Figuring out Figures of Beans
Two women banked on their love for coffee and all things homegrown to create a remarkable brand.
by Coffee Crawl Series Team
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Why don’t Metro Manila coffee shops deliver? How can we get the perfect cup of coffee even while at work? These were the questions that Karen De Guzman and KC Boter asked themselves which ultimately led to the birth of Figures of Beans — a coffee subscription service that has made it its mission to get the best quality Cordillera coffee to consumers’ doorsteps. We interviewed the duo to learn more about their catchy brand, their work with local coffee farmers, and how to thrive in the Philippine coffee scene.
How did Figures of Beans start?
“In this day and age, we want everything instantly. We live in a world where everything is conveniently accessible. With this in mind, we questioned why big coffee shops don’t provide a delivery service. Our story began in November 2015 with our curiosity to look for a solution to this everyday challenge. We wanted our daily caffeine fix, but there was no coffee shop near our workplace. This led us to discover local coffee produce from the northern region that is perfect for home brewing. We were instantly hooked.“
“Coffee plays a big role in our everyday lives. For us, it is not just a drink. Coffee has a special and non-literal meaning, which led us to name our brand and our blends after figures of speech. Figures of Beans came from our belief that there is more to coffee than just loads of caffeine. Through one cup of coffee, we experience being connected with others, the world, and ourselves. We may be different in a lot of ways, but there is one thing that unites us all – it’s our love for coffee.“
How do you see Figures of Beans play a role in the future of the coffee industry in the Philippines?
“Our love for coffee and local products sparked the whole idea behind Figures of Beans. Local farmers from the Cordillera region produce quality coffee, which we believe can compete in the global coffee arena. One of the things that make us happiest about Figures of Beans is the brand’s potential to uplift the lives of the local coffee farmers. This is what gets us going to do more and race towards our goals because for us, our success would also mean prosperity for the local coffee industry.
We’ve seen the challenges of the coffee farmers and we know much more that needs to be done to put Philippine coffee on the map, but believing in our coffee is the first step.”
Figures of Beans has one powerful brand identity. It is catchy and it resonates well. What is the reason in going with this brand identity?
“Branding for us is understanding who we really are. Through this awareness, we were able to get to know who our customers are. One of our most important goals is to provide value to them through products, services, and even online content. In everything that we do, we keep this goal in mind. We draw our inspiration from our desire to encourage people to brew in the comforts of their homes or offices without having to sacrifice the coffee’s quality. We aren’t coffee pros ourselves that’s why we only have one voice – coffee brewing shouldn’t be complicated and everybody can brew a cup.”
FOB is pretty successful as a product, along with the tie ups such as with Bodum. It’s visible in many stores as much as it is online. Can you share with us tips on how to achieve this kind of success?
Thank you! 🙂
It’s a combination of things. To be honest, we also had our fair share of challenges. We started with no concrete plans or strategies to build and sustain the brand. If there’s one thing that we can share, it’s saying yes to every opportunity that comes our way. In the beginning, our only plan to strengthen brand presence was to be everywhere and say yes to everything. Of course, believing in our brand, building a team, working hard to meet our goals, and being open to collaborations are part of it too.“
Have you tried coffee from Cordillera? Do you want fresh coffee beans delivered to your home or office? FOB has a full range of local Cordillera coffee and delivers in Metro Manila and provinces. Starting to build your home brewing kit? We’ve always recommended their Starter Kit which has all the things you need to start brewing your own coffee at home.
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