Venturing to Change the Ecosystem of Coffee

"One of the most valuable experiences working with frog was their facilitation of finding our brand voice. The art of extracting our team's shared vision for Bellwether's future and shaping it into a cohesive brand voice has been an invaluable asset. The work we did with frog has served as a solid foundation for taking Bellwether to the next level."
Kimberly Noon, VP of Marketing and Founding Member, Bellwether Coffee
The founders of Bellwether came to frog in 2014 with a contagious passion for coffee and a vision for a zero-emissions commercial roaster that could turn the industry on its head. Soon thereafter, we decided to dive in as their first outside investor. Rolling up our sleeves, we collaborated with the founders to round out their strategy, then developed north-star designs for their connected roaster and digital platform. Our work together yielded critical assets for focusing their efforts, raising venture capital and attracting a world class team that eventually led to the launch of a digital venture making real impact on the entire ecosystem of coffee.

From Passion to New Ventures

In 2017, Bellwether and frog joined up again in preparation for their public launch. Together, we developed brand strategy, positioning and identity to launch Bellwether as a digital venture. In 2018, Bellwether launched at the Specialty Coffee Association’s annual trade show to industry acclaim, bringing home the coveted Best New Product Award.

Today, Bellwether is a team of over 45, all pushing hard to keep up with demand. The company grew their revenue six-fold in 2019 and plans on expanding beyond North America in Europe and Southeast Asia in 2021. To support their growth, the company recently closed a $40M Series B financing, bringing their total funding to over $55M.

Liberating the Coffee Industry

For centuries, the coffee industry has been highly inequitable, with a murky supply chain that leaves little for the farmers who actually produce the beans. By sourcing directly from hand-selected, socially-responsible farms, working with importers who have a shared vision for a more equitable industry, and increasing access to roasting for more coffee entrepreneurs, Bellwether is dramatically changing the industry for the better.

With Bellwether, small cafés to large enterprise retailers are empowered to source green coffee through a curated digital marketplace, create roast profiles with precision and speed, and share their coffee offerings. The direct path from coffee source to sip delivers exceptional quality coffee in a more equitable and sustainable model.

Transparent Impact

Leveraging the connectivity of their end-to-end coffee platform, Bellwether’s “Tip the Farmer” allows coffee consumers to participate in equitable pay for coffee producers. With a few clicks at the time of purchase in a Bellwether-powered café, you can now directly tip the farmer responsible for your latte. Just $1 tipped per pound of coffee amounts to an average of only 5 cents per shot for the consumer, but could more than double the farmer’s revenue

frog’s design for the Bellwether brand evokes the radical transparency provided by the company’s platform, with the radiating circle representing the tenets of community, accessibility, and inclusivity that Bellwether makes possible within the industry.

As of 2019, Bellwether has raised another $40 million in Series B funding, allowing the commercial roaster and online coffee bean marketplace to reach cafés and grocers nationwide.

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