David Coleman, born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, is the founder of MoreFlavour, a high-end coffee equipment wholesale and supply store specializing in import and distribution of products focused on home brewing.
David spent the early years of his career in the United Kingdom working under a hedge fund, often travelling back-and-forth. He soon realized that the corporate world was not for him and chose to touch base back home.
Specialty coffee in South Africa is a niche space that lacks a large consumer base with the spending power for luxuries such as the advanced coffee tools that MoreFlavour has to offer. On top of which, they have one of the most volatile currencies in the world, thus running a business is a rocky road especially with high duty taxes, long lead times, and irregular custom officials. However, the people are as passionate about coffee as anywhere else in the world, with some of its roasters churning out world-class standard coffees.
“The South African coffee scene is unique in the sense that it is so small that it is a proper community. Everybody knows each other by name and whenever we host events, it feels like a get-together amongst old friends.”
David Coleman took a different path to coffee, focusing on helping others to generate income. He found that coffee shops over there are exceptionally innovative in maintaining low operating costs such that they are able to deliver the same quality in the cup as other major coffee consuming countries at half the retail cost.
Before the inauguration of MoreFlavour, David spearheaded a Facebook group known as “Baristas Inc.” which garnered audiences within the South African coffee industry as well as other well-known brand names which have since fostered support towards the local coffee community.
“I’ve got a really good business partner and we enjoy fixing things. What some people may call work, we call it fun. I get excited about challenges that come day in and out. You’ve got to enjoy the challenge, or you would’ve giving up long ago.”
It is a challenge for start-ups to break through such a small market in a big country with a huge wealth gap. Today, MoreFlavour runs on a team of seven passionate individuals and works closely with their partners in a networked collaborative effort. It was not until the COVID-19 struck that the spotlight shifted to manual brewing methods that MoreFlavour saw steady growth in their e-commerce sales. In order to battle high operating costs, they try to add as much value around their goods by bundling them with complementary products to make it more affordable.
“Work is something I do in my spare time, the things I am doing are the things I love”.
David believes that there is natural organic growth in what they do at MoreFlavour because the specialty coffee space is upward trending. As much as flavor is key, he recognizes that convenience is as important for the customers.
Although in the beginning he did not condone the concept of capsule coffee, David acknowledges that the spike in its popularity has sparked an easy point-of-entry into the world of specialty. “If we can’t beat them, how can we join them, but from our standpoint what can we bring to the table that is better?” David loves exploring new products and is ecstatic for future opportunities for him to create his own.
To the team at MoreFlavour, it is not always about the coffees, but what they want to achieve for their aspirations outside of coffee. David believes in investing in the “good world”, to give back not based on your conscience, but to follow your heart. His philosophy of great networks bode great wealth does not necessarily refer to a direct return on investment, but towards growing the community and the marketplace.
I’M NOT A BARISTA is all about giving back to baristas in times of need. There is a whole community out there in South Africa in need of assistance, especially during these trying times. Recently, one of our barista friends in South Africa, Mbosini Bamala, had unfortunately lost all his coffee tools amid relocating. I’M NOT A BARISTA had sponsored Mbosini an AeroPress, and as we reached out to various wholesalers to seek further assistance, MoreFlavour had prudently offered to gift a hand grinder for him to tide through for the time being.
Look out for MoreFlavour’s innovations coming later this year which is rumored to tap into the specialty capsule market, without discounting on flavor or convenience.