Thursday, 23 May 2024
WorldCompanies: Café La Flor de Córdoba bets on growing in Mexico

Companies: Café La Flor de Córdoba bets on growing in Mexico


Frederick Hernandez Curtis, is passionate about coffee. He represents the third generation of the Guadalajara company Café La Flor de Córdoba, which has been in the lives of the Tapatios since 1938.

In interview, Federico tells us about the growth plans of the company that his grandfather started 86 years ago, which includes the new corporate officesa coffee shop, a cookie factory and bakery, and even a small museum.

Also, he talks about the expansion of the brand that is currently present in several cities in Jalisco and plans to grow in the cities of El Bajío. Besides, Next year they plan to open the first branch in the United States.

Hernández Curtis talks about the business model of this successful coffee shop chain. Initially there were six branches and currently 120 operate and continue to grow. Also, share the importance of the personnel in the company that has been key to the expansion of this iconic brand for the people of Guadalajara.

Federico Hernández Curtis is the general director of this company founded by his grandfather José Manuel Hernández and continued by his father Francisco Manuel Hernández Reyes.

-At what age did you join the company?

-I started when I was little, I helped my dad on vacation, I went with him to the Santa Monica and Independencia offices, which was the first cafeteria that my grandfather opened in 1938. Upstairs was his office and I went in there and I liked it, those were my first contacts with the brand. Afterwards, I continued studying and came on vacation.

-What degree did you study?

-I studied marketing at ITESO and I wanted to work in the company or somewhere, so when I finished my degree I started working in the company and I fell in love with marketing, La Flor de Córdoba, coffee and customer service. customer.

-How did you prepare to be in charge of the company?

-Once I was already working, I started taking roasting courses, barista courses, diploma courses and administration courses to be able to be in charge. Before I was a “everything”, but I had the help of my dad, but there was no marketing, franchise, or sales department and little by little the team we have today was formed, which is more professional, with experience and studies. in each area.

-What do you think has been the key to the company’s success?

-I believe that the key to success is always offering what the client is looking for, that is very difficult many times because as you grow you delegate and train people to be able to do it and growing is complicated, you have changes in every sense, But the key is to be faithful to what our founders and the second generation and now the third have tried to preserve, which is to continue providing an excellent quality product for which we buy the best coffee beans.

-Where do you source your coffee?

-From the main producing regions in Mexico such as: Veracruz, Chiapas and Oaxaca, here we do the roasting, mixing, grinding and marketing.

-How was the brand expanding?

-Little by little we have been growing and adapting to the needs of the people, before we did not sell prepared drinks, it was only sales; Then, we started selling prepared drinks, then cold drinks like frappés. It was my team’s turn to introduce the food; They are categories that we added, because the client needs them.

We have been in many places where the client is demanding us, where we see that there is a need for good coffee, there we put a cafeteria and that is how we have been growing.

-Currently, how many collaborators do you have?

-Including the franchises, we have between 550 and 600 collaborators. I believe that without the team it is impossible to do things, you have to add people more capable than you and experts in the areas that you do not master. They are the face of the company, the employees in the offices, production, the baristas who are in each cafeteria are the ambassadors of the brand and the truth is that without them we could not grow.

-Of the 120 branches that operate, how many are franchises and how many operate directly?

-We operate 40 directly and the rest are franchises. It has been a very interesting model, but very challenging for growth. My dad made the first franchise about 18 years ago in the city center and right now we are managing franchises with returns of 24 to 36 months and the investments range from 2.5 million pesos onwards, everything depends on the location and conditions of the local.

-How is the new plant they are building going?

-We are finishing a factory in the Belenes Norte Corporate Park, in Zapopan, where we are going to have a state-of-the-art digital roaster with a capacity of half a ton per hour; It will be the only one in Mexico and Latin America. In addition, we are going to have a cafeteria in the factory where people will be able to see the roaster and we will give tours so that they can learn about the quality we handle and what the process is like. The Corporate Belenes Norte is a park well located on the side of Periférico and very close to CUCEA.

-What is the brand expansion strategy?

-Going to professionalize it more, institutionalize it more so that the business can follow the fourth and fifth generations, that is the great challenge to grow it and take great care of the sources of work.

-What is the expansion plan you have for the coming years?

-The medium and long-term business vision is to continue growing in Mexico. We believe that we still have a lot of market, there are many followers of the brand; We are currently in Los Altos de Jalisco, in Culiacán, León Guanajuato and other cities, but we want to continue growing in El Bajío… It is a difficult and electoral year, we have to be more cautious.

-Have you considered venturing into the United States?

-In the near future we are also contemplating opening the first branch in the United States. I would like to go to Texas, California and Illinois, our coffee can be in any city.

-What is the coffee you like the most?

-I really like coffee, drinking coffee in the morning, in the afternoon, at a business meeting. I really like medium roasted Americano, the world trend is towards lighter toasts, there are some very high roasts, but I really don’t like them. I love espresso, I really like the French press and I prepared it that way or in a normal coffee maker.

C.T.

Topics

  • Companies
  • Café La Flor de Córdoba
  • Entrepreneurs

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