December 11, 2006 Posted by Chris Tingom Filed under Uncategorized
Red Rock Foods helps coffee shops (and even bars and restaurants) make their products better. I visited their showroom a few weeks ago and got the grand tour. On the surface you might think they are just selling and distributing products like cups, syrups, and product mixes. But they are so much more. Think of them as consultants that can make your drinks taste better and at the same time maybe save you money in ways you wouldn’t expect. Better tasting drinks bring customers back again and again.
Left to Right: Bill McCouley (General Manager), Fred Bartholomew (Western Regional Sales Manager for Artista Gourmet), and Steve Kessler demonstrate products in their showroom, which simulates a customers experience. They have all of the equipment (from a 2 group Synesso to Blendtec blenders and more) to make and try different drinks on site.
I was inspired by Red Rock Foods because unlike a lot of companies I meet, they actually sell on value. It’s rare to find people who do that. Most places tell you their product is better and that’s their sales pitch. When I visited Red Rock Foods they were able to demonstrate to me why certain products were better than others. I learned a lot and am sharing some of what I learned here today.
In this photo, you can see the consistency difference between Ghirardelli Chocolate and Artista Gourmet Chocolate. The Ghirardelli works great for a number of instances however Red Rock Foods can demonstrate where it doesn’t work (taste and dollar difference). The interesting thing about this example is that Ghirardelli Chocolate is generally thought of a “the best,” but when it sinks to the bottom of the cup, can you really say it is the best for this instance?
Here’s a closeup of Ghirardelli Chocolate, as you can see. I’ve tilted the cup but the chocolate is barely moving. This type of chocolate ends up at the bottom of the customers cup.
Similarily, Artista Gourmet White Chocolate and Mont Blanc White Chocolate have different colors and tastes. These two had similar thickness.
Different taste and color caramels.
The demonstration that amazed me the most. Comparisons of three Raspberry flavors from Da Vinci, Torani, and Artista. As you can see, the Torani immediately curdled (middle) but the other two are fine. This is huge.
General Manager Bill McCauley demonstrates some of the Red Rock Foods product line at their showroom in Tempe.
By adding a spoonful of a thickening “glue” Red Rock Foods makes an ordinary mocha amazing. The mocha on the left doesn’t contain this “glue” and all of the flavor sinks to the bottom of the cup. This happens really fast, and leaves a mocha that has a strong ice taste. The one on the right had a noticeably better flavor, and I’m serious.
Red Rock Foods has a number of interesting products that make fruit based drinks amazing. This one was strawberry flavored and tasted like fresh strawberry despite coming from a powder. You’d never guess.
Visiting Red Rock Foods was fun. Their showroom is set up in such a way that you get a feel for what it is like being a customer at your own coffee shop. They will prepare a drink for you and have you sample it. Then make another one with a slight change and have you compare. It’s rather eye opening.
If you’re running a coffee shop a visit to Red Rock Foods is a must.
Red Rock Foods is located at:
2011 E. Fifth St.
Tempe, AZ 85282