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Espreado: The Best Way to Spread the Love and Caffeine

Spoon University logo Spoon University 2/3/2019 Annie Calfo

Do you love coffee, but not the amount of time it takes to make? The innovative student-run startup, Espreado, looks to deliver caffeine to coffee-loving customers with a new spreadable food product

The Espreado Founders

Starting out as a project for a class at Wake Forest University, five senior entrepreneurship minors, Annie Calfo, Mackenzie Howe, Margaux Walker, Drew Niziak, and Benny Bagnell, saw a need in which many consumers prioritized their caffeine cravings over choosing nutritional snacks and meals. In addition, the five founders observed that people love drinking coffee for its taste and caffeine. 

"It's not always about solving a problem, but rather seeing what customers want and need before they can see it themselves," says Annie Calfo, one of the initial founders of the Espreado team. 

The team set out to deliver the delicious coffee-flavor that consumers love as an innovative new food product that also includes additional nutrients. Similar to the consistency of other nut-butter spreads, Espreado, is a spreadable condiment that delivers nutrients and the extra “pick-me-up” needed to help customers get through their day conveniently and deliciously. Espreado can be put on toasts, fruits, oats, ice cream, and more! 

What now?

Espreado © Mackenzie Howe Espreado

After the class project ended, the team applied to Wake Forest Center for Entrepreneurship's StartUp Lab and was selected out of roughly 100 applicants. StartUp Lab has provided the team with the necessary resources to develop and launch their new business.

"Our team has worked incredibly hard to get to the point we are. Each team member brings a different perspective and knowledge that helps propel our startup to each new milestone," says Benny Bagnell, another contributing member. 

The Espreado team completed customer discovery interviews to understand what specifically customers did and didn’t like about coffee. From these insights, the team then developed their first rendition of an Espreado prototype.

The Product

Margaux Walker, the team's recipe and innovation leader, sheds light on developing the prototype when explaining that "creating the initial prototype has definitely been one of the most challenging obstacles for us thus far. As we try to make our product natural and health conscious, we also want to deliver the delicious taste that costumers want."

Espreado © Mackenzie Howe Espreado

"When we initially started out, we received a lot of negative feedback regarding the product's 'graininess.' We later learned that creating the ideal consistency did not pertain to the ingredients in the product, but rather the process of producing it," says Drew Niziak

Espreado currently has three flavors: Dark Roast, Dolce, and Mocha. Customers' coffee preferences typically dictate their preferred Espreado flavor. Traditionally, black coffee drinkers enjoy the Dark Roast spread for its bitter taste and coffee flavor. On the other hand, coffee lovers who enjoy sweeter drinks favor the Dolce for its sweeter coffee taste. The last flavor, Mocha, adds 100% dark cocoa to its coffee flavor so that it can appeal to chocolate lovers as well. 

Mackenzie Howe jokingly remarks, "I never drank coffee until setting out on the Espreado journey. I now drink it almost every day and can see why customers love it so much!"

a close up of a slice of cake on a table: Espreado © Mackenzie Howe Espreado

Where can I try it?

The Espreado team projects that students and local Winston-Salem residents will be able to purchase the first versions of Espreado on Wake Forest University campus and other local shops by March 2019. Espreado is planning to fully launch in the Spring of 2019 on e-commerce platforms and additional small businesses. 

Follow @espreado_coffee on instagram for more information and to stay connected to the brand. Reach out to espreado@gmail.com if you have questions or suggestions. 

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