ONA Coffee: "Love how user friendly it is"

ona coffee

Up until just last year Canberra was not considered a ‘coffee destination.’

Museums? Yes. Mountain bike trails? Definitely. Politics? Of course. But coffee? Not really. That all changed in 2015, when baristas, cafe owners, roasters and coffee aficionados  all started looking at the nation’s capital.

To be more specific, we were all looking at Sasa Sestic, and his roastery, ONA Coffee.

The Canberra­ based roastery shot to international fame when Sasa won the World Barista Championship.

One year on and ONA Coffee remains front and centre of all coffee chat. The brand is heavily focused on the quality, accessibility and treatment of green bean farmers. The team has established Project Origin which is wholly focused on ethical green bean trading. Business is booming!

ONA Coffee really values new technology and machinery to improve all aspects of business ­ from smarter software and roasting equipment through to being involved in projects like the San Remo "Opera" coffee machine. ONA Coffee is also amongst some of the first coffee roasters to start using Ordermentum to manage all the supply orders.

We sat down with Jennie McClelland from the ONA team to find out more on this incredibly interesting and successful coffee roasting business being run out of Canberra.

Why do you think your customers choose ONA Coffee over other coffee brands?

I’d say it’s a combination of the coffee quality and our approach to ethical production that creates a faithful following and repeat customers. Ethical green bean farming is where everything starts for ONA. This is key to running a successful coffee business. Also, being recognised at the World Espresso Championship and World Roast Championship in 2015 was a major coup for us! Why wouldn’t you choose the best coffee in the world, when it is produced right here in Australia? This year ONA Coffee celebrated three places at the Australian Barista Championship finals.

We’re lucky to have some of the best people in the coffee business involved with ONA Coffee, and I definitely believe this plays an important part in our ability to roast and produce consistently great coffee.

What are you working on at the moment?

Since Sasa won the World Barista Championship 15 months ago, we have tripled the staff to meet the demand and popularity of our coffee. We are supplying coffee to cafes across Australia, including Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart. This growth really consumes a lot of our focus!

How important is technology now in business?

Technology is integral to every aspect of coffee ­ from farming green beans through to producing and distributing the end product. While producing great coffee is still a very ‘hands on business’, our producers have benefited from technological advancements in agriculture, including growing, processing and storage practises. You can’t ignore the importance of basic online tools like websites and email and the role that these tools have played in helping us to better communicate with farmers all over the world. On the roasting front, we use a special roasting computer software attached to our commercial roasters. In terms of preparation, we promote the use of digital barista scales and following specific recipes on how to serve our coffee. For our wholesale business we now have an automatic packing machine for the 1kg bags (what a lifesaver!). We also use Ordermentum to help us manage orders and payment in the one place.

Why did you get Ordermentum?

With the rapid growth of ONA Coffee Wholesale, we needed to streamline the ordering process. When I started here one year ago our sales manager was calling each café individually on a Monday morning to collect orders. When I think back, it seems archaic and completely impractical, as our orders flow in seven days a week to meet our delivery schedule. We rolled out Ordermentum for our Sydney clients in September last year (perfected the processes, items available and payment terms) then added the rest of our clients during October and November. Ordermentum has been instrumental in helping us with debt management, cash flow and chasing payments. We now have 90% of our clients paying via Ordermentum and most of our orders are now prepaid.

What are the top 3 things you like about using Ordermentum?

First thing is that It’s very user friendly. I can update prices and product visibility easily. Secondly, the baristas and cafe owners ordering ONA coffee can place their orders on their mobile phone (often between serving coffees!) by editing items from their ‘favourite’ order. And the third thing would have to be payments. When a client is on 0 days terms, we can apply their payment immediately and they receive their order and invoice with $0 balance ­ completely fuss free from an accounting point of view.

What do your customers think of Ordermentum?

Our baristas and café owners love how user friendly Ordermentum is as they see the full menu of products available and can order 24/7 on their preferred electronic device. Each order is clearly visible for stock control and accounting purposes. Having each café owner’s payment details stored privately means any staff member (granted access) can place an order without handling bank details, and know the invoices will be paid automatically. This is especially smooth when the person responsible for ordering is away.

What’s next for ONA?

We are working on new branding and packaging, plus a complete renovation of the Warehouse, Café, Roastery, Offices and Barista Training School. So I guess you could say there’s quite a bit going on!

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At a glance

  • LOCATIONCanberra, Sydney, Melbourne
  • INDUSTRYCoffee