Compostable pods take on K-Cups
CrauseCo co-owners Ken Crause and David Wicks love the convenience of a single-service pod brewing machine.
What they don’t love is the waste being caused by the pods, which are made of non-recyclable plastic.
Through their company, they sell compostable tea and coffee pods made of filter paper, as well as two single-serve brewer models that function with the pods.
The pods are sold in a reusable, resealable bag.
“We’re reducing garbage and waste,” Crause said.
Until recently, Crause ran the Busch Tea Company, through which he sold loose-leaf Rooibos tea from South Africa to grocery stores and the Van Houtte coffee company.
His sales started decreasing because clients were deciding to instead sell tea and coffee singleserve pods.
“A number of stores would not sell my product,” Crause said.
He started looking into getting in the disposable pod business himself but discovered they were not a green option.
He came across the Kill the KCup video on YouTube, which aims to make people understand the impact pods are having on the environment.
According to Keurig, the company sold more than 30 billion K-Cups in 2014. Keurig’s goal is to have recyclable plastic pods by 2020.
“I started searching for a better alternative,” Crause said. “I decided to add coffee and more tea to offer a full beverage lineup.”
Wicks came on board and together they discovered a Calgary company that already makes brewers for compostable pods. They also found out compostable pods already exist but weren’t being carried by major stores.
Crause and Wicks decided to innovate and offer a subscription program, through which clients get the brewer for free by buying a set number of pods each month.
“It’s a two-year contract, just like your cell-phone contract,” Crause said.
CrauseCo started operations earlier this month on Herring Gull Way in the Parksville industrial park. They sell only coffee so far but will have more coffee and tea pods in February, which is when they get the equipment to make their own pods.
People and businesses have already subscribed. Crause and Wicks keep busy during the week by doing tastings and demos in businesses and offices.
Like the other single-service pod brewers, Crause and Wicks say their product is convenient and fast, compared with the traditional ways of making tea and coffee.
“The beverage is quickly brewed and it’s brewed perfectly every time,” Crause said.
The partners are already thinking of franchising their business in North America, should it prove successful.
“Coffee and tea companies are selling staggering quantities of product on the Island,” Wicks said. “We know there’s a market for our product.”
See more: single-service pod brewing machine