Verra Victoria: Pulau Coffee promotes local coffee

Verra Victoria. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – Verra Victoria was keen to take advantage of opportunities; therefore, she started a coffee business in 2015. “At that time, coffee began to become a lifestyle in a lot of countries, so I chose this business,” explained the woman from North Sumatra. 

Initially, the challenge in the business was to introduce coffee with quality beans to the community who, at that time, still preferred instant coffee. Back in 2015, there was almost no competition in the business, but over time, as more and more players entered the business, competition tightened. Therefore, business actors had to keep innovating. “We have to show a difference from all the other products. Besides, the quality of coffee beans we use must be maintained, and we chose a business concept that offers ‘gourmet coffee’,” said the woman who was born on February 27, 1983. 

When starting Pulau Coffee, her business capital of Rp 30 million was used to take care of the legality of the business, equipment, and promotions. She needed 1.5 years to be able to earn back their capital investment. 

Pulau Coffee offers a variety of coffees, from raw coffee beans, roasted coffee beans, ground coffee beans, coffee with a sense of tea, and arabica saffron. The price ranges from Rp 35 thousand – Rp 210 thousand. 

Currently, Pulau Coffee not only has a store in Kemchicks Pacific Place but also has a franchise partner, with a concept of ‘Socio Coffee Franchise’ in 22 locations through an online delivery app, such as “GoFood & GrabFood”. 

According to Vera, for products to be known and sold, business actors must actively participate in exhibitions, be active in social media to create brand awareness, actively hold coffee workshops and register their products on e-commerce platforms. 

The best marketing is to focus on the quality of the product. So, in the coffee business, it’s best to concentrate on how to roast the beans with the right method and a natural process. 

Nowadays, Pulau Coffee can produce up to 300kg a month, with a turnover of between Rp 70 million – Rp 100 million per month and a 30% margin. 

Vera admitted that building a business does not always run smoothly; there are a lot of ups and downs, but that didn’t deter her. Moreover, during the pandemic sales have fallen off, especially sales of online delivery. 

To stay in the business, she has tips. “Consistency, persistence, and focus on emerging markets,” said the mother of one. 

She hopes that Indonesian coffee can come to be favored by coffee lovers in this country and abroad. “So Indonesian coffee can compete with coffee from Afrika & Latin America,” she concluded. (Dsy)