Ottawa-Based Coffee Pop-up Serves Hot Drinks And Family Values
Looking for another reason to love coffee? Consider locally-roasted coffee that supports small businesses and sustainable processes? Sarp Diker created West Wind Coffee to deliver exactly this service, through a pop-up style coffee and espresso catering business. However, when COVID-19 hit, Sarp had to pivot his business online and through the ShopHERE Powered by Google Program, West Wind Coffee could set its roots in the digital space!
Sarp started West Wind Coffee after travelling the world and meeting his wife in New Zealand. Since their encounter, Sarp wanted to start a business that will help local entrepreneurs operate sustainably, while maintaining his family values. Now West Wind partners with small local-roasts and farmers to share their stories and their passions during these challenging times. Apart from offering coffee and equipment, West Wind also offers organic traceable teas to ensure quality is always top-notch.
“We focus on bringing higher quality coffee and tea at affordable prices so everyone can experience little luxuries and support locals while enjoying their favourite cup of… whatever they like.”
Sarp's child name, Zephyr has become an inspiration for the business name. According to Greek mythology, Zephyr means the bringer of gentle, westerly wind. When physical locations open again, Sarp hopes to launch his pop-up coffee store in April 2021 in Ottawa.
Sarp believes the ShopHERE Program is a great resource for helping businesses move online and establishing themselves: “Through the program, I realized the potential and the importance of online traffic, especially during the pandemic times. An online presence, even if it’s still small, is better than none, and I expect in time it will grow to be fifty per cent of my income.” Although during his previous experiences in hospitality e-commerce didn’t play a big role, he used this experience to set up his new online store – which he found to be straightforward:
“Due to the patience of my e-commerce coordinator and her willingness to go above and beyond to help me, the process was easier than I dreaded it to be,” explained Sarp. “Shopify was very easy to look through, play around and work with.”
Sarp pointed out that he wanted to have a shop that portrayed West Wind’s family values. He believes that with the mentorship and his coordinator, the online store expresses his vision: “My coordinator was extremely patient, helpful and went above and beyond to ensure that I did not feel rushed to finish the project and helped me set realistic goals so we could get it done.”
For West Wind Coffee, finalizing the online store has been a very important foundational step. Although serving coffee face-to-face is still not an option, the website appeals to a larger audience while Sarp invests time into building a bigger following:
“I take great pride in knowing that I don’t sell nor promote any product I would not use or serve my family and friends. I know the quality of my product is good, it is affordable and is not falsely promoted,” comments Sarp. “But now I’m also a part of an ocean, so my biggest challenge will be to stand out. I leave that to time and ride the currents like the turtles from Nemo.”
When prompted about why other businesses should use ShopHERE, Sarp said: “In our current situation, all businesses should be able to adapt to the ever-developing world. No business should be unequipped to deal with the pace at which our digital world and reality are changing.” His final words of wisdom for other entrepreneurs is to utilize every platform as much as possible to showcase your products.
If you are a small business or know anyone who would be interested in the ShopHERE Program, click here to learn more. To browse through an amazing coffee and tea selection, check out West Wind Coffee online store.
Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, and Yellow Pages.
A $42.5-million investment from FedDev Ontario brought together the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Communitech, Invest Ottawa and the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association to expand the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital as a response to the impacts of COVID-19 in Southern Ontario.