We had the good fortune of connecting with Shayan Sadri and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shayan, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My thought process started early on since I was a kid. I saw things differently, and would see opportunities when something was missing by offering something to the public that could be unique or hard to come by. . For Example: When I was in Elementary school I would go to Sam’s club with my parents and noticed that the prices of candy in bulk was way cheaper than it was buying it individually at the nearby corner store, then a light bulb would go off in my brain because candy was not offered in my Elementary school cafeteria. So I bought different varieties of candy, sold it for a fair price during lunch and even offered a buy 3 get 1 free option so I can move the product faster, I would also undercut the corner store so kids won’t buy it there after school, that way I would eliminate competition. I couldn’t celebrate that quickly because the school Principal caught on and suspended me. I guess I was cutting into their profit margins because people chose my candy over their Sloppy Joe’s. This is the moment that prepared me for the realities of the hurdles that come ahead in the world of business.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Caphin Gourmet started in Houston as the first bottled Vietnamese Iced coffee brand based out of Texas then introduced single serve pods and ground coffee, through out the Covid-19 pandemic we had to discontinue the bottled coffee since it was hand crafted so we made a transition to single serve slow drip pour overs. As part of this passion, we care deeply about quality, sustainability and authenticity which required us to adopt a “from farm to cup” business model. We have partnered with a local Vietnamese coffee producer that harvests out of a farm and coffee cooperative located in the Mai Son district of Son La province Vietnam. This region where our green coffee beans are grown has the best quality Arabica coffee in Vietnam. Mai Son in Son La possesses the superior advantages of terrain and soil similar to the regions of Minas Gerais and São Paulo (Brazil). The model “from farm to cup” is a vertical integration process starting from Arabica coffee cherries in Son La and Dien Bien. Coffee cherries are selected and harvested by hand, ensuring a high proportion of ripe cherries, which are then transported to the cooperative for processing on the same day. Processing includes removing leaves, twigs, coffee pulp, fermenting pulped coffee under the control of the technical team and drying to produce coffee parchment. Caphin Gourmet’s new single serve pre-filled slow drip coffee filter offers a convenient consumer experience, lovers of traditional flavors with contemporary style and convenience. We survived over the years by always pivoting, you have to stay innovative in order to survive or else the competition will be ahead. It’s not always easy because there’s always someone with more money and resources but if you are dedicated enough you will stay ahead because money and resources can’t over throw your vision all the time. I learned not to hold on to something if the numbers aren’t adding up. You can have the greatest product but sometimes the logistics won’t work out and can eat into your margins which will end up putting you out of business. We are committed to building a business for the benefit of a sustainable coffee community, making tangible practical contributions to social value. For example, our local Vietnamese partnerships and work with farming cooperatives have afforded them the opportunity to provide support to Healing Hearts Vietnam, a US non-profit organization, to diagnose and sponsor surgeries for Vietnamese children with congenital heart disease. Moreover, as a founding member of the Vietnam Women’s Coffee Union (IWCA Vietnam), they contribute to improving the livelihoods of ethnic minorities in the coffee industry in Vietnam, especially women. IWCA Vietnam connects with tourism companies to create opportunities for women in the tourism industry. IWCA also introduces new coffee varieties to women owned farms, instructing them in planting and best cultivation practices to produce best quality and quantity of coffee output. IWCA Vietnam provides women coffee farmers with more opportunities and information to help them take charge of their lives and improve the representation of women in the coffee industry. Caphin Gourmet Coffee can be found in Central Market all across Texas, Total Wine, Williams-Sonoma, Neiman Marcus, Walmart, Phoenicia, Amazon and our website Caphin.com
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love the diversity of Houston, I’ve lived all over the United States and in Spain. Nothing compares to the friendliness and hospitality that Houstonians have, thats why I love to incorporate what Houston is all about at these locations. Breakfast – The Breakfast Klub, Kolache Shoppe, River Oaks Donuts, The Hot Bagel Shop. Lunch and Dinner. Steak 48,, Bisou, Aghas, Shish Kabob Cafe, Avesta, La Tapa Tia after hours. Art – S[ring Street Studios, The Silos, every art studio in town. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to shout out my parents, without them I wouldn’t have learned everything I have, they always believed in my whacky ideas. I also learn from every hard working person that never gets recognition, like the good teachers , janitors, front line healthcare workers, and other essential workers, single parents, pretty much anyone going through the struggle, so shout out to all of them.