Bolla Brew Goes Private

Control over merchandising made private-label coffee Bolla's best solution

Abbie Westra, Director, Editorial, CSP

HICKSVILLE, N.Y. -- After juggling a handful of coffee contracts with little control over merchandising or design, Bolla Management Corp. is launching its own private-label coffee program. The Hicksville, N.Y.-based retailer will slowly roll out Bolla Coffee to all 40 of its convenience stores starting this month.

The company worked with its distributor, Harold Levinson Associates, on the program, Bolla's merchandising manager Seif Abdraboh told CSP Daily News. The distributor, which is also a coffee roaster, helped Bolla create custom merchandising and a house [image-nocss] blend, chosen by Abdraboh himself after an extensive tasting.

Previously, the company worked with Green Mountain Coffee and some other coffee suppliers. "Before, I had one company here, one company there. The cost was very high to begin with, and there was no consistency in the POP [point of purchase] and design. Now we have our own design, and it's going to be consistent throughout the stores."

He added, "For convenience retailers, it's all about the look and the setup."

The Bolla Coffee lineup includes the Bolla Blend, a breakfast blend, French vanilla, hazelnut, decaffeinated and a featured flavor that changes every two months. The brand's design, which Abdraboh is finalizing right now, will also carry over to the condiment center.

Prices range from $1.29 for a 12-oz. cup to $1.79 for a 24-oz. cup. Abdraboh hopes to hit 70% margins, and plans to jumpstart sales with a bottled water combo (buy a 20-oz. coffee, get a 16-oz. bottle of water for free) and sampling.

As for customer loyalty to the old brew, Abdraboh is not concerned. "We have a lot of confidence that this will do very good because the taste is really great."

Meanwhile, Bolla Management is preparing for the grand opening of a new store in Brooklyn this August. This 3,600-square-foot store will have "a very big foodservice presence," said Abdraboh. "It will have a Boar's Head deli and a hot case and cold case buffet." With no seating, this new store will serve grab-and-go customers. A handful of other stores in the company's portfolio also tout gourmet delis.

Abbie Westra, CSP/Winsight By Abbie Westra, Director, Editorial, CSP
View More Articles By Abbie Westra