Sunday, January 24, 2010

Entrepreneur's Corner: Organicoa, for Hot Cocoa!

Executive Summary: We look at an entrepreneurial venture, Organicoa, and some things that stand out with this cocoa shop- product taste and size, and positioning.

The Overview
Walking about in Manhattan, two signs of green shoots caught my attention. Here is Organicoa.

Organicoa is a cocoa shop (currently) at Lafayette St. in SOHO. The makeshift ping pong table instantly caught my attention- just the excuse you need to walk into the shop for some hot cocoa in the colder than usual weather. The leadership team happened to be around, was very warm to talk with, and was enthusiastic about sharing the organic theme behind the products and the merchandise.

The cocoa brought back memories of some great cocoa I enjoyed over a decade ago. One product comes close to the Organicoa taste- Milo. Yes, the Aussie drink.

The shop had small, bite sized cookies to go with the hot cocoa. Also, you don't have to buy hot coca to play ping-pong. :-)

How Do You Find It?
The facebook page:

Green Shoots?
A great product and an enthusiastic team. The team had taken over unused store space while the real estate firm looked to find a leasee for the the space. They aren't waiting around to make their venture happen.

The Deal- The Marketing Strategy
Why would I talk about this startup?
Note: These perspectives are all mine and have not been discussed with Organicoa.
* Great product- It reminded me of some great cocoa I have had previously.
* Bite-size cookies- complement the cocoa. The size also gives you leverage to manage pricing and margins.
* Cup sizes- I saw a single cup size. The current "pilot" (my adjective) location gives them some time to test out price points.
* Store ambience- The large, bare store space still managed to ooze a warm, "lets hang out" ambience.
* Positioning- Yes, Organic is healthy is a core message. However, who would have thought about throwing in a makeshift poing pong table on the large store space? Tied to the ambience, "community" comes to mind.
* Theme is core to merchandising- from the colors to the organic content of the merchandise, the team has closed the loop on the message.

Ahem... Constructive Criticism?
None. The idea here is to understand "green shoots" and "animal spirits". The entrepreneurs ostensibly have the right counsel to survive growth pangs.

What do you think?

Coming Next on Entrepreneurs Corner: Baked by Melissa- mini cupcakes as Bite-size Desserts?:

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