SCA Launches Retail Summit for Coffee Businesses

A poster featuring text promoting the coffee retail summit, paired with a picture of a shelf of coffee bags.

The two-day event featuring presentations and resources is free to attend.


Photos courtesy of Specialty Coffee Association

The COVID-19 pandemic has been immensely challenging to all in the specialty-coffee industry—especially retail businesses, which have seen their visits curtailed for over a year by safety-related rules and restrictions. 

In an effort to help coffee retail businesses, the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) this week will host the Coffee Retail Summit, a two-day free virtual event and resource library for coffee retail businesses. Taking place April 13-14, the event will feature a series of live lectures and discussions aimed at giving coffee retail chains and coffee shops the information they need to manage the challenges facing their businesses today. The presentations will include the latest in community insights, scientific best practice, and market research.

Launching alongside the free two-day virtual event will be a new online resource library where visitors will be able to find previously paywalled research alongside relevant lectures, podcasts, presentations, and writing that will help coffee retail businesses face the challenges ahead.

“The launch of Coffee Retail Summit is particularly exciting for us, as it marks the release of yet another project we have spent the past year developing in response to what we have heard from our industry,” said Yannis Apostolopoulos, CEO of the SCA, in a press release. “It puts the spotlight directly on the coffee retail business sector, a group that faced increasing challenges even before the pandemic hit, and represents our efforts to continue to  decrease the number of barriers to access knowledge and resources within the global specialty coffee community.”  

Vaughn Tan is an Asian man in his late 30s. He smiles for this black and white portrait, wearing thick frame black glasses and a black t shirt.
Vaughn Tan of University College London’s School of Management will discuss planning a resilient business at the Coffee Retail Summit.

The Coffee Retail Summit will include three main topic tracks geared toward coffee retailers: Navigating COVID-19; the Business of Coffee; and Building Your Brand. The COVID-19 track will feature National Coffee Association President & CEO William “Bill” Murray discussing how the coffee sector will look following the pandemic, and Luisa Castellanos, co-founder of Science on Call, addressing technology in retail in light of the pandemic. 

The business segment will include Vaughn Tan, assistant professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at University College London’s School of Management, covering the topic of planning a resilient business. Also in the business track will be a session called “The Internal Focus,” where Daniel Brown and Nepthaly Leonidas of Gilly Brew Bar and Selina Viguera from Blue Bottle Coffee will discuss the importance of retail businesses’ internal structure, systems, and culture.

The branding segment of the Coffee Retail Summit will include sessions and a panel titled “The External Focus,” featuring Andrew Gough of Reverie Coffee Roasters, Sarina Prabasi of Buunni Coffee, and Debra Kaminski of Pacific Barista Series talking about how their businesses have prioritized community service during the pandemic and how those efforts will continue into the future.

Selina is a Filipina woman in her early 40s. She poses with her arms crossed, smiling, wearing a dark blue apron and blue collared shirt. She is inside of a coffee shop with two individuals working behind her.
Selina Viguera, Blue Bottle Coffee café leader, will share insights about retail systems and culture during the event.

The Coffee Retail Summit is free to attend and access thanks to the event’s partners, which include title partner Pacific Barista Series, lead underwriters BWT Water + More, San Remo Coffee Machines, Brewista, and Baratza, and supporting underwriters NutraMilk and La Marzocco

More information is available at the Coffee Retail Summit website, and interested attendees can register for the event here.

About Chris Ryan 259 Articles
Chris Ryan (he/him) is Barista Magazine's online copy editor and a freelance writer and editor with a background in the specialty coffee industry. He has been content director of Sustainable Harvest and the editor of Fresh Cup Magazine.