Because we’re our own distributor of coffee everything happens under one roof. So I get to hear the customers calling in and what we call our department of awesomeness, which is just the customer service team answering questions, interacting with customers. We have walk-ins, people just bike and pickup coffee, and stick in the back of their shirt and ride home with it. Then I can go down to the roastery and chat with Ivory and Derek who are roasting batches of fabulous coffee. I get to see the boxes being packed up and hauled out into the hall and picked up by UPS.
Everything happens and I get to see all the touches. And because I’ve traveled to origin I can actually piece together the whole process, from the moment the bean is picked to the moment that one of us is drinking it. My name is Melanee Meegan and I am the Marketing Manager at Peace Coffee. Peace Coffee is unique in that we have a bike delivery system, that’s actually inspired a lot of other companies to want to do bike delivery. We have two flat bed trailers that get hauled all around the city. They can hold up to 600 pounds of coffee. I tag team a lot with the women that I supervise and get out to early morning bike rides, demos where we’re in stores tasting and sampling coffee. Peace Coffee is a fair-trade, organic, shade grown coffee company based here in Minneapolis. We’re a roaster/wholesaler and my job is to make sure that we are communicating our mission and vision to our customers, to the people that drink our coffee, stores, and the general public.
I also do a lot of early morning coffee brewing, brewing up for the Minneapolis bike tour or some sort of bike related events. That’s probably about 20% of my time. 50% on the computer, 30% is in meetings, and kind of planning for the future. I graduated from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. I was an International Business major and a minor in Spanish.
The business degree allowed me to understand how companies could potentially work for the betterment of society. Personally, I run marathons, I play soccer. I love drinking coffee, but it definitely is a benefit that I have a specific drive and passion that is in alignment with the company. I have to take in a lot of information at one time. So I’ve learned to make decision quickly. Being organized, making sure that everything is in the right folder, asking questions to get all the details right. Because we don’t have an internal design team I end up having to use Photoshop, InDesign Illustrator a lot. I have to manage a fairly large budget, so I’m constantly using spread sheets, updating our social media tools, and using YouTube. I actually got a Flip camera about 2 years ago that’s been a nice addition to the work that I’ve been doing.
So we took the Flip camera to Brazil and I’m looking forward to the footage back from there. Peace Coffee benefits the environment because all our coffee is organic and also shade grown. Shade grown coffee means that we are providing habitat for migratory birds. Coffee is a shade loving plant, and grows better in the shade. So to say we buy only shade grown is our commitment to providing a diverse ecosystem for all the animals and producing countries. And then on our end here because of the stewardship that the farmers are putting into their land, we find it very important to do as much in our own community as we can.
So, we’ve been bike delivering the coffee. I have two full-time bikers that go year round and they actually, over the years, have monitored how many miles, how much weight they’ve carried, and then offset their carbon, and saved a lot of trees. As a marketing manager there’s a perception that you’re telling lies. Our goal is to be as transparent as possible. We show our contracts online so that you can see what we are paying the farmers. Because the company as a whole is legitimate in what it does, that’s what makes my job easier. My advice to somebody that wants to go into marketing is having a colleague group that can really share things that have worked for them, and things that haven’t.
Continuing to find like-minded people in the industry to work with, or to ask questions. The field changes so quickly. Make sure that you’re passionate about the company you’re representing. You’d hope that it’s making a positive impact, whether it be on the people, environment, or communities..