The world’s recent Covid-19 “adventure” has provided us at Coffee Island with some valuable lessons! Most importantly, we learned that, no matter how many changes occur, our values can remain intact. Even in this new reality, our passion for coffee and service, our wish to keep offering you unique experiences and the energy we put into safely bringing your order to your doorstep, have remained our top priorities!
Every day is a new challenge
Even before Covid-19, every single day brought new experiences. We had to overcome many obstacles and to improvise in order to reach our goals. Thus, we treated the new reality as a new, welcome challenge.
The result? From farm to delivery, we remained at our posts, so that we could keep offering you our finest snacks and beverages. As they experienced the challenges in their workplace, our people recounted their experiences of the recent months in their own words.
And we’ve seen it through their own eyes…
… on the farm
Sam Bressani owns a farm in Ethiopia, a country renowned for its coffee exports. In what way was the country affected by the pandemic and how did it impact their coffee production?
Photo of Sam, taken from our trip to Ethiopia in January 2019.
As Sam tells us: “Production limitations have challenged manufacturers to effectively assess risk and adapt to preserve their bottom line. Businesses are proving their resilience by overcoming new obstacles with creative solutions”.
Sam reassures us by saying that “Fortunately, Ethiopia has had a relatively low infection and mortality rate. The economy has experienced after-effects from the global economic crisis and the overall slowdown mainly due to the necessary containment measures. With recent spikes in production and demand, the Ethiopian export market has grown consistently over the past decade. Upon the installation of lockdown measures, it wasn’t the changes in demand but the supply constraints which posed the most significant challenges on supply chains and supplier relations”.
Of course, we maintained our flow of coffee supplies by supporting our producers and their farms. We trust them to take the necessary measures, to meet our rigorous quality standards.
Departing from faraway Ethiopia, we “land” at our facilities in Patra, where our most precious material – the beans – are stored, roasted, rested and tested.
Andreas Kalantzis, Roaster Department of Production
Our roaster Andreas Kalantzis describes how he experienced the change. “Before the quarantine we used to say… another predictable day roasting coffee, watching the curve and the roast. Suddenly, everything changed, and each day brought new challenges”.
As with all the workers in production, Andreas had to obtain a special permit, wear special goggles, gloves and mask and thoroughly disinfect before setting foot into the production facility. “What’s interesting is that our routine didn’t change, but due to the pandemic, stricter protocols of cleaning and hygiene, both for the facility as well as ourselves were implemented”.
Andreas continues, “We will not be discouraged. We’ll keep doing what we know best, standing by our equipment, roasting unique coffee for our customers with the same love and respect as always”.
One of our baristas, Fani Karra shares her own experience.
“We woke up one day and everything was different: gatherings were banned, we had to send texts before going out of our homes, we locked down and we kept distancing. Just like that, our whole life changed with frequent disinfections, masks and protective gear”.
But in what way was Fani’s work affected? “In the store, things were not that different, since we kept on working almost as before. Cleaning was – and will always be – part of our routine, so we just raised the frequency. In other words, there was and there still is the same love, passion, quality, people and of course the same bright smiles”!
Fani Karra, Barista – Coffee Island Komotini.
“And you’re wondering how is it possible to smile under the mask? When a smile is genuine, you can see it in each other’s eyes”! Truth is we don’t know how the pandemic is going to unravel, but we do know how we’ll work it out: by offering the same love, devotion, respect, quality, and the same pure smile!
…to your doorstep
What changed most of all, was your experience as a customer. We added contact-less home delivery, we facilitated online ordering by credit card, and we added the online tip for the delivery boys, who didn’t stop bringing your favorite coffee to your homes. Ilias Palatidis was one of the delivery boys and he describes what happened at our Palaio Faliro store.
“The first days of the lockdown, our working days became more demanding. The number of people who ordered decreased but the few customers who remained were strict and required a high degree of precaution. But from the beginning, safety measures like always wearing a mask and gloves, placing products into special bags were implemented with a positive attitude and a smile!”
We gained our customers’ trust and in return we got more and more orders and tips with every passing day. We would see our customers’ smiles when they welcomed us to their doorsteps”.
We’re here every day, at our regular posts, as if nothing has changed. We will keep offering your favorite beverages, snacks, coffee beans for home consumption and the necessary Home Barista equipment, because this is what we do, and we do it with love. We want to thank our people who came through this difficult time with flying colors – and we thank you our customer, for your continued trust.