Pod & Parcel co-founders, Ben Goodman and Elliott Haralambous

Pod & Parcel: The coffee capsule startup winning over the coffee snobs

Pauline Morrissey

Australians love drinking coffee, so much so that 36 per cent of us consume five or more cups a day. We drink everything from flat whites to long blacks, ristrettos? to cappuccinos. There are even those of us who are self-proclaimed coffee snobs, who often have a strong opinion as to where to get the best of the best and, no doubt, view coffee capsule machines with a sceptical eye. Enter, Pod & Parcel, a new Melbourne based start-up that’s setting out to change Australian’s frame of mind when it comes to capsuled coffee.

When co-founders Ben Goodman and Elliott Haralambous were working together as strategy consultants, they would often find themselves pulling long hours in the office and needing their fair share of coffee to get them through.

“The best parts of our days were usually stepping outside of the office to grab a coffee together, however, we often needed a caffeine kick after our favorite places were already closed,” says co-founder Goodman. “This meant we usually resorted to using sub-par office coffee capsule machines. Then the idea struck — why couldn't we have the same sweet, dark, aromatic cup of caffeinated bliss that the bearded barista would so carefully make before our impatient eyes? And thus, Pod & Parcel was born!”

“We want to bring our customers the best coffee our city has to offer right to your doorstep."
 

Goodman and Haralambous has since established a business through creating partnerships with the best of Melbourne's roasters, in order to put their glorious coffee into coffee pods.

“We want to bring our customers the best coffee our city has to offer right to your doorstep. You can purchase a single box from one of our featured roasters or subscribe to receive an ongoing monthly delivery with a rotating list of some of Melbourne’s best local roasters.”

Taste aside, the founders of Pod & Parcel insists it’s also just as much to do about the unique experience they are setting out to provide to their customers.

“Australia is a market of coffee drinkers that are geared towards specialist experiences. We like to go to our local coffee shop, as we see it as a reflection of who we are,” says Goodman. “This is probably why a lot of the larger American coffee chains like Starbucks have had so much trouble in Australia — it is not seen as somewhere that you would ‘want’ to go, and the same could be said about coffee capsules. No one was really providing a different experience that could match what is in the neighbourhoods around this country.”

"Why couldn't we have the same sweet, dark, aromatic cup of caffeinated bliss that the bearded barista would so carefully make before our impatient eyes?"

Coming from a corporate background, both founders say that they have come to find great satisfaction in seeing the organic growth of their start-up, as opposed to the approach and scale that they have grown accustomed to within their positions working for multinational organisations.

“The best positive feedback which is most interesting to us is when we get messages from people overseas (UK, Dubai and Singapore, just to name a few). This is due to our Australian customers sharing our products with their friends and families. So not only does this give us confidence that we’re producing a product that people love and want to engage with, but it also helps us gain a more global reach.”

Thinking ahead, the start-up has set several business goals for the future. “We want to replicate our success in Melbourne within other major Australian capital cities,” says Goodman. “We would also like to create a Pod & Parcel specialty own blend, this way we can have total control over seasonal tastes and the roasting process, whilst working in conjunction with leading Australian roasters. Further down the line, we are also interested in taking the business to Asia and to reach a scale beyond an online-only product.”

Then the idea struck — why couldn't we have the same sweet, dark, aromatic cup of caffeinated bliss that the bearded barista would so carefully make before our impatient eyes?

Pauline Morrissey

Pauline is a Sydney-based journalist for Domain and is frequently featured amongst various Fairfax Media mastheads including The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

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