Published January 5th, 2017 at 6:00 AM
Kelly and Todd Walden created Brewindie, a startup monthly subscription service, to help others discover the city’s diverse selection of craft beer and coffee. The idea for the service originated from their own sense of curiosity about the bounty of local brewers and coffee roasters in their new city of residence.
“We moved to Kansas City from Tampa, Florida,” said Kelly. “We were floored by what Kansas City has to offer.”
The Waldens have lived in other cities and subscribed to similar services to explore local artisanal food. The couple discovered local businesses that offered quality coffee, food, and other products they wished to enjoy at home.
“We once subscribed for an ice cream box and loved it,” said Kelly.
Other KC area firms have started similar coffee-based subscriptions in the past, including The Lab and Coffee Dispatch. Brewindie expands on the idea to include craft beer.
“I love Kansas City. With Brewindie, we wanted to start something significant here,” said Todd. “We love artisan foods.”
Customers pay a flat rate for Brewindie’s monthly subscription service. Each delivery to the customer’s doorstep features a box of selected local craft beer and whole roasted coffee beans. The selection rotates each month for the box. Prices begin at $35 for a six-pack (two each of three different types of local beer) in the beer box, or two 12-oz. bags of roasted coffee in the coffee box, and go up to $55 for a large combo box, which brings six beers and two bags of coffee together.
“We want to connect craft businesses and consumers.” — Kelly Walden, Brewindie
Each box contains specific information about each brewery and coffee roaster featured, such as Maps Coffee, plus assorted swag. Beer subscriptions are for customers in Missouri only at this time. Kansas laws do not allow for home alcohol delivery of this type. Brewindie partners with local liquor stores to source and obtain the beer.
The Waldens view the service as a win for the participating businesses, customers, and Brewindie. Each business has a unique personality and owner, notes Todd. Brewindie is a means to help share that identity with customers throughout the metro that may not have heard about nano- and micro-roasters and brewers in Kansas City.
“Small breweries and coffee roasters often don’t have much money for marketing,” said Kelly. “They need exposure.”
The subscription box is the first phase of the Brewindie business. The Waldens intend to build an app for smartphones and handheld devices. The app ties into a database that tracks customer preferences and purchasing data by product, shipping location, and other criteria while preserving anonymity. As the database grows, Brewindie can provide specific information on trends and usage to breweries and coffee roasters to help them improve their marketing and sales.
“Actual data on purchasing decisions is hard to find in these industries. We’ll gather information about taste preferences and basic demographic information to build a profile of customers,” said Todd.
Each monthly box will include a QR code that may be scanned with a phone. Subscribers may enter in feedback and preferences. That data will be harnessed in the database, where Todd will be able to parse, sort, and offer data analytics helpful to vendors.
“The tool becomes more useful as we grow,” said Todd.
The third leg of the business model will be to create a portal, or online marketplace, where customers can find more information about participating businesses in one location.
“We want to create an online portal to connect customers with these businesses,” said Todd. “We’ll create a web presence with high-production value mini-documentaries, articles, and content about the businesses.”
Since launching the startup, Kelly and Todd plan to attract customers to sign up for the service through January and begin deliveries in February. Eventually, they would like to scale the business model up by creating similar subscriptions specific to a city in a “hyper-local model.”
“We want to connect craft businesses and consumers,” said Kelly.
— Pete Dulin writes about food trends for Flatland and is the author of the “KC Ale Trail.” Follow @FlatlandKC on Twitter for more food news and trends.