2023 Year In Review | Kaldi's Coffee Blog

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Kaldi's 2023 Year in Review

New bags, a merger, new cafes. Different in their scope, but all created with the same love of coffee and service that drives us every year. 

As another year draws to an end, we like to look back and celebrate all the moments that brought us joy. Some made us proud, some were learning moments, but all were only possible because of your support. 2023 was an action packed year, filled with familiar and new faces, old relationships made stronger and new friendships forged.

As we begin planning and looking forward to 2024 with excitement, we hope you’ll look back with us fondly as we pick some of our favorite memories from the past year.

3 people pour coffee from carafes into a Kaldi's mug beside a bag of 3thiopia
3thiopia blend

This time last year, we were looking forward to two big events: the arrival of our 3thiopia blend and the inaugural STLSC season kicking off in the spring. We tend to see everything through the lens of coffee around the roastery, so there was palpable excitement at being the official coffee of Saint Louis’s brand new MLS team. As our 3thiopia made its customary late January launch, our sales team and trainers worked to get the cafe at STLSC’s Pavilion store ready for opening day. Meanwhile, our marketing team was dreaming up a promotion unlike we’d ever put into action.

A Kaldi's Game Day Club Tumbler is held in front of STL City SC's stadium on a sunny dayThe Game Day Tumbler v2

The Game Day Club Tumbler was so successful that we sold out 3 batches of this tumbler that gets you free drip coffee on STLSC game days. We can’t wait to see all the tumblers coming through our doors as STL City SC game days kick off again this coming spring.

Spring always puts a twinkle in our eye, as March 14th lets us put a spotlight on our hometown of Saint Louis, while April 1st gives us a chance to “launch” a fun gag on social media. 314 Day saw a custom sleeve and a limited release Fleur de Lis Blend. A Kaldi's cup sits in front of the MIssouri History Museum's STLROCKS sign

Kaldi's and Gioia's Deli ad showing an April Fools "Hot Salami Blend" beside a sandwich and logosKaldi's Coffee and Gioia's Deli "Hot Salami Blend"

On April Fool’s Day, we collaborated with Gioia’s to send up coffee blends, with our new “Hot Salami Blend,” which was tempting enough to elicit a few “where can I buy this?” emails. 

Spring also saw our retail teams kick into high gear with cafe openings. In Atlanta, the Health Sciences Research Building at Emory opened, with Kaldi's welcoming researchers in the building’s stunning atrium.
Kaldi's Cafe sits in the bottow of a huge open atriumOur new cafe in the NRB at Emory University

Kaldi's drive-thru cafe on Zumbehl Road in St. Charles
Our drive-thru in St. Charles, MO

In Saint Louis, we opened our first cafe in Saint Charles, celebrating the drive-thru’s opening with a ribbon cutting and giveaways. And we also entered the final build phase of our cafe in Washington University’s Neuroscience Research Building cafe, just minutes from our Roastery, which opened a few months later.

Our new cafe in the NRB at the Wash U. Med Center

 

Summer brought the extremes of both exciting and harrowing news from close business partners. Honolulu Coffee Company, part of our brand family, supplies Kona Coffee for our Amerikona Blend from their farm on the Big Island each year. This year, they sent urgent word of the Lahaina disaster as it unfolded on Maui. Our team in Saint Louis leapt into action, creating a donation campaign, activating the “round-up” donation feature on our cafe registers for the first time, and fundraising for our co-workers on Maui who lost their homes to the fire. We also immediately created a coffee blend — Kokua Lahaina — directing all profits to the fund.
Bags of Honolulu Coffee Company's relief fund blend for Lahaina
Bags of our Kokua Lahaina Blend

Across all of our brands, we raised over $40,000 for our team, and sent emergency supplies to Maui, while donating to local relief organizations on the ground as well.

On the mainland, we announced our merger with long time friends, Dancing Goats Coffee. We’ve known and loved the owners and operations of Dancing Goats for decades, and their presence in the Pacific Northwest and Atlanta dovetails perfectly with our Atlanta cafes and Saint Louis headquarters.

The sunshines across Dancing Goat's patio at Ponce City Market
Dancing Goats Cafe at Ponce City Market in Atlanta

The year’s been a learning experience as our teams have worked more and more closely, traveling to each other's locations and having weekly calls in a mutually educational relationship.

A Baked Maple Pumpkin Latte sits on a cafe table, whipped cream piled high
The Baked Maple Pumpkin Latte 

Fall and Winter bring some of our most cherished releases of the year, as the Baked Maple Pumpkin Latte signals the beginning of the festive season. This year, we celebrated our favorite holiday, National Coffee Day, with a special release we called the Irrational Coffee Day Blend.

Coffee splashes wildly from a tin of Kaldi's Irrational Coffee BlendIrrational Coffee Day Blend

Why the name? It was a flavor packed blend of 7 different coffees with wildly different processing methods from our long time friends at Gold Mountain Coffee in Nicaragua, blended with a prized Colombia Gesha from long time producing partners, the Imbachi family.

Next up came 'Tis the Spooky Season, blended to bring all the flavors of Halloween together in a frighteningly good cup of coffee.
A bag of Spooky Season sits on a counter with brewing equipment
'Tis the Spooky Season Blend

 

The coffees included another excellent coffee from our friends in Nicaragua at Gold Mountain Coffee, this time a mix of Caturra and Bourbon varieties from the farm of Don Roger and Isabel. Everyone who pre-ordered Spooky received a special 3oz pouch of the Nicaragua as a stand-alone bonus.

We ended the year as we began, with a release of a cherished coffee, our ‘Tis the Season blend. 11 years running, this annual holiday release has become a source of nostalgia itself, and we are honored to be a part of so many traditions through the years.
A gif which shows a bag of Tis the Season being manipulated to show the hidden "Happy Holidays" tab revealed
'TIs the Season with working pull tab

A tribute to the original, historical coffee blend Mocha Java, our ‘Tis the Season features a Sumatran and an Ethiopian coffee, wrapped in custom packaging from the Firecracker Press. This year's packaging reflects the many homes and places that make up our community, all being brought together by coffee. 

December also saw the release of our rebranded coffee packaging, the culmination of an entire year’s work by dozens of people across all of our departments here at the Roastery. Every aspect of the bags was poured over, debated, reworked, and obsessed about, long before the massive effort just to get them into production. All of our teams touched the process at some point, and we hope you love the result as much as we do.
 
A variety of vibrant coffee bags
A selection of our blends in new packaging
 

Coffee is our passion, but drinking coffee alone is a lesser pursuit than sharing it with someone. The relationships we’ve built over the years, from coffee producers to our teams in Hawaii to every one of you who walk through our doors daily give our days meaning, fill us with joy, and drive us to pursue quality in everything we do. Creating new blends to share with you, collaborating with old friends to bring a smile to your lips, and forging new partnerships as we work to make the future that little bit better, all of these things make our 2023 a broad success.

We’ve got more great things in store for 2024 and can’t wait to see you in the new year.

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