Ross Patch – Daily Ritual

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The Daily Ritual opened its doors in 2007. So much more than just a café, within two years it started raking in the awards.  Most recently the Daily Ritual was awarded Silver for Best Tea House in NSW in the Golden Leaf 2017 Awards. They also received the Bronze for their New England Breakfast tea blend. So, it’s with pleasure this month I interview, owner and mastermind Ross Patch, to find out the secret of his award-winning success.

Just how many awards have you won?

I’m not exactly sure. Our very first award was Gold for our chocolate coated coffee beans at the Hobart Fine Foods Expo in 2009. We then took a Silver for our Japanese Soothe Tea, and a Bronze with our Signature 2350 coffee blend.

Ross is being shy here; by my tally, he has won more than 20 awards, last winning the Armidale Business Chamber Accessibility Award. His signature blends, Signature 2350 and his Mocha Supreme have each earned eight awards. It’s an impressive record;; what is your secret?

The recognition really needs to go to our customers. I’m constantly asking our customers what they enjoy and try to find out what they are looking for. I try to develop blends my customers will enjoy.  I monitor industry trends and see where Aussie tastes are going. When we first started, Armidale locals were looking for a smooth, robust coffee; however, now we are seeing more of a southern influence, what I’d describe as “more of a hit you in the face coffee”.
How do you go about developing a new blend?

For our coffees, we work with a major coffee roaster in Sydney, who is an award-winning blender in his own right. We work together to develop a blend that I believe will suit the palates of our customers, testing in store until we get it just right.

However, the New England Breakfast is 100% locally developed by myself, and I am very proud of it. 

As an already successful business, what has driven you to expand year on year?

If you just rest on your laurels, everyone will go past you. I like to keep trialling new products, getting rid of what doesn’t sell, and adjusting our products based on our customers’ feedback. Last month we introduced the Golden Elixir; it took off, so we have just expanded the line with three new Turmeric-based teas. New products don’t always work, but I believe you should keep trying.

What makes Daily Ritual unique?

Our unbeatable range, knowledge, and our service. We focus on quality, freshness. It’s all very high-tech behind the scenes!

We have Armidale’s only multi-award-winning coffees and offer a great range of coffee-making (and tea) equipment, and there is always something new available.

And we’ve got the best range of teas in Country NSW, now with over 200 blends of tea in store and access to another 100. So, if we don’t have it, we can get it. And of course, we blend our own.

We are proud of our expertise; anyone can sell you a branded, coloured box, but we know our teas and our blends. Something we are very proud of is that we know the provenance of all our teas. 80% of our teas come from Germany, and our tea buyer is world acclaimed, with 20 years’ experience, and he gets the first opportunity to buy the best quality teas.

What is the most challenging part of running a business?

I don’t find it challenging in the sense of difficult. I really enjoy the business, and it’s the people that make your business.

What would you advise a business just starting out?

Just take any opportunities that come your way – don’t be afraid of opportunity. Professional advice is invaluable. I engaged a marketing agency in 2013, who helped us rebrand and worked with me to better communicate the Daily Ritual story. Working with an agency has meant I’m free to focus on the business and look after my clientele.

What’s next for the Daily Ritual?

I would like to significantly expand the Daily Ritual’s online presence, and I’m also looking at refreshing our packaging and labelling.

I will be putting more focus on tea, as I really see this market growing. The big brands are getting too generic, and supermarkets are getting rid of loose leaf tea. Increasingly the only place to get quality tea is from independent specialist stores.

And the tourism market. I really want to showcase our local product to visitors to our region and would love to see our locally-developed products on the menu in our restaurants and available at our tourism and accommodation facilities.

Congratulations on your clearly well-deserved awards. Thank you, Ross.
AWARDS TALLY
A small local business that punches well above its weight, amassing more than 20 awards since opening its doors in 2007.
• Signature 2350 – 8 Awards
• Mocha Supreme – 8 Awards
• Chocolate Coated Coffee Beans – 1 Award
• Altitude – 1 Award
• Crema Gold – 1 Award
• Japanese Soothe (Green Tea) – 1 Award
Local Awards include:
• 2010 New Business (Highly Commended)
• 2015 Excellence in Small Business (Highly Commended)
• 2016 Hospitality (Highly Commended)
• 2016 Accessibility (Winner)

* In some instances coffee blends were entered by the Master Roaster.

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