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We chat to the Co-Founders of Coffee capsules direct

Posted on July 8, 2019

Coffee Capsules Direct just celebrated their 6th birthday, so we thought that in order to understand the business’s background, we should ask our Co-Founders how we got here.

Coffee capsules direct was founded in 2013 by Judy, Rowan and his family who all put in extra long hours, more than a few sleepless nights and a lot of effort and energy to make this dream come true. Exactly one marriage and about 6 years later, here we are today, with a team of 12 amazing people, supplying thousands of customers across South Africa with delicious and affordable coffee capsules for a variety of coffee machines.

But how did it happen? Well, Judy is actually a nature lover from Germany. When she came to South Africa, she not only fell in love with Rowan, but also with coffee in general. It was the first time she experienced specialty coffee and the taste was just exceptional. “Rowan definitely introduced me to that and once your taste buds are hooked, there is no going back. From that moment on you always chase the next best cup. That definitely came in handy when starting the business.”

Rowan, on the other hand, is South African. He always loved two things: coffee and working on cars, so give him a strong cup and he shall be happy. When the business was just a business plan over 6 years ago, Rowan had asked Judy to help him set it up and “work on it together”. The business plan was to start a machine rental and coffee capsule company. Rowan already had experience in the manufacturing of Nespresso®* compatible coffee capsules, as he had started a manufacturing company before.

"For the first few months, we worked from our garage at home, going from only one call a day to shipping hundreds of orders every month. Both Judy and myself have very different skill sets which helps in the day-to-day operations of the business. Judy’s role is aimed at design, marketing and customer service while my role is geared towards import/export, production and new product development."

The business slowly required a change as it grew. So the Coffee capsules direct online store was created about 2 years in, and and not long after that, Rowan invented the first ever cleaning capsule for Nespresso®* machines which was launched under the brand name Caffenu. "The cleaning capsule was invented out of pure necessity. We rented out coffee machines at the time, and saw how bad the build-up could get inside the machine, especially the nozzle and washer plate. I knew that the only way to clean that area was to invent a completely new product."

Please do not confuse cleaning with descaling a coffee machine. Rowan explained; cleaning works on the brewing chamber of the machine whereas descaling works on the back of the machine - the pump, pipes and the boiler. Both are equally important. For instance, using a Caffenu cleaning capsule loosens hardened oils and gets rid bacteria stuck in that section whereas descaling removes lime scale which prevents the coffee from being as hot as it should be.

Coffee Capsules Direct also won an award in 2018, the PriceCheck Award for Best Small Tech/E-commerce Business. "It was a real honour to receive this award. The greatest gift is when you get  amazing feedback from your customers about our coffee and service." From Coffee Capsules Direct’s Co-founders- “We just wanted to thank all of our customers for the support that we’ve received in the 6 years that we’ve been running. We want to thank our team and everybody who has helped us to get where we are today. We are very humbled and grateful that we are in business, that we are a growing business. Thank you.”