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Glen Lyon Coffee Roasters – Ecommerce Website

05 February 2013

A new business, commencing in June 2011, the owner of Glen Lyon invested thousands of pounds in a 5 kg drum roaster, bag grinder and 815kg of green coffee beans sourced from Mercanta, a speciality green coffee merchant which only uses ethical and socially responsible coffee growers and producers. In addition, an outbuilding adjacent to their home at Lyon Lodge was converted, and forms the centre of operations for the business. Using coffee beans sourced from a range of suppliers from Bolivia, Kenya, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Sumatra, Guatemala, Brazil and Peru, the business is able to cater to most peoples’ tastes. Once roasted the beans, which can also be ground, are packed into 227g foil lined pouches which are equipped with a valve and heat sealed to preserve the freshness of the coffee. In this way the coffee can remain fresh for up to three months.

After moving to Glenlyon, Fiona Grant, the owner and a former journalist, continued to write and bring up her young son. However, when her son started school, Fiona was keen to grow and develop her interest in coffee into a profitable business as a means of remaining in the area. Fiona showed incredible passion about coffee and the production of ethically sourced beans that could be blended and roasted to produce a range of high quality, speciality coffees and coffee beans.

Glen Lyon Coffee Roasters applied for funds to help it to get a professional, online presence via a custom designed website with a shopping application which would enable customers to order directly from the web. At the time of the grant application, orders were accepted by email but customers could not purchase coffee through the site. Fiona believed that having a direct shopping facility on a professionally designed website would increase the businesses current market reach beyond local outlets. With the new website, the company was given the ability to treble production from around 200 bags to 500 bags or more.

With funds from the Ellis Campbell Enterprise Fund, Foundation Scotland awarded Fiona with a sum of £2,000 to help with the development of a company website. With the money awarded, Glen Lyon Coffee Roasters was able to invest in a professional website with a strong brand identity and online shopping facility which allow Fiona to extend the market reach for her products. Fiona noted that coffee is a product that typically inspires brand loyalty and that she was keen to capitalise on the opportunity a new website would give to inspire more customers to drink and buy the Glen Lyon brand.

Fiona Grant, owner of Glen Lyon Coffee Roasters, said: “Glenlyon is an incredibly beautiful glen but it is very remote. Our roastery is 10 miles up the single track road from Fortingall. Our nearest town, Aberfeldy, takes about 40 minutes to drive to. We’re lucky to have a wonderful primary school in the glen - which my son goes to – he is one of just 12 children in the whole school. We also have a great tearoom and post office. But it is an isolated, rural community and there are very limited work opportunities up there.

“I source my coffee from Latin America, Indonesia and Africa. From the outset, I felt that it was really important that the coffee I sold was ethically sourced and totally traceable.

“I felt it was so important to get all this information – about our ethics and traceability of our coffees as well as the fantastic location of our roastery – across in a professional website. It also became quickly apparent that my business needed was a proper ecommerce site through which I could sell my coffee throughout the UK. It was such a significant step forward when I was awarded £2000 from the Ellis Campbell Enterprise Grant, administered by Foundation Scotland to set up the website.

“As a result, I feel that I have a business I can be truly proud of and as Glen Lyon Coffee Roasters continues to grow we have recently employed another local person on a part-time basis.”

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