Starting a business

Coffee fueling the community: Meet Monogram Coffee

Behind every small business is a 'big why' – the reason they started their company in the first place and what motivates them to keep going, even when times get tough. Intuit QuickBooks is proud to support Canadian small businesses through every step of their journey and is pleased to celebrate companies doing remarkable things in this “Small Business, Big Why" series.

Since it was first discovered in Ethiopia in 800 AD, coffee has brought people together, giving us a warm beverage to gather around and form a community with. This spirit is what brought the founders of Monogram Coffee Co together to launch their small coffee cart inside an art gallery in Calgary, Alberta—and grow it into the thriving business it has become today.

While a love of coffee brought them together, Justin Eyford and Jeremy Ho came to the business from vastly different backgrounds. Justin spent most of his working life in the coffee industry, working with communities in Columbia while looking to import coffee into Canada. Jeremy's journey to becoming a business owner started in a much different place—at med school. With a degree in biomedical sciences, Jeremy discovered his love for coffee while visiting a coffee shop in Vancouver with his sister. “I remember taking a sip, and suddenly, my mind being blown," says Jeremy. Not long after, Monogram Coffee Co was born.

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Fueling community through coffee

While Monogram Coffee Co has its roots as a coffee cart in an art gallery, the business is driven by its mission to bring unique ideas and people together. “When you think of what a monogram is, it's a collection of unique individual letters," says Jeremy of the company name—adding that Monogram Coffee is an analogy to the impact they wanted to make in coffee and the communities they serve.

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Using the right tools to expand

Managing a growing business means wearing many hats—including managing inventory and playing the HR, accounting, and logistics manager roles. Justin and Jeremy have learned to rely on tools to streamline their operations as the business has grown. With QuickBooks, Monogram has been able to streamline payments so they can spend more time focusing on business growth.

Automating their payments process and offering credit card transactions has also improved their cash flow, and freed up time to make significant business decisions. “The ability to create an invoice and receive payments has been a game-changer," notes Justin. “We haven't needed to chase people for payment."

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A 10,000-foot view and shifting business priorities

Beyond streamlining the day-to-day tasks of two busy entrepreneurs, Jeremy and Justin use the reports available in QuickBooks Online to make informed, data-backed decisions.

This ability to take a top-down view of their business was crucial during the pandemic. At that time, the business needed to pivot to keep afloat. The duo used QuickBooks reports to decide whether they could afford to expand into new areas of business—roasting and selling their coffee, and wholesaling. “It really helped change the whole direction of the company," Jeremy told us.

Running your business can and should be enjoyable

Justin and Jeremy started Monogram Coffee Co out of a passion for coffee, and running this business together has allowed them to pursue their passions. While Monogram Coffee Co has expanded to include coffee shops, a subscription service, catering, and online ordering across Canada, the two founders don't plan to stop there. “What we want is to spread our vision of specialty coffee across Canada and show people what coffee should taste like."

Are you a Canadian business fuelled by passion and purpose? Share your business's 'big why' on Instagram and TikTok using the #SmallBizBigWhy for a chance to be featured by Intuit QuickBooks.

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