Todd Carmichael, the co-founder and CEO of La Colombe, says he has a “firm belief that nothing is ever truly finished.” He is, however, content with the recent completion of the company’s 60,000 sq. ft. production facility, one that will support a dramatic increase in the distribution and retail placement of its RTD Draft Latte products.
In a video interview filmed last week at Natural Products Expo West 2017, Carmichael noted that since La Colombe has been in the coffee business for 23 years, “making our own things isn’t something that’s completely foreign to us.” Yet despite the company’s deep experience as a roaster, retailer and, most recently, a producer of RTD beverages, he described the construction of the new plant as “a big pill to swallow.”
“It was a big challenge; it was a lot of work for 120 days,” Carmichael said. “But now that it’s behind us, we have all the freedom in the world.”
The new facility is outfitted with a filler that can produce approximately 60,000 cans in an hour; the company expects utilize that capacity to its fullest as the year progresses. La Colombe’s Draft Lattes are currently available in between 5,000 and 8,000 retail locations and the company is eyeing a total of 30,000 points of distribution by the end of the year, Carmichael said.
Watch this video to hear more from Carmichael, both on La Colombe’s plans to grow the availability of its RTD products and on an expansion of its cafe business, including new locations in Los Angeles and Miami. He also discusses the company’s new product strategy, and how its guiding aim of lifting “the crafted coffee experience from our cafes and [bringing] it out to retailers,” drove the creation and launch of its new Chai and Coconut Milk Mocha Draft Lattes.