David Abrahamovich’s London-based coffee business, Grind, has been meeting its customers where they are since its inception.
There’s the company’s original café, opened in 2011 in a bustling part of Shoreditch, with plenty of proximity to tech businesses (and their caffeinated employees). There’s the coffee, designed specifically to cut through milk and appeal to the majority of coffee-drinking palates. And there’s the ever-evolving business model: Grind’s first location was an early pioneer in the coffee-by-day, cocktails-by-night trend (designed to appeal to customers who wanted to stick around after-hours), a move so popular it helped the company expand and reach customers in locations all across London.
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And expand Grind did—to almost a dozen cafés and online.
The latest evolution of the business aims to reach customers beyond brick-and-mortar, with a bet on ecommerce, something David invested in before the COVID-19 outbreak, ultimately saving the company in the process.
“In the summer of 2019, we did this final round [of fundraising], which was £3.5 million,” says David. “I felt quite strongly by then that we needed to invest some of that money into something other than just more High Street stores.”
Wanting to make that Grind-at-home experience convenient, consistent, and environmentally friendly, David and the team developed compostable coffee pods, a product Grind is still iterating on today.
“It’s been a massive process, and we’re still working on it every day. It’s not something which is finished,” David says. “We just launched the next generation of our pods, which are certified as home compostable. The previous pods are classified as ‘industrially compostable.’ That means they will compost, but only in special facilities, which is a huge step forward, but it’s not perfect.”
This dedication to constantly iterate and evolve is the foundation of Grind’s successful journey over the past decade. David’s evolution of Grind is just one of the topics he shared on our Shopify On Location edition of the Shopify Masters podcast. Tune in to the whole interview to learn how he navigated multimillion-dollar fundraising rounds, built his own coffee roastery, and established key partnerships with Soho House.
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