Willow Creek Coffee is a premium Arabica bean coffee exclusively developed by Open Pantry approximately fifteen years ago, primarily in response to the popularity of Starbucks coffee. The coffee beans are derived from environmentally friendly sources and are roasted and blended according to Open Pantry’s exacting specifications by Royal Cup Coffee of Birmingham, AL. Open Pantry sells freshly brewed blends in a variety of popular sizes. Since its introduction in 2004, Willow Creek Coffee has been a very successful offering for Open Pantry.
Open Pantry was diligent in its efforts to develop Willow Creek Coffee. In order to conduct market research and to perfect the blend, Open Pantry opened a standalone coffee shop in Milwaukee in 2005. Open Pantry operated the coffee shop for a 2-1/2 year period, during which it tested a variety of blends and images and learned several critical lessons. First, a weak brew coffee drinker is willing to “step up” to a stronger blend, while a strong brew coffee drinker is less likely to “step down” to a weaker blend. Second, the value to female consumers, Open Pantry’s target market for premium coffee, is derived about equally from the coffee’s taste and its brand image. Finally, the cup feel, plus the availability of coffee condiments are also important factors. As a result, Willow Creek Coffee is a strong premium coffee blend, served in a high density, attractively designed, accompanied by a large array of coffee condiments. To maintain the highest quality, Willow Creek Coffee is freshly ground in each store daily and brewed in top of the line Bunn equipment.