hopes to put its products on the shelves of 1,000 new stores and hopes to create 1,000 new jobs by expanding into Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Illinois. Primo Galicia said the company wants to sell its products in retail stores such as Baker's Supermarkets, Whole Foods and Family Fair supermarkets and in coffee shops and restaurants.
Primo Galicia said he expects to see the company earning $750,000 in revenue by early 2017 and $1.5 million by early 2018.
“We are getting bigger,” Metzger said. "We’re getting larger. We’d like to continue to grow.”
However, The Basket Is Full has run into a financial bottleneck and has begun seeking funds to help cover the costs of raw materials, such as glass bottles and labels. Primo Galicia said the company’s trio of owners has invested their personal savings into buying the coffee product brands and manufacturing equipment and didn’t foresee the kind of growth in demand they’ve seen.
“We did not expect it to move this fast,” Primo Galicia said.
The company has established a Kickstarter campaign to raise $8,000 but had only about $150 as
Primo Galicia said the company’s growth benefits the nearly 150 farmers it pays to grow its coffee beans in Central and South America, as well as in Yemen. He said the company has sought to provide enough income for its coffee growers to make them at least middle-class citizens in their respective countries.
Growth also would allow the company to begin hiring full-time employees. Currently, its staff consists of the three owners, who've all kept their day jobs and have given themselves no salaries from their work for the coffee company. And growth would allow the company’s owners to provide funds for a variety of philanthropic endeavors they support, including prevention of sexual assault and sustainable farming.
Reach the writer at 402-473-7225 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @LJS_Abourezk.
Now that we have established a working relationship with Valspar Inc. and PPG Industries Inc. be on the look out for Pur Java liquid concentrate as a paint or stain. Have your ever painted with coffee? Believe it or not, it's a wonderful medium for monochromatic artwork, with a wide range of rich brown hues.
Pur Java liquid concentrate coffee is a great time-saver—all you have to do is dissolve some concentrate in hot water. Change the coffee/water ratio to achieve a lighter or richer color. Darker hues will require less water than the lighter shades.
If Pur Java liquid concentrate turns out too light, add two additional teaspoons to a cup of boiling water and in a couple minutes’ the darker shade will appear. Just like watercolors, you can always add water while painting to make lighter values.
Naturally, when painting with Pur Java you will also need paper (I suggest you use 140 lb. watercolor paper), paintbrushes, tissue for blotting up excess coffee, a pencil, and several small Dixie cups, or whatever you have on hand.
Coffee lightens when it dries, so no matter how dark your thickest mixture is, you will probably want it to appear even darker on the paper. You will need to go over your paper quite a bit until you reach the desired appearance.
Wait until the previous layer is completely dry before adding the next. You can use a hair dryer to dry each layer and speed the process; it works beautifully.
If you don’t wait until it’s dry, you may find your Pur Java liquid concentrate bleeding into the previous layer. This can wash away color and possibly ruin your painting.
Continue layering it on and adding more details. This painting is not yet finished, but you can see the direction it’s headed. It just has a few more layers to go.
Try it out! And enjoy the cheap, yet rich, color of coffee in your art while you enjoy a cup of Pur Java yourself.
The plan was to launch our Kickstarter campaign to introduce Pur Java products to the world and get additional funding to cover the cost of our raw materials and labels, as well as to build an initial clientele base. Before we even thought about starting a Kickstarter project, we had already signed contracts with Hyvee Inc. and Natural Grocers stores. We felt we were in a good position to create a project that would be well funded since we were not your typical coffee facility. Yes, we roast and sell premium Arabica beans to customers and retail stores. However, an interesting thing happened, we started getting phone calls from breweries to make a special concentrate for them. Two months before we launched our campaign we received a phone call from Valspar Inc. a leading paint supplier, we now have a contract to supply our smooth liquid coffee concentrate to their stain department. In December we started supplying PPG Industries paint company, and opened a dialog with Benjamin Paint this month. We had no idea that our coffee concentrate would be used in paint, beer and art supplies until it happened. In addition, we made sure our story was genuinely interesting to backers. We felt that backers would realize that we were not one dimensional and could supply our products over three or more platforms.
Are you walking the streets looking for the best coffee shops or coffee houses? Is your daily dose of coffee just not enough for you? Or are you looking for the latest gossip in the coffee industry? Then our coffee blog just might be for you. If you are a coffee lover, coffee geek, coffee nerd, or just someone looking for more information about coffee, Pur Java News is a great resource. Brew a fresh batch and start reading.
Jan. 15th, 2016 5:00 P.M.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PUR JAVA COFFEE LAUNCHES KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN
LINCOLN, NEBRASKA Jan. 15, 2016 – The Basket Is Full, Inc. today announced that it will launch its “Kickstarter Campaign” at 6:00 pm CST. U.S. producer of Pur Java products is expanding its self-distribution territories in three states as it continues to accelerate the pace of growth in 2016.
After several months of researching crowdfunding sites, we selected the Kickstarter community for our crowdfunding needs. We feel that the Kickstarter crowdfunding community platform aligns with our outreach strategy of building a better community infrastructure of products that are centered around people getting to know each other’s identities, desires and life experiences. The Kickstarter filtering process helps to ensure we have a high quality, successful campaign that will move our vision forward. In September of 2015, we took our improved Pur Java concentrate and Joe Fizz Coffee Soda to Hy-Vee Inc. supermarket, Health Food Associates/Akins and Vitamin Cottage/Natural Grocers stores. After signing proper vendor agreement, we began to supply the chain stores with our products in the Midwest Area and we all celebrated our largest commercial deals. “Together with the crowdfunding community as our partners, we can change the landscape of the U.S. Beverage Industry,” said Primo Galicia, president and CEO, The Basket Is Full, Inc.
“We are all excited to further advance our efforts to balance national scale and local capability, which will help us significantly increase our leadership and enhance our competitive advantage in the U.S. beverage industry.” Six month ago, Mark Metzger, Nancy and Primo Galicia were in Lincoln, Nebraska filing incorporation documents for The Basket Is Full, Inc. We knew we had a great product and we just had to get it in front of as many customers as possible.” With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active healthy living, create a safe and inclusive work environment for our associates to enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate.
About The Basket Is Full, Inc.:
The Basket Is Full, Inc. is a leading producer, self-distributor and marketer of Pur Java coffee beverage, tea and soda products in North America. Its brands include market leading Pur Java liquid coffee concentrate, and Joe Fizz coffee soda. The company operates a facility in Lincoln, Nebraska that service both refrigerated and shelf stable distribution systems. It supplies a wide range of customers in the grocery, convenience, network marketing, breweries and paint supply manufactures. For more information, please visit www.purjava.com
Staff Writer: Jonathan Galicia
The idea of the morning person aside, morning commuters seem to fall into one of two categories: the Caffeinated and the Un-caffeinated—the latter category being those who intend to consume coffee, but haven't quite gotten their morning java yet. And they're easily recognizable as such. The Caffeinated are bright-eyed and engaged with the day's events already—they're reading their morning papers, or checking email, or reading for pleasure. They're sometimes armed with travel mugs or Ventis from their coffee shop of choice. They rattle the ice in the clear plastic beverage cups from mobile vendors on summer days. They walk a little faster in the early hours having long left last night behind.
This is not the case for the Un-Caffeinated. This group sleeps through the AM commute both on the commuter trains, subway, city bus or while they are driving their personal cars. They're bleary eyed. Materials they intended to review lie unattended in their laps while they linger in the previous night. They only thing that keeps them awake is the occasional alert from an incoming text message. Which reminds them they are not sleep. They walk more slowly up the stairs and are more irritable when you hurry them along—or hurry by them. They stroll, they trudge, they linger.
I sometime sit and wonder as I am firing up the roaster in the morning, are the ranks of the caffeinated coffee drinker growing? Will we soon be overrun by some new beverage that doesn't include the coffee seed as part of the morning delight? I drink Joe Fizz Soda in the morning, coffee fizz is what my kids call it. This is my coffee style, "What's Yours?"