GREENVILLE — On a chilly, rain-swept afternoon, when the wind wails like a lost spirit and slate-gray skies seem to seep into your very soul, nothing warms the heart like a good cup of coffee.
Problem is, getting one sometimes entails going outside, out into the very weather you’re trying to avoid. Thanks to local entrepreneur Klif Bartrum, that dreaded trip may now be avoided, assuming you have $5 and access to a phone.
For $5, Bartrum will show up at your door with a freshly brewed latte, mocha or plain ol’ black coffee. The former Electrolux forklift driver is trying to carve out a niche for his new business venture, called My Coffee Delivered.
“After (Electrolux) announced their departure I went to driving truck over the road,” Bartrum said, talking about the factory’s closing in 2006, which resulted in job losses for many area residents. “It was difficult being away from my family for weeks at a time. So a year ago, I became an independent distributor of Organo Gold Coffee.”
Bartrum’s business plan — delivering coffee to homes and offices for a flat fee of $5 per cup — is all his own.
“I really wasn’t much of a MLM (multi-level marketing) seller, so I came up with my own business plan,” Bartrum said. “I sell black, latte, mocha, green tea and hot chocolate. This is not a MLM company plan, just a coffee delivery service. It’s just something I came up with.”
The beauty of going with the Organo Gold line of products, Bartrum added, is they do not require large or complicated brewery equipment.
“What they’ve done is put their coffee into an instant packet,” Bartrum said. “I just pour it into a cup, add water and stir, and you’ve got a latte, mocha or whatever.”
In addition to the convenience of coffee delivered directly to your home or business, Organo Gold is, according to the company’s website, healthier than “regular” coffee. However, claims made as to improved concentration, increased energy and other health benefits have not been verified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Internet, however, is rife with testimonials from coffee drinkers who swear by Organo Gold’s beneficial properties.
These benefits, the company says, are due mostly to the addition of a mushroom extract known as Ganoderma.
“Ganoderma is a herb that comes right out of a Reishi mushroom,” Bartrum explained. “It’s added to the mix. There’s 4,000 years of history on this herb; it’s been used in China for centuries and is supposed to balance your pH level, rehydrate your body, create natural detoxification, strengthen your immune system, improve blood circulation and improve the quality of your sleep. It’s 100 percent certified organic.”
Organo Gold also contains only nine milligrams of caffeine, compared with 135 milligrams found in regular coffee.
Bartrum’s delivery set-up allows him to either make the coffee at his home prior to delivery or to brew it on site from his delivery vehicle.
“It just depends on how big an order it is,” Bartrum said. “If it’s just one cup I can make it at the house and deliver.”
Business to date has been growing, but is still not what Bartrum considers “steady.” He’s hoping that once outdoor sports seasons start up again in the spring, he will be delivering coffee to area football, baseball and soccer fields.
In addition to selling coffee by the cup, Bartrum has many customers who buy the coffee packets in bulk.
My Coffee Delivered’s hours are 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday. The number to call for delivery is (616) 835-3606.