The Fresh Coffee Company

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from The Fresh Coffee Company is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

The Fresh Coffee Company’s co-
founders Marcel Ottoy (left) and
Toby Richardson
Brazil’s Espirito Santo, a world-
renowned coffee-growing region
and a source for FCC beans
The Fresh Coffee Company supplies a hand-picked selection
of premium imported coffees (roasted by Bristot, one
of Italy’s finest coffee experts), speciality loose-leaf teas
and artisan hot chocolate. It also offers a complete circle of
support, including staff training, equipment installation and
maintenance. The name relates to the fact that all Fresh Coffee
Company beans are with their customers within a month of
being roasted to ensure high quality. Its sophisticated coffees
require finely tuned coffee equipment and skilfully trained
baristas. The company excels at working closely with its
customers to ensure both kit and team are releasing the full
potential of every cup of coffee. Co-directors Marcel Ottoy and
Toby Richardson elaborate further on their successful approach.
The Fresh Coffee Company really took off when we discovered one of Italy’s
best-kept coffee secrets – Bristot. Their signature blend, Tiziano, is named after
the 16th-century painter Titian, who hailed from Belluno, where Bristot’s HQ is
based. The founder of Bristot, who are virtually unknown in the UK, had a hand
in developing the world’s first espresso machine, and the company celebrates its
centenary this year.
Since our launch in 2013, this link has helped us attract customers of all sizes, from
independent coffee shops and high street delis, to restaurant chains, boutique
cinemas and high-end workplace dining companies. We started out in London and
the home counties, and, more recently, due to an increase in business, we opened
»Co-Founders and Directors:
Marcel Ottoy and
»Founded in 2013
»Located in Reigate, Surrey
»Services: Wholesale suppliers
of coffee-related products
»No. of employees: 6
»Our business was set up
with a £10,000 personal
investment and has never had
any external funding
The Fresh Coffee
Highlighting best practice
a second office in the South West.
Our Exeter operation has helped us
to maintain our level of service and
expand into a region where there’s a
real thirst for quality coffee.
Quality is everything
Ninety-five million cups of coffee are
downed in the UK every day, and
consumers are becoming increasingly
knowledgeable and demanding.
Many companies supply coffee, but
we like to think that we do things
differently – not just because of the
quality of our product, but due to the
priority we place on forging close,
communicative relationships with all
our customers. Rather than focus on
growth, volume, profit and scale, we
strive for quality over quantity. We
believe that with great service and
attention to detail comes the potential
for growth.
The Fresh Coffee Company sells a
world-class product from Bristot, a
boutique roaster nestled at the foot
of the Dolomites in Italy, a country
with a proud tradition of coffee
excellence. Over the years, we’ve built
up a strong relationship with Bristot’s
export director and his team, travelling
frequently to Italy to refine our
working relationship and our offering.
Although Bristot have had a presence
in the UK for 15 years, their brand has
expanded massively in the past five,
largely down to our efforts. We are
now the UK’s biggest distributor of
Bristot products, introducing them to
clients all over the country.
We can’t emphasise enough the
importance of quality in everything we
do, which is why we are a protective
brand. We think long and hard about
which customers are right for us. There
has to be an empathy and a fit, or we
simply won’t do business. We look for
a meeting of minds and aspiration, a
union of what we both stand for.
We also prefer to supply multisite
customers who are capable of
representing our brand well and show
mutual interest and understanding.
This helps us scale our operation and
devote more time to our customers.
Our business has always been driven
by building long-term relationships,
not snatching short-term profit.
Supporting our customers
We provide our customers with
ongoing care and attention, to show
us, them and our products at their
very best. This includes training in the
finer nuances of every aspect of barista
skills, from speciality teas and herbal
infusions, to different blends of hot
chocolate – and of course all styles
We organise barista courses, offering
expert training in everything from latte
The Bristot coffee roastery
in Belluno, northern Italy
Training plays a large
part in the Fresh
Coffee Company’s
Fresh Coffee Company customers
at a tasting session
Bristot have
had a presence
in the UK for
15 years, their
brand has
massively in
the past five,
largely down
to our efforts
art and different brewing techniques,
to how to care for your machines.
We also handle the tweaking and
fine-tuning of the coffee machines
themselves, to ensure they produce the
finest cup of coffee every time.
This process of continual quality
assurance benefits everyone. If
potential customers aren’t interested
in our training offer, they’re clearly
not simpatico with our expectation
of excellence, so we often don’t take
things any further.
Managing change
As good as our offering is, some
factors are outside our control. For
example, 95 per cent of our stock
comes from Italy, so we are very
susceptible to the relationship of the
pound to the euro. And unlike many
other coffee importers, we choose
not to stockpile our product – that
way it’s always fresh. Our stock turns
around every month, but as we buy so
regularly from Italy, the exchange rate
impacts on our profits. We are relying
on a favourable trading relationship
with Europe, so there is less risk of
having to change our name.
Another difficulty – albeit one that’s
more in our control – is keeping up
with the constant and rapid pace of
change in the sector. Every new and
subtle development in the industry is
something we have to understand,
even if we don’t implement it
ourselves. Of course, we prefer to stay
ahead of the curve and be the ones
setting the trends.
Belief in ourselves and our
These challenges are not enough to
curb our success. As a company with
a strong focus on relationships, we
look carefully at the brands we work
with that are growing and show great
potential. Their success becomes our
success. One customer, a boutique
cinema chain, is the perfect example.
Their success story and rate of growth
is remarkable. And we have grown
with them.
Our long-term success rests on our
fundamental philosophy and our
dedication to our product and service,
which underpin everything we do. We
supply a top-quality coffee product
and provide a second-to-none,
professional, helpful resource for all
our valued customers. Even when
times get tough, we will always be
passionate about perfecting the next
cup of coffee.
95 per cent of
our stock comes
from Italy, so we
are very
susceptible to
the relationship
of the pound to
the euro
The Dolomites national
park. Home to Bristot,
FCC’s main supplier of
fresh roasted coffee

This article was sponsored by The Fresh Coffee Company. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.