Specialty Brewer Is Key To Virginia Operator's Success

March 26, 2018

Donald and Xuan Whiting founded their business in order to serve people the best coffee they had ever tasted. The journey began while visiting Italy, where the husband and wife pair discovered Bianchi, the manufacturer of barista-quality single-cup brewers. They loved the quality of the machines and the exceptional coffee they provided.   

At a business convention months later, the Whitings sampled coffee that took them right back to that trip. It didn't come as much of a surprise when they discovered the coffee had been brewed by a Bianchi machine. After each sip Xuan would say “OMG, it's so good!" From there came the idea for the name of the couple's office coffee service (OCS) business — OMG Gourmet Coffee LLC.  

Imported success  

OMG Gourmet Coffee, based in Arlington, VA, now operates two OCS routes with a total of 33 Bianchi machines in the field. Bianchi's rich history in the Italian vending and coffee scene inspired the innovation of its brewers, which the Whitings call barista brewers, as they can customize a large variety of coffee offerings into specialty drinks.  

Donald reports that customers love the touchscreen panel on the different brewer models that allow users to create their own beverages. There are 350 drink choices available, from five families of drinks, depending on the barista brewer model. Some options include coffee, espresso, the addition of real milk and toppings like chocolate flakes. The Bianchi barista machines are imported directly from Italy and distributed by the Java Brew Corporation located in Canada.  

Great coffee and concept 

While the Whitings credit much of their business success to the Bianchi barista brewers, they still know that true success is due to the end product and service.  

"We’ve been compared with Starbucks and have been told by businesses that our product is much better and half the cost, plus their employees don’t have to leave the office to get a great cup of coffee," said Donald. "One of our customers reported that their employees come into the office on the weekends just to get a cup of coffee — awesome!"  

OMG Gourmet Coffee gets freshly roasted, organic beans from a local Virginia roaster and uses sustainable cups and stir sticks, such as those made from renewable resources or post-consumer recycled content.  

"Knowing that being environmentally friendly and sustainable is important to many customers, especially those of the younger generation, we pay attention to the products we choose to use in our business," said Donald. 

Signs of success  

The Whitings are pleased with their growth over the past two years. OMG Gourmet Coffee is proudly debt-free, and growing with a strong foundation Donald and Xuan anticipate will continue. Most importantly for the couple, it's bringing something delicious to the area. "My wife and I are IT managers, so we drink a lot of coffee," said Donald. "We started the business because we wanted others to enjoy the quality of coffee we discovered in Italy, without having to travel there."  The couple believes in the Bianchi barista brewers it places and are excited to share the excellent coffee they produce with customers.