Interview – Maxime de Vaulchier of Cafecaps
ViMi – How did you get into the coffee capsule industry?
Maxime de Vaulchier – The coffee capsule system has shown amazing success around the world. My father and I are heavy coffee drinkers and the capsule system changed our lives over the last 10 years. It came quite naturally to develop this business in Thailand where coffee is such a large part of the culture.
V – Why did you choose Thailand?
M – Thailand is one of the main producers of coffee in Asia. When thinking about launching a coffee company, Thailand was an easy choice. Coffee in a capsule is something that’s not well known here, unlike in Europe, but people became aware of the capsule system thanks to Nespresso. Being one of the first players in the market and being the first to produce the capsules locally gives us certain advantages. The market is still small but it’s growing fast.
In a personal way, the lifestyle in Thailand is amazing. After living there for 7 years, my father, Guillaume, couldn’t see himself going back to France. I was job hunting in Thailand when the chance to create this family business came up.
V – How do online sales compare to showroom sales?
M – Each serves a different purpose. The Cafecaps showroom is a shop where customers can enjoy coffee tasting before deciding to purchase a coffee machine. It’s also a way to connect and learn more about the coffee you drink every day. The website is a platform that upcountry customers use more often. They can’t easily come to the Bangkok showroom. Regular customers also use the website to get a refill on their capsules but don’t have time to come to the showroom. Delivery is free which makes it simpler.
V – How do you source your coffee?
M – Cafecaps has two types of coffee: local coffee and imported coffee. The local coffee is coming from the north of Thailand. Cafecaps is associated with a French roaster that has been in the business of roasting for the past 20 years in Thailand. It allows Cafecaps to get the coffee at the right roasting according to the taste of our customers in Thailand. The imported coffee comes from parts of the world that are famous for their high quality coffee, including Indonesia, Colombia and Guatemala.
V – Does local manufacturing deliver a fresher product?
M – Even though imported coffee arrives in vacuum packaging to avoid losing its freshness, the local coffee is still fresher since we can get coffee that has been roasted only one or two days before. That makes a huge difference in freshness, flavor and aroma. All coffees are kept at the right temperature in storage. Moreover, coffee doesn’t stay long in storage since we put it into capsules immediately following delivery. All coffee capsules are sealed in a bag with an inert gas inside to keep the freshness intact.
V – Thailand’s a pretty hot and humid place. How long do CafeCaps stay fresh?
M – One of CafeCaps’ main assets, as I mentioned, is that the coffee arrives at the factory very fresh. The coffee is kept at a temperature between 2° and 6° for optimal freshness. After putting the coffee into the capsule and wrap, the coffee can be kept for more than a year without losing its aroma and freshness.
V – How does good web design affect your business?
M – The company website is the first thing a customer will check before making a purchase. Good web design is a sign of trust and professionalism. That’s especially the case for an e-commerce website where customers must trust the vendor to actually deliver the product when you pay! A poor website not only negatively affects your online sales, but also damages your company image. Good web design also allow a smooth visit for the customer and therefore increased sales.