The Brand Behind the Coffee

By D.J. Costantino


D.J. Costantino
Huckleberry co-founders Koan Goedman and Mark Mann
Huckleberry co-founders Koan Goedman and Mark Mann

Huckleberry co-founders Koan Goedman and Mark Mann, with the help of Rising Star Roaster Kevin Nealon, have created a brand that’s as beautiful in the cup as it is on the shelf. Since founding the company in 2011, they’ve doubled production every year with quality and consistency steadily improving. Here’s some of their advice for creating and sustaining a brand that’s integrated into the community and primed for expansion, both locally and nationally.

Don’t alienate “less savvy” customers. “There’s a lot of people in Denver who like a regular cup of joe,” says Goedman. Nealon works to ensure that every cup of coffee, from a single origin Kalita Wave pour-over to a “light-and-sweet” drip coffee, is the best cup of coffee the customer has ever had.

Engage your wholesale partners, too. Sample packs come to perspective clients in the form of playful cassette tape tins. Goedman and Mann also send out weekly newsletters to wholesalers, and they have staff dedicated to making sure restaurants and cafes have the tools they to make Huckleberry shine. 

Know your clientele. Denver isn’t a logo tee kind of town. So Huckleberry had a few cafĂ© regulars, local artists from the Moore Collection (@moorecollection), design shirts to fit the town’s outdoorsy, non-corporate aesthetic. They are also releasing cans of cold brew in four and six packs for active Denverites to take out on the trail or to the slopes.

Brands are living things. Huckleberry recently ditched their script logo for a custom font by Mast (@studiomastco) that’s fresh, clean, and versatile. “If [the brand] gets too set and rigid, it doesn’t feel current,” says Goedman.

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