My quest for an almond milk latte

I’m a vegan with an intolerance to soy milk. The stuff makes my throat real itchy & sore every time I consume it. I can & do eat all types of other soy products all the time. Only the “milk” jacks me up.

This causes some issues for me because the majority of the coffee shops out there solely stock soy milk as their non dairy alternative.

There are plenty of alternative vegan creamers on the market, but my favorite to pair with espresso is almond milk.

Unfortunately, a quick check with all of the local coffee shops around my house revealed that no one carried almond milk. Weak sauce!

One of the coffee shops closest to my house is a Tully’s located inside a Fry’s grocery store. Determined to make good things happen near my home, I left a message for the manager requesting almond milk & asking for a call back.

image

A day or so later, the manager called me back to let me know that they were now stocking individual size servings of Silk brand almond milk in the mini fridge at Tully’s due to my request. Win!

She said they can only carry what is authorized by Tully’s corporate, but to make a customer out of me, she made a judgment call to start stocking it in the mini fridge as Fry’s already carried it on their shelves (the coffee shop is operated by Frys).

She also let me know that she tried out an almond milk latte to see what it was like and thought it was delicious!

After a few visits, I asked one of the employees if they were selling a lot of the almond milks & his response was “surprisingly yes”.

It’s also hella cheap! They charge me $1.90 for a double shot of espresso & $1.19 (often just $1 on sale) for the almond milk single, making my lattes a mere ~$3 each (with Frys card). On top of all that, every 5th drink is free (tracked via Frys card).

Score, score, score! So now I regularly get delicious almond milk lattes on the cheap, at a coffee spot right next to my house. #happywes

I’m quite proud of this little accomplishment that showcases a successful example of consumer demand. If you want something, make sure to ask for it! You just might get it.

As an aside, I first requested that a lil independently owned bagel shop/cafe start carrying almond milk as I prefer to support indy outfits. One of the owners responded by telling me “I haven’t seen the demand for it”. WTF, what do you call my request for you to start carrying it? Quite a fail on their part as it lost them a regular customer.

Have you tried an almond milk latte?

6 thoughts on “My quest for an almond milk latte”

  1. I just wanted to say that please, don’t give your indie shop a hard time because they told you they don’t see the demand for it. Your response was frankly quite disheartening. “WTF, what do you call my request for you to start carrying it?” I call that one person, one request. One request does not justify the expense of having to stock a whole extra UPC. Stocking a whole new type of milk for ONE customer will actually lose them money, as with only one customer using it, they may not be able to get through their stock before it expires (7 days after opening). Not to mention the added costs of ordering and shipping the product. They may not have easy access to almond milk with their current provider (for example, my shop uses Pet dairy which only has dairy, and we get our soy milk from a place we can get many other products from, and they do not offer almond milk) and to open up an account with another company (JUST for almond milk!) can be very costly.

    So if someone who runs a coffee shop (or restaurant, or any business, really) gets lots of requests for a new product, they might find that the demand is high enough to offset the cost of stocking said product, as all those people that requested are likely to use it. If only ONE person, or two or three, request something, no, they would “not see the demand for it” and it would not be beneficial to them to stock that product.

    It was not a personal attack, and it was not “quite a fail.” They are losing less money by losing you as a customer than they would be if they stocked almond milk solely for one customer’s use. Otherwise, they would have given you a different answer.

    As an aside, most independently owned coffee shops would be perfectly happy to make your latte with whatever kind of milk you bring in, and likely only charge you for the other ingredients. I know personally, I’ve made a breast milk iced latte before when someone brought it in. (How does that fit into a vegan diet, I wonder?)

    1. Hi Kay, thanks for the speculation on the trials and tribulations of stocking almond milk from a business perspective, but the bottom line to the consumer is that it’s just frustrating and causes customer loss (as you mentioned) when a shop ignores the “demand”.

      In addition, as you can see from the post above, it is possible to stock individual servings of almond milk, which would alleviate the concern of an entire half gallon going to waste in the Indy shop.

      Related: a friend of mine told me that a local coffee shop that he frequents started carrying almond milk just for him and his coworker, so for that shop at least, it wasn’t such an astronomical request.

      BTW: Breast milk latte? Gross!

  2. I am becoming more and more vegan every day and find that I have been able to replace almond milk with regular milk and really like it. I had cut creamer completely out of my coffee, but thought I would do a search for almond milk lattes to see if they exist anywhere and found this post. Quite funny to me to read the business perspective of the cost of carrying a new product. I have been a business owner for nearly ten years and need to keep current customers happy by providing new product often, even if there is a cost associated, losing a regular customer is not worth it in the end. More and more are cutting dairy out of their lifestyle. Almond milk has been around for many years and was popular because of its shelf life. So, I don’t think that any coffee shop should hesitate to carry this if anyone is asking for it. A happy customer brings new customers!

      1. Lux, Village Coffee Roastery, and La Grande Orange all have delicious almond milk lattes! Well, the first two more so than the last, but at least someone out there hears our cry for soy-less, vegan lattes.

  3. on the single customer request – i used to ask for raw sugar for my coffee,
    and would walk out if they had only overrefined white sugar..
    today, raw sugar is typical of all coffee shops i use..

    the future starts today, many sales start with one..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *