A brand story we have never told in public - How we started Normcore Coffee

Posted by Chanho Hong on

A brand story we have never told in public - How we started Normcore Coffee

For those who knew us recently and who want to know the story of Normcore, here is the story that we have never told in public.

The founder Nathan and Chanho firstly met in September 2014/15, in the NSW state brewers cup championship. Both of us were a competitor represented other companies. Back then, it was not easy to see professional Asian baristas (there were Asian baristas but there were just a few people in the mainstream like competition), so it was a nice moment to know each other's existence.

Months later, another competition was back which was the 2014/15 NSW Barista Championship. As Barista Championship is the toughest, hardest and most difficult competition, it used to have only people who are talented and passionate (but now it seems more open these days), and Nathan and Chanho met again in the competition. Both competed well and Chanho took the 3rd place trophy. If the memory is correct, this was the first time to have a conversation between the two.

After that, we met in every competition as a competitor and finally, in early 2016, started a conversation to team up together.

Now there are a number of local coffee roaster brands, however, back in 2016, there were not many individual roasters. Instead of that, there were more big companies like Camp*s, T*by's, Pabl* & R*sty's, Singl* *rigin Roasters, etc. (and they are still big in the industry). So, we wanted to open a coffee brand that can present coffees within our philosophy, style and preference. Since then, started discussing and planning to open, and finally, we opened our first shop in Sydney CBD, Town Hall store (209 Castlereagh Street).

When we opened, our concept was way far from what is supposed to be. We tried to sell 'only' top grade coffees and did not really care about the majority of people who drink milk-based coffees. Maybe because we were too proud of ourselves or were too confident. Thus, the first business model was not successful. About a half year later, luckily we had customers who were very nice and honest. We started to listen to what people said and started to research what people actually want. Since then, we started to re-develop our coffees in terms of drink strength and flavour profile. The result of this was DAMN GOOD BLEND. After we launched the Damn Good Blend, we could see an increasing number of customers coming, and became one of the business coffee shops in the area.

During that time, we have completed many competitions and have won many trophies. This is a great achievement because it is not only for us to prove our quality officially but also we have earned knowledge and experience during the experiments and tests for the competitions. Definitely, we have implemented those in developing our product and service in order to make Normcore even better and to keep it improving.

As time goes by, we opened our 2nd and 3rd shop in Ashfield and Wynyard to expand our brand exposure. Also, we have built our own roasting factory to manage production more precisely and consistently. Furthermore, the Normcore Coffee online store has been accelerated from January 2020 in order to expand and grow the business.

Our story will be continued.

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