Dear SCAA member,
Hopefully you recognize the name, Coffee Fest, the specialty coffee industry’s top retail
trade show, consistently providing retailers with relevant information and new products
to hone their business skills and up their bottom line.
I am writing to you today to ask you to consider the decisions the Specialty Coffee
Association of America (SCAA) is making in servicing you and the specialty coffee
industry across America as a whole. The management of SCAA is vigorously
negotiating with the city of Seattle to produce the SCAA annual convention for six out of
eight years in Seattle beginning in 2014.
We support the SCAA on the many good things they do for the industry and we have
worked closely with them for all our years in business. We never have and never will
encroach on the region in which they produce their annual show. If the SCAA came
to Seattle once every 5 years, we would have no concerns. Coffee Fest has been produced
in Seattle on an annual basis since 1992, for nineteen years. While Coffee Fest certainly
doesn’t own Seattle, we do object to the SCAA’s plan to all but permanently locate here
and expect that given the details and facts, you may object too.
Do you want to have the SCAA annual convention in the same city for six out of
• If you are not a northwest business you probably will object.
• If you are a northwest business that exhibits at SCAA you most likely will object.
• The SCAA show is actually a very regional event with 58 percent of the US
attendees at the just completed SCAA annual convention in Anaheim coming
from California (based on SCAA attendee list).
• With the SCAA having six shows in eight years and Coffee Fest having its biggest
annual show in Seattle you now have 14 coffee shows in one city in eight years.
• For six in eight years you will only be able to see the same attendees at the SCAA
convention that you routinely see at Coffee Fest.
• If the SCAA’s intent is to save the association money due to free use of the
Washington State Convention Center, we maintain that with the inevitable
reduction in exhibitor and attendee participation (14 shows in one city in eight
years) that the SCAA may not be saving money after all.
• If the SCAA also loses membership dues, this revenue reduction must be taken
Does this seem like a good plan to you?
We believe that the SCAA locating in Seattle for a minimum of six shows in eight years
will irreparably harm Coffee Fest.
Our event brings a dimension of the business that the SCAA simply does not. We bring
mostly retailers (coffee shops, drive through, restaurants, hotel food and beverage, fast
food establishments, grocery stores, etc.) and the exhibitors write orders. We also educate
the businesses with classes in subjects that the SCAA does not cover.
So if like us you find issue with this decision, we ask you to make your voice heard.
If you don’t mind 14 coffee shows in the same city in eight years and you don’t mind that
Coffee Fest may disappear as a result then we thank you for listening.
If you do mind, please contact the SCAA. A list of contacts is listed below for your
Thank you for your consideration,
CONTACT THESE MEMEBERS OF THE SCAA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Go to the SCAA web site, click on Board of Directors, click on e-mail link of the
director nearest your business
Ric Rhinehart, Executive Director
Peter Giuliano, Pres - NC, Tim O’Connor, VP.CA- Shawn Hamilton, Sec’y,CA
Willem J. Boot, Director,CA - Marty Curtis,Director,AR - Al Liu,Director,WA,
Paul Thornton,Director,OR -Ellen Rogers,Director,MA - Mike Ebert,Past Pres.WI
Andi Trindle,Director,CA-Ellen Rogers,Director,MA – Nathalie Gabbay,Director,CA
The SCAA provides support for much of the coffee industry, they set standards
throughout the world, and we have always strongly supported them.
Coffee Fest caters to the retail trade with affordable and flexible admissions,
opportunities to development business relationships, free seminars, relevant classes, and
regional shows that bring Coffee Fest close to you. We are proud of our track record
helping the specialty coffee business to grow and thrive. We know our exhibitors and
attendees value what we offer, and we are continuously asking for how we can improve
to best help your business.
We have provided space for their Barista Competition at all our shows; we have exhibited
at every SCAA show, have always been a member and have never scheduled a Coffee
Fest show in the same region as the SCAA in the same year.
The industry cannot afford to attend two shows annually in Seattle for six years.
The industry will have to choose which show to attend, if SCAA meets in Seattle.
Regardless of which show the industry chooses to attend, the other will be hurt.
This is not good for the industry.
For more information, please call me at (425) 295-3300 ext 131 or email me at