Richmond, Virginia’s very own Blanchard’s Coffee Roasting Co, now in its 14th year, has upped its game with lovely new packaging. The team at Blanchard’s spent two years moving the design and creative process in-house, lead by their designer Anna Thompson (Palindrome Creative Co.) and photographer and illustrator Cameron Lewis. “[Thompson] is responsible for corralling all of our rambling thoughts and ideas and synthesizing them into a final piece that perfectly embodied our desires,” says Blanchard’s representative Seth Bauserman. We had an opportunity to learn more about their vision and process by speaking digitally to Bauserman.

Tell us a bit about your company.

Blanchard’s Coffee Roasting Co. is a wholesale coffee roaster located in Richmond, Virginia. Our story began in 2005 when Founder, David Blanchard roasted the first batch of coffee on his new Ambex roaster, set up in his father’s garage. In those early days, David’s goal was to roast great coffee that he could share with family and friends. Over the years, family and friends grew in number, and our coffee community expanded to include customers and producers from around the world. Our modern, efficient coffee roasting facility is far removed from David’s father’s garage, but the spirit of Blanchard’s original mission still informs everything we do to this day. We strive to create a culture of intent, which begins with how we source coffees and the relationships we build with farmers and producers, continues through the information and education we provide about those coffees and relationships, and concludes with our clients and customers making informed, intentional decisions about the coffees they choose to brew.

When did the coffee package design debut?

October 1st of 2018.

What coffee information do you share on the package?

Processing method, altitude, variety, farmer, region, and farm name are all present on the label. Additionally, there is a supplemental insert that details more information about the coffee–sometimes a photograph from origin on a postcard, sometimes an illustration. We want our packaging to push to our website where we can dive deeper into information and resources.

Why are aesthetics in coffee packaging so important?

As a wholesale roaster we feel the pressure and responsibility of communicating our vision, brand, and story for coffee through our packaging. Not having a physical cafe space to communicate those things can be limiting, so packaging becomes our outlet for engaging customers with our point of view. Whether or not we execute that need or not is ultimately up to the customers who experience and interact with our products.

Aesthetics are particularly important for this package which is set aside for special releases. A few times a year we come across coffees that demand our attention because of their quality, scarcity, story, or uniqueness. These coffees push our boundaries and beg us to be more intentional with the materials and design of the package that holds them. We’ve worked to create a package that directs the customers focus to the coffee inside, using color, sustainable materials, and a hand printed approach. Color is a tool we use in all of our packaging to reflect the tone and character of each coffee, and this package expresses that in the purest sense. The color becomes an extension of the flavor and feel of the coffee itself.

Where is the bag manufactured?

The interior bag is Biotrē made by PBi. The exterior box was made in Nashville. The goal with this project was a low-cost product where we maintain complete control and flexibility. All labels and box colors are printed by hand in Richmond by our staff. The coffee community is full of people coming from creative backgrounds, so we have a few individuals on our staff who know their way around a printing studio. We work with a local non-profit printing studio, Studio Three, who facilitates creative practices through shared space, tools, and education.

What type of package is it?

The box was designed by us and is made of 24pt Kraft Board. All color you see on the box and label is a water based ink applied through screen printing. The interior bag is kraft Biotrē produced by PBI who does all of our other retail packaging.

Is the package recyclable/compostable?

Yes, the box is made of 100% recycled paperboard and is recyclable. The interior bag is compostable once the valve is removed.

Where is it currently available?

You can purchase these at our roasting facility and on our website.

Company: Blanchard’s Coffee Roasting Co.
Location: Richmond, VA
Country: United States
Release Date: October 2018
Designer: Anna Thompson

Zachary Carlsen is a co-founder and editor at Sprudge Media Network. Read more Zachary Carlsen on Sprudge.

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