Whatever Happened To Basic Coffee?



When I was growing up my parents boiled water in a kettle and stirred in one or two teaspoons of instant coffee in a mug, usually with a little bit of sugar and some milk. Two teaspoons on a Monday, and one for the other days of the week. They usually bought whatever was on sale that week at Winn Dixie. Maxwell House was their favorite brand because it was “good til the last drop,” but my mom was particularly susceptible to Folger’s jingles. We switched somewhere in the mid-80s because “the best part of waking up was Folgers in your cup.” She would hum that jingle while the kettle boiled.
We hadn’t heard of Starbucks yet. In fact, there were only 17 stores in 1987. By the time I graduated from college a few years later they had grown to 116 stores and became publicly traded in 1991. The era of overcomplicated, high-calorie, caffeinated desserts had arrived. You could buy a pound of Folgers in the store for three bucks in 1991, or you could get one Venti Half-Caf Soy Latte with two pumps of caramel at the local Starbucks for the same price. For me, there was never really much appeal in paying a big price for a fancy coffee, but I wasn’t the target. My sister was. And women like her. Starbucks built an empire, the largest coffee retailer in the world, on the backs of college-educated female consumers. Their core audience of 25 to 40-year-old females makes up 49% of total sales. As a marketer, I knew this was a sound strategy. As a basic coffee drinker, I didn’t get it. I wished I had, though. If you had invested $1,000 in the Starbucks IPO in 1991, your investment would be worth $276,000 today. I didn’t invest. #ShotOfDepresso.
Meanwhile at Publix, I’m having a hard time finding Folgers. The entire aisle is full of Keurig K-Cup Pods, freshly-ground beans from Kenya and Guatemala and 437 other flavored coffee options from — you guessed it — Starbucks. The next time I go shopping for coffee, I think I need to have a cup of joe first.
And if you’re into these sorts of statistics you may find it interesting that coffee consumption has risen from 64% to 82% of America during that time frame, a 28% increase since 1991. Coincidentally, the obesity rate in U.S. has also increased 28% since 1991. #IJustSpilledTheBeans





Monday, August 5 – No, THANK YOU, Carissa!



Art Director Carissa Ghaffari stepped in to guest lecture at Madison+Main University’s Lunch & Learn on Monday, replacing a teammate who was under the weather. She did an awesome job sharing her recent experience at a workshop at Campfire & Co., a Richmond-based interior design studio. Always excited to learn what other creative companies are doing in RVA! No, THANK YOU, Carissa.







Tuesday, August 6 – Heading Home



I am thrilled to announce that Madison+Main has been chosen as agency-of-record for Henrico-based non-profit Housing Families First. We will be developing a capital campaign brand and assisting them with marketing, social media, and public relations work. We have provided some pro bono PR support to the organization in the past and they decided to bring us on for a full slate of services. Huge thanks to Executive Director Beth Vann Turnbull, aka #BestClientEver. See? She even has a coffee mug to prove it!
Account Executive Haleigh Lader and I joined photographer Catt Levesque to shoot some social media and website photos for The Brandermill Church Tuesday morning. We picked the PERFECT day. The church was decorated top to bottom for vacation bible school and there had to be over 100 kids participating.







Wednesday, August 7 – Espress Yo-Self



Wednesday started out kind of rough when I ordered a fancy coffee at Panera and got a Chai Latte instead. I said, “Caffe Latte” and she heard something else. In case you have never had one, a Chai Latte tastes like a liquified Cinnabon and despite downing all 16 putrid ounces of it, I was still sleepy. As it turns out, coffee has caffeine in it and Chai Latte’s do not. However, they have enough sugar to instantly add three pounds to a 51-year-old man.

By the time I grabbed lunch with friend and fellow Rotarian Rich Salon, my appetite had returned. Rich is a Circuit City alum and President of Goochland Rotary. I was excited to learn about his experiences helping match people and franchise opportunities. Check out his website to learn more, www.OwnershipConnection.com.


Thursday, August 8 – Road Crew



Director of Business & Marketing Leanne Ferry, Account Executive Allison Throckmorton, and Communications Director Kent Brockwell spent a good chunk of Thursday at A. Smith Bowman Distillery in Fredericksburg. The bad news? They couldn’t drink a drop. They were driving the company car and working. But when you get to hang out with Master Distiller, Brian Prewitt, it’s a good day. To help remind Kent that he couldn’t sample any bourbon, we made him wear his Who’s Your Driver golf shirt.






Friday, August 2 – Heading In The Right Direction




We began working with a company called FEC Enterprises, LLC, six weeks ago. It is a very exciting project, but didn’t have a brand name. I’m very excited to be able to publicly announce that Compass Entertainment Complex will be breaking ground this fall on a state-of-the-art movie theater and entertainment center in Lancaster, and opening in the spring of 2020. It will be the largest and most diverse venue of its kind in the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula.




A Few of Our Favorite Events


RVA RIMBY Festival

Libbie Mill-Downtown| Richmond, VA

August 10, 2019 | 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.


Have some fun with us August 10, 2019 at Libbie Mill from noon until 5 p.m. for the RVA RIMBY Festival. There will be a fly casting demo, an archery range, Segway and electric bike rides, fish and reptile encounters, a bike repair station, and outdoor gear demos. You can enjoy live music by East of Blue Ridge, food and soft drinks from Aw Shucks, and local beers! Barbecue fans will not want to miss our BBQ competition! To learn more, visit here.



2019 Bourbon and Beer Festival

A. Smith Bowman Distillery | Fredericksburg, VA

August 24, 2019 | 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

A fun event to start off fall. Join us at the Fredericksburg Agricultural Fairgrounds (2400 Airport Ave.) to enjoy bourbon tastings, local craft beer tastings, and cigars! Mix and mingle with local brewers, distillers, and new friends. A select number of Virginia wineries and cideries will be sampling their award-winning beverages as well. Live music will be on the Safford of Fredericksburg Main Stage.



Virginia Craft Spirits Roadshow

A. Smith Bowman Distillery | Fredericksburg, VA

September 28, 2019 | 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.


The tastiest roadshow in Virginia is coming to A. Smith Bowman Distillery! Present by the Virginia Distillers Association and A. Smith Bowman Distillery, the Virginia Craft Spirits Roadshow provides a wonderful opportunity for spirit lovers to meet Virginia distillers firsthand and sample artisan spirits as well as craft cocktails from multiple Virginia distilleries under one roof. Guests can save by purchasing advanced tickets.



Got an upcoming event you want to share? Can we come? Send us the deets!




“Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard.”

— Anne Spencer, American poet & Civil Rights activist