We love to tell the story of a good redesign here at Coffee Design on Sprudge. But when a fifth generation, hundred-year-old coffee company is rethinking their calling card—the coffee bag—well, that sure perks up our interest! And so today we’re taking a closer look at the interesting design work of Fleischkup’s Coffee in Kulm, North Dakota.
As told to Sprudge by Michael Fleischkup.
Tell us about Fleischkup’s Coffee. When did y’all open? What’s your approach to coffee?
Fleischkup’s Coffee has been extant in one form or another since 1915, when my great grandfather, the patriarch Augustus Fleishckup emigrated from Germany to North Dakota under duress and legal persecution from his native village of Essen. He carried with him a centuries-old traditional (yet totally unique) approach to coffee roasting and brewing honed by a chance encounter with a roving band of cursed Hussars. It’s this unique approach to coffee that has led us to declare our motto at Fleischkup’s Coffee: Powered by People.
Tell us about the packaging! When did it debut? Who designed it?
We met with a leading specialty coffee design agency to discuss rethinking our coffee bags. It was a most curious and memorable meeting; at one point they handed an iPad to us and said, “Click here to engage our agency in a contract.” I felt this was rather bold, and so I clicked, but under one condition: that they must conduct the design and branding work on-site at our working roaster/retailer farmhouse in the rural North Dakota village of Kulm, where the Fleischkup’s bloodline are proudly in control of all local services and governance, including the police department and telephone companies.
With the offer of a swift cash payment (they gladly accepted papiermarks), we engaged thusly with the agency of record. Soon they joined us in our farmhouse, and design work began almost immediately. It soon became clear that their vision for our design was quite similar to many, many other coffee bags on the market, almost as though it was drafted from a template or pre-existing source. All they did was add some photos of mine dear Nana in photoshop. They didn’t even take new photos, even though Nana offered to pose for one (after quenching her ravenous monthly thirst, of course).
One thing led to another, and when we noticed the design team fraternizing with one of our latest crop of baristas (thank you Sprudge Jobs for supplying a steady bounty of workers) we knew the work must be concluded immediately. We then took these designers to our basement, where Fleischkup’s antique combination coffee roaster and meat grinder dwells. The rest, they say, is coffee history, and Nana is most pleased, which is what matters most.
What coffee releases are you currently excited about?
Each month during lunistice, my Nana emerges from a cocoon-like slumber with an insatiable thirst can only be sated by inducing in Nana’s Blend, a carefully crafted offering based on our ancient family recipe.
We are also offering a fine Cerro Azul Gesha right now, as well as advising our close working partners at origin in Honduras on a promising gastro-membranic partial fermentation project.
What’s next for Fleischkup’s Coffee?
We plan to continue growing our brand, introducing more and more people to the one-of-a-kind experience that is Fleischkup’s. Free shipping is now offered nationwide, with the exception of FBI field offices and facilities in Quantico, Virginia.
For more on Fleischkup’s Coffee, see our recent On The Menu and Sprudge Maps Spotlight features.
Fleischkup’s Coffee is hiring! Visit SprudgeJobs to learn more about this unique opportunity.