People in Metro Vancouver know exactly how incredible a coffee and a donut at 49th Parallel Roasters is. Soon, Montreal will know it too.
The last ten years have been a steady climb towards iconic status for this specialty-roaster-café. Starting out as a roasting facility that sold to other cafes, they gradually started opening their own doors, serving coffee, and—yes—locally legendary donuts. Before long, they had four locations across Metro Vancouver. Then, in summer 2021, they launched a new café in the heart of Old Montreal.
Of course, throw into the mix a historic global pandemic and you might just see exponential growth of e-commerce. 49th Parallel certainly did. Because theirs is the type of business that nurtures super-fans, they had no shortage of customers ordering the coffee they couldn’t otherwise enjoy during lockdowns.
As their packaging partner, we’ve watched the whole evolution from close-up—quite close-up, in fact! As well as providing all their packaging, we help manage inventory, reducing their costs in a red-hot real estate market.
Expanding reach and evolving a business model is so much easier with the right partners in place. In fact, we like what 49th Parallel has to say about it. They view “each of [their] partners as valued team members… it is human togetherness in every part of the process that makes the coffee [they] represent possible.”
When it comes to Great Little Box Company/Ideon Packaging (GLBC) and 49th Parallel, we’ve expressed that “human togetherness” in several ways. At every step in their evolution, we’ve worked hard to provide the packaging that helps make it possible.
COVID-19 was a scenario virtually no business had prepared for. Fortunately, 49th Parallel had already been selling online when they had to temporarily close their cafés. But any effort to expand e-commerce in an intentional, business-building way will falter without consistent supply.
GLBC and 49th Parallel’s extremely close relationship helped facilitate a strong uptick in e-commerce sales. Because we manage inventory, as well as manufacture their boxes, scaling up, was relatively straightforward. We anticipated increases in supply needs and met them in a timely fashion, smoothing out potential operational hiccups. At every step, we were able to facilitate the massive growth of 49th Parallel’s e-commerce program.
GLBC’s work with 49th Parallel helped the company to:
- Minimize growing pains: by managing manufacturing as well as inventory, we simplified operations.
- Support its evolution: a consistent supply of e-commerce boxes helped the business to pivot with tremendous results.
49th Parallel is a company with deep integrity, choosing to work directly with coffee farmers. We always hope that businesses like these will find the creativity and tenacity to weather difficult periods and keep growing. 49th Parallel has done that in spades; the proof is in their brand-new Montreal location and thriving e-commerce program. We’re incredibly proud to have played any part in their success.