Groundwork Coffee got its start in 1990 as a small, family-owned rare book store and coffee roastery on Rose Avenue in Venice, California. “In the early days,” says Director of Marketing Jessica Smith, “our owners had a strong commitment to high-quality, organic coffee, which led to Groundwork becoming one of the first certified organic coffee roasters in Southern California in 1994.” Groundwork Coffee debuted a brand refresh and redesign in September of this year.

We spoke with Jessica Smith to learn more.

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When did you launch the redesign?

September 15th, 2021

Who designed it?

We collaborated closely with the Los Angeles-based branding agency Ludlow Kingsley to ensure our story was communicated in the most effective way possible. The packaging design takes the many complexities of information architecture and print production and makes them seemingly effortless.

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Tell us about the changes made to the packaging design.

As the first organic coffee shop in Los Angeles, we wanted our refreshed packaging to convey our unwavering commitment to our community and eco-friendly practices. Our distinct logo was hand drawn, representing our small-batch approach and down-to-earth attitude.

We sought to create both visual and physical packaging attributes that complement our brand’s ethos. Printing on kraft bags offered a rough-hewn texture that doesn’t feel too precious. Additionally, we found our earth-toned color palette and statement-making graphic cutouts looked even more organic when printed on this rougher surface. These minor yet thoughtful details help our products stand out among the glossier, flashier coffee brands on the market.

People perusing coffee options are immediately drawn to the word “organic” even from a distance, because it’s purposefully positioned within every product name. The bold font and graphic elements draw attention when our products are sitting on a grocery shelf or a kitchen counter.

Coffee drinkers can easily learn more about our eco-conscious approach through the details on our packaging, organized into three categories: Always Organic, Planet Focused, and Relationship Based. We pioneered organic coffee sourcing in the early ‘90s, choose eco-friendly packaging and energy-efficient roasting practices, and work closely with our partners to ensure their farms and communities are thriving.

Moreover, we specifically chose sustainable packaging, including earth-friendly BiotrēTM bags, made from 60% renewable plant-based resources by weight. These materials break down into healthy compost.

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Where is your coffee available?

Online, at Groundwork Coffee retail locations, and at various retailers like Whole Foods on the West Coast and Sprouts nationwide.

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What’s next for Groundwork Coffee?

At Groundwork, we see a future where Organic is the new norm. When it comes to pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, coffee is one of the top sprayed agricultural crops globally. Because it’s such a delicate and time-consuming practice, most coffee farmers rely on these chemicals to make sure their farms yield bountiful coffee plants. Many have accepted this as the norm, but we’re here to inspire customers to choose better coffee, and inspire the industry to do better as a whole. Groundwork strives to be the #1 Certified Organic coffee company in North America, but only by approaching our growth from a mindset of doing no unnecessary harm to our communities and our environment and instead, fueling people to work hard, dream big, and make a positive impact.

Thank you!

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