Sahra Nguyen is a born storyteller. Her latest opus is helping change the way the world perceives Vietnamese coffee – and a lot of people are listening.
An award-winning documentary filmmaker, Nguyen is also the founder and CEO of Nguyen Coffee Supply, a direct trade specialty coffee company based in New York City. Launched in 2018, the company’s mission is “to diversify the coffee industry, increase the visibility of Vietnamese producers and transform the landscape through sustainable coffee farming.”
Nguyen Coffee Supply buys certified organic coffee beans directly from a fourth-generation coffee farmer in Vietnam and roasts them in small batches in Brooklyn. The company primarily markets whole Robusta beans in a variety of styles and taste profiles, along with brewing tools and a recently launched line of ready-to-drink coffee.
The products are almost entirely sold direct-to-consumer via the company’s website; however, the brand is gradually making its way into brick-and-mortar retail. Earlier this year, Nguyen Coffee Supply raised $2.6 million in seed round in support of new distribution, innovation and marketing initiatives.
In this episode, Nguyen spoke about the company’s origins and why she is adamant about changing the narrative around Robusta beans, why incorporating her personality and background into brand communication and products is both challenging and highly effective, and the one word that drives the company’s innovation strategy.
In this Episode
|0:45: Sahra Nguyen, Founder & CEO, Nguyen Coffee Supply – Taste Radio editor Ray Latif met with Nguyen at a shared roasting facility in Brooklyn where they riffed on their Boston roots and favorite cocktails before the entrepreneur explained the “two-pronged light bulb moment” that led to the development of Nguyen Coffee Supply. She also spoke about why early communication about the company was focused on Vietnamese culture, how she convinced the specialty coffee industry to embrace Robusta beans and how she measures the impact of social media. Later, she explained how she become more comfortable with being the face and primary communicator for the brand, despite being an introvert, the company’s effective PR strategy and goals for B2B and B2C audiences, and how a keyword analysis helped Nguyen Coffee Supply determine the most important elements of the RTD line.|