Hooked Coffee with Natalie Ma feature #28 of Together Talks
Updated: Oct 25
"Together Talks" feature #28: Hooked Coffee presented by KLS, freight company
Some Background on Hooked Coffee
Today's edition of "Together Talks" campaign, KLS was joined by Natalie Ma, Founder of Hooked Coffee. It is a women-owned coffee brand that empowers people to brew coffee to its true potential by delivering a simple yet elevated experience, with no equipment needed. By partnering with award-winning roasters and utilizing nitrogen flush technology, they preserve the beautiful tastes and aromas of fresh specialty coffee in their all-in-one pour over pouches. Hooked Coffee curates a third-wave coffee shop experience by honoring the brewing ritual and bringing good coffee into coffee lovers’ hands.
How did Natalie come up with this business idea? During the pandemic, she went back to Hong Kon where she stumbled upon these widely popular pouches. These coffee pouches can be likened to tea bags in terms of their concept. She fell in love with the clever design and brought a suitcase full of coffee pouches back to San Francisco, pondering if there is an opportunity to introduce this concept in the United States.
Along with her roommate, Melody Jung whom she met during college at University of California, Berkely, they embarked on a new venture. Natalie described Melody as the creative force behind their partnership, who came up with the name "Hangover Coffee". Double pun! The duo began working together to build a DTC brand. Along the journey the saw the demand and satisfaction from customers and thought there was a bigger play for them.
With their success for their own singular product, they wondered, "What if we expand our reach by partnering with other roasters around the country. As Natalie told us, "we are going to provide consumers the ability to have their favorite roasters from anywhere in the country. Whether they want to pick their roasters or use our expertise to surprise them with a box, we can deliver quality coffee, every time with our single-serve pour over pouch products."
In March 2023, they launched a Kickstarter campaign for their new brand, Hooked Coffee, (another pun!) and raised $20,000 in just 5 days. What's great about Hooked Coffee pouches is that they only require hot water and a mug. You simply place the pouch over the mug and with the built-in filtration system the hot water curates your coffee in your mug in a matter of minutes. It is the epitome of convenience without sacrificing quality. And that is what Natalie told us over and over again on our chat:
"Simple process, Elevated experience, Curated cup"
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She told us these are the three pillars of their company and why she believes it will be such a success.
As stated the process could not be any simpler, you can take your favorite roast anywhere in the world and have a fresh cup instantly. Elevated experience which Natalie was able to convey to us as a "perfect fresh cup every single time." This process removes the variables. She also educated us that the ability to fully appreciate and enjoy coffee is a huge investment. Time, resources, equipment, space...it is not functional or realistic for the majority of individuals. And even if you can make all of those things a possibility, there still is no guarantee the results will be there. But with their technology and the pour-over pouches, it is the same consistent taste with every single serving.
Curated is the final pillar which she said is a collaboration between the consumer and
Hooked Coffee. The consumer can either take a quiz to have the roasters chosen for them. It gives a surprise to the consumer with each box they receive. Or for the consumers who know the exact roasters they want, they are able to make their own selections as well.
A new experience
Throughout our chat we asked Natalie, why can this be successful? There was no hesitation from her, "There is soooo much good coffee out there. But there is a barrier to entry for home drinkers. Most have to sacrifice taste due to some sort of constraint so they settle for instant or drip coffee. We are here to change that. We want to provide incredible coffee from across the country with no work on the consumers' part."
We were curious about the initial concern Natalie had when starting Hooked Coffee and meeting with roasters from across the country to offer their brand. She told us there was initial worry, but most of the conversations have gone incredibly smoothly. The roasters understand the opportunity, they also get exposure of their brand outside their region. Some of the companies already on board are Onix Coffee Lab and Equator, amongst others.
The other challenge identified is educating consumers about this new experience. As she told us, "Coffee is a ritual, people are stuck in their methods, and can be hard to change." Thus, Hooked Coffee is making an effort to spread the presence of their brand through social media and pop-ups. In addition to their TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube, they also have a series on Instagram that provides outstanding educational components to the mission of Hooked Coffee.
Watch their TikTok here to see just how simple using their product is!
Sign up for their launch updates as well from their website!
Interested in being featured with "Together Talks"?
KLS is booking our upcoming schedule now!
Contact us as we would love to learn your story and share it amongst our audience.
Weekly we provide 2 companies our platform to expand their reach courtesy of our campaign. Let's collaborate!!!
We are thrilled to have been introduced to Natalie and her sharing the story of this up-start coffee subscription company. Hooked Coffee is an opportunity to enhance the coffee-drinking experiences for consumers nationwide. Simple, Elevated, and Curated with every single cup.
Klimson Logistics Solutions - Hooked Coffee with Natalie Ma feature #28 of Together Talks
*Klimson Logistics Solutions is an Industry Leading Customer Service 3PL. Our focus and commitment to our clients has us striving to be the BEST customer service 3PL for LTL, FTL, Reefer, and Drayage in the country. KLS, freight company, is a 3PL providing nationwide logistics solutions. KLS shipping services include: LTL freight, FTL freight, Reefer LTL freight, Reefer FTL freight, and Drayage. Klimson Logistics Solutions thanks you for viewing our marketing campaign "Together Talks" if you have any interest in being featured or questions regarding your freight operations please contact us today!
Our precise and reliable effort.
We handle every shipment with the exact same process. It does not matter if you move one shipment a year or ten per day, you will receive the same level of customer service from us. When we started this company, we had one goal in mind, treat every shipment like it was our own. With our vast knowledge of the industry, we understood what a customer would want from a communication standpoint. We applied that process to be the standard here at KLS. Our reliability and being able to depend on our consistency is why we have such long-standing relationships with our clients.
Every shipment in our industry starts with a quote. We are firm believers that time is money, thus we strive to have quotes back in a 5-10 minute reply time for LTL and FTL, any FCL quotes are at the mercy of the carriers getting back to us. For LTL we have the flexibility to quote both off of NMFC and also Density depending on the carrier. Utilizing our services, you’re allowing us to use our expertise to class your freight accordingly to ensure we are providing the best rate we possibly can.
Once a quote has been submitted and a client chooses to proceed with KLS handling the arrangement of the shipment our full process begins. We create the BOL that will be used for the shipment. If it is a new location for our system, we will obtain all the important/special details (reference numbers, contact details, shipping hours, closed for lunch, dock/doors, etc.). We meticulously build every detail into our software for all future shipments involving that location. After we have both locations built and necessary reference numbers have been applied we will tender the shipment to the carrier. We use this method because it provides us a real time pickup number from the carrier to obtain updates prior to pickup. Our staff will either email the BOL directly to you or to the shipper (at your request) the minute after the tender has been accepted by the carrier. LTL carriers require a 2 hour window prior to close time in order to schedule it for a same-day pickup attempt.
The following morning you’ll receive an email from us. It will either provide the reason the pickup was missed (driver’s trailer filled up, driver missed the close time, truck broke down, shipper said no freight, etc.) or if the pickup was successful you will receive the PRO (tracking) number from us, along with the eta for delivery. Our staff will track it throughout the duration of transit and advise if anything happens that will alter the estimated delivery date. The day the shipment delivers we will email you with confirmation and the POD (Proof of Delivery), should you require it.
Your shipment has been quoted, scheduled, picked up, and delivered. The next step is waiting for the carrier to invoice us and make sure the rate matches up. If it does, we close out the invoice from the carrier in our system and automatically your invoice is created and sent to the requested party at your company. In the event the carrier has an additional charge on their invoice “Variance”, we will never send you an invoice with an additional charge without first identifying you of the charge.
Let us repeat, NEVER WILL WE JUST BILL OUT AN EXTRA CHARGE WITHOUT YOU BEING NOTIFIED.
You are our customer, we represent you. Should the carrier provide an extra charge on an invoice, “Lift gate, additional weight, reclass, detention, etc.) We notify you of the charge via email first. Second, within that email we identify what is required should you choose to dispute the charge. Again our goal is to honor your request, if you want to dispute, we will dispute. During a dispute we will provide you updates every step along the way. Once a dispute is closed out, whether it is approved or rejected, then we will invoice you as the invoice has been resolved.
For reference, our company only had 6.2% of all shipments go to dispute in 2022 and we successfully won 91% of those disputes on behalf of our customers.
This is our process for every single shipment you move with us. We don’t cut corners, we don’t hide from difficult situations. We believe in being available, honest, and transparent. We don’t ever want to tell you that a shipment is lost, damaged, misrouted, but it is our duty to notify you the second we find out something has gone wrong. We hate to present bad news, but it is part of the job. What you can guarantee is that we will work a shipment all the way through and turn over every stone until we get a resolution for our clients.
Our core business is LTL and FTL. Within these options we have options for both dry and refrigerated/frozen. We also offer FCL/Drayage options. Our company as a 3PL has nationwide options and services clients across the US.
Let’s breakdown our services more in-depth
LTL: Standard and Guaranteed CFS (Imports & Exports) Tradeshows Hazmat Anything that is on a pallet can be moved LTL. Typically LTL is up to 10 pallets, but the sweet spot for a carrier is 6-8 pallets at most for an individual shipment. LTL quotes are good between 5-30 days depending on the carrier. LTL can be quoted either via NMFC or density to determine the class (we do this for you).
Volume: Anything over 10-12’ of space in the truck is the technical rule for a volume shipment. When we run a quote for you we will determine if it qualifies for volume and provide you a rate if available. Volume moves allow you to get a reduced rate for larger shipments. The caveat to volume shipments it the quotes are only valid for 3-7 days and they move on capacity between terminals. If a terminal is backed up they will move their LTL freight first before the volume freight, which can lead to longer transit times for volume moves.
FTL/Dedicated/Expedited: 53’ Dry and Reefer 26’ Box trucks with lift gate Sprinter Van The main difference for FTL vs LTL is space and transit time. For standard pallets you can fit either 26 or 30 pallets in a 53’ dry van. The other main difference is transit time, for FTL each day counts in the transit time, whereas LTL does not count the day of pickup, weekends, or holidays in their transit time.
Reefer/Frozen: LTL and FTL We specialize working in the CPG space with food manufacturers. We regularly deliver to the following locations: Kehe UNFI Core Mark DPI Wegmans Cugini H.T. Hackney Netrition HEB ALDI Chambers and Owens EBY Brown Nassau Candy Harris Teeter Wakefern NU INC Long Distribution
What makes KLS different?
There are thousands for freight brokers and 3PL in our industry. Barrier to entry is rather easy and agents or owners will often hire sales people without any intention of properly training them. It results in high turnover for many freight companies and a forgettable experience for the client. We choose to operate differently through our consistency. We truly care about doing right by our clients and prospects too. While we would love to help provide our services to every company we speak with, that just isn’t realistic. We won’t always be the right fit for every company that moves freight and that is ok. Our authenticity as a shipping company sets us apart from the competition and that is backed up by our testimonials. We also run a marketing campaign bi-weekly called “Together Talks”. We interview, highlight, and promote two businesses every week. Our goal is to grow our network, make new connections, and learn something new with each collaboration. Check it out on our website and if you’re interested in being featured reach out.
Our company also runs a year long charity promotion. Book your first shipment through KLS and we donate to the charity of your choice in your name. Our way of thanking you for giving us an opportunity to show you the KLS way and what makes us one of a kind. This entire package is what we offer to every prospect and every client. Our goal is to help provide answers that customers may have when it comes to shipping. We want to always be available as a resource and will always offer a lending hand whenever we can.