For owner Marc Segal, the idea behind the Turtlebeans app was a simple one.
“I was thinking about how many good roasters there are and the difficulty many have in finding new customers,” he explained. “Only a few roasters have a good online presence, which means most need good luck to find their audience. Turtlebeans aims to bring small batch roasters to a wider audience.”
Turtlebeans’ first sale was in September, so its early days for the app. The app took around a year to develop, from concept to launch, and the company is now ready to sign up roasters and is offering special deals to the first 100 that sign up. While the base is in Sydney, Segal believes that Turtlebeans is a truly global project.
“The US market could be particularly interesting – it’s an incredible fact that over 80 percent of all coffee is consumed in home in the United States. But the largest sellers are the long-time established companies that dwarf the market. Small batch roasters currently don’t have a chance over there, so it’s going to be interesting to build awareness of the variety of beans that actually exist.”
Turtlebeans allows small roasters and coffee drinkers access a bigger market with more coffee options, broadening the tastes of consumers by giving them a wider variety of bean that can be delivered to their door. Segal hopes to create a coffee community where small-batch roasters can claw back market share from the big players.
Turtlebeans is also the first coffee app to accept crypto currency payment methods, which has the potential to help coffee growers in developing countries. CoffeeCoin is a cryptocurrency designed to reduce inefficiencies whilst increasing value across the supply chain. By using a digital currency on the blockchain, more money goes to the farmers and the roasters and is paid within seconds. By comparison, traditional payment methods are slow and profits can be lost through using multiple currencies with exchange fees. The producer receives a better price for their coffee; the buyer receives a direct-trade high-quality specialty coffee.
“It’s groundbreaking technology,” Segal said. “The founder of Coffecoin has made solid progress in the past year, laying the groundwork from development to testing of the CoffeeCoin token. Turtlebeans appreciates the effort that’s been put in and having the integration of this into the app allows for zero fees that traditionally would have been produced with PayPal or credit card facilities. This coin has a real-world use for the coffee industry and will continue to grow.”
The Turtlebeans team is continually working on improving app functions to enhance the user experience, with a major update set to be rolled out in the coming months. The update will provide shipping calculators so roasters only need to supply the weight of the coffee and the API will take care of sourcing and live prices from multiple shipping providers. Also in the works is a second store page, which will give sellers the opportunity to sell espresso machines, cups and other coffee related products.