June 25, 2022 - Pride is Sustainable
Written By Andi Trindle Mersch, VP of Sustainability and Coffee
One of the questions I still hear somewhat often when I mention my sustainability function/title is: “what exactly is sustainability?”. A common misconception is that sustainability is exclusively related to environmental care.
While sustainability is deeply rooted to the environment and issues around climate change, GHG emissions, deforestation, ocean and single-use plastics, and the list goes on. It is not only related to the care of the earth.
Sustainability is much more expansive in scope. Within a business environment, sustainability is inclusive of all things that ensure a business is well, sustainable--able to be maintained indefinitely. Better yet, to thrive indefinitely, adding regenerative value to the world. This requires care of the business itself--maintaining profitability, stability, and regulatory and legal compliance, and also social responsibility, the care of people. For many sustainability in a business is synonymous with the acronym ESG or Environmental, Social, and Governance.
And this is where my celebration of Pride Month fits into this sustainability blog.
Pride and the celebration of LGBTQAI+ communities to me is fundamentally and uncompromisingly a part of sustainability. The rights, health, and care for all people are inextricably linked to the long-term sustainability of any business, all businesses. People of all genders, races, sexuality, and color are our customers, our team members, and our suppliers.
Philz, at some level, has always known this and has strived to support Pride, as well as diversity, inclusion, and belonging more broadly. Certainly longer than I’ve been tracking and supporting our progress under a sustainability lens. We also have a thriving DEIB Committee steering Philz down a more equitable and inclusive path. With this history, I take no credit for our amazing support of Pride this year, but I very proudly promote it and invite our team and customers to support our efforts too!
Coffee bean and cup sales of our first annual seasonal Pride blend, “Unity” will benefit the Point Foundation, which supports LGBTQ+ students through scholarships, mentorship and leadership programs.
Under my sustainability, coffee, and human being hats, I am thrilled to see Philz create this partnership and celebrate it with a delicious new seasonal blend crafted with intention in our cupping lab.
To learn more about Point Foundation here are a few links to check out:
To join our celebration, grab a bag of our new Unity blend online or in stores today.
May 26, 2022 - Coffee Production & Climate Change - World Coffee Research
Written By Andi Trindle Mersch, VP of Sustainability and Coffee
Imagine a world where coffee- especially quality coffee, can’t be grown in many of the places it is grown currently. The impact of climate change on coffee growing regions makes this a reality. It’s a scary not-so-distant future we’ve been watching closely and planning for at Philz.
From the buying side, we work closely with our Philz Preferred Partner coffee suppliers to look at our origin mix constantly. We want to ensure we are working with the right near, mid and long term options to keep blend profile stability and deliciousness. Our team is constantly tasting incoming inventory in our coffee lab to maintain quality and taste. We also ask a lot of questions about environmental, social, and governance conditions to understand, support, and drive supply resiliency
From the broader sustainability side, we’ve been contributing financially to pre-competitive research to “drive collaborative innovation in agriculture to ensure the future of coffee”. This critically important work is done by World Coffee Research (WCR).
Philz has been contributing to WCR as part of our green buying program since 2015. When we established our Philz Preferred Partner green buying program we included a commitment to WCR’s Roaster Check-off program, which delivers funds through our coffee import partners with every single pound of green bean coffee we purchase. We also encourage our suppliers to match our donation. To date we have directly contributed more than $89K to WCR.
WCR has now been at their work for 10 years. You can read more about the incredible and fascinating progress they are making in their 2021 Annual Report.
We have also participated in tasting trials to help create the future of flavor. WCR is evaluating potential variety candidates for field performance and cup quality in changing growing conditions. In 2020 and 2021, samples from their trials were sent to expert cuppers around the world, including members of the Philz Coffee Team, to get feedback on cup quality. The top 4 candidates are being advanced to precommerical trials in 2023. More info on these trials here.
We are obviously proud of our commitment to support WCR and I’m delighted to share this update. Even more importantly for me as a 28 year specialty coffee veteran, I am grateful for the work WCR does. It is essential work to ensure the future of coffee. I also want to express gratitude for all the other companies, especially our Philz Preferred Partner importers, who similarly support this work. We are a global community of coffee professionals working together for the long-term benefit of specialty coffee for all.
April 22, 2022 - Sustainability Series: Earth Day Progress Report
Written By Andi Trindle Mersch, VP of Sustainability and Coffee
Oddly, Earth Day is a challenging topic for me to write about for the Philz sustainability blog. For years now we’ve been working on environmental initiatives – both large and small; behind-the-scenes and public facing. For me, thinking about mitigating the impacts of climate change in our supply chain and our stores, managing plastics pollution, hitting greenhouse gas emission critical targets, and so on are in my daily thoughts. They are often part of my daily work. The thought of recognizing all of this work and our precious earth on a single day in a year is, candidly, ludicrous to me.
Still, I hope that for at least ONE day everyone can spend at least a moment thinking about the planet Earth and how they might be able to do better for it.
I am proud that we keep making environmental care progress at Philz. And, in the spirit of one of our core values to “keep it real”, I’ll also say I’m never satisfied that we’re moving fast or courageously enough. I get discouraged that there are always financial, operational, and people resource constraints that hamper more rapid progress for such urgent work. It’s easy to get caught up in the urgency of what needs to be done. So I want to take a moment to reflect on what we have accomplished at Philz.
- Employed responsible coffee supply chain initiatives, including environmental reporting requirements, support of World Coffee Research, Enveritas third-party verification inclusive of carbon reporting in one origin to date, and sponsorship of a water filter project in Honduras
- Partnered with Too Good To Go across our fleet of stores to reduce our food waste and the greenhouse gas emissions associated with producing wasted food
- Converted to a 100% compostable suite of retail to-go items, including cups, lids, utensils, napkins, straws (we use very little of these too), and stoppers (by request or for delivery only)
- Reduced waste in our roasting plant by recycling our burlap coffee bags, composting our roasted coffee chaff, and bringing in reusable pallets
I would like to take a moment to recognize we’ve made some tremendous progress and to thank our inaugural sustainability committee, our retail sustainability committee, TPG’s former sustainability leadership council, and everyone internally who has been supporting and driving this progress.
We have many more initiatives, some more ambitious than others, that I am confident we can reach. With the our Retail Sustainability Committee leading the way and Executive leadership team support here’s what’s on our road map:
- 100% Compostable coffee packaging
- Elimination of all single-use plastic
- Zero Waste in our retail stores through waste reduction and proper waste diversion
- Full carbon accounting of our coffee supply chain to drive reduction and then additive strategies
- 100% renewable energy throughout our business
- “Green” build outs and operations throughout our retail stores
There is good, important work to be done. So we will keep making strides. Next year in celebration of Earth Day 2023, I look forward to sharing more progress!
March 31, 2022- Sustainability Series: Women in Leadership
Written By Andi Trindle Mersch, VP of Sustainability and Coffee
Before Women’s History Month closes, I want to take a moment to celebrate just a couple stories of amazing women in my orbit and it starts with my seat here at Philz. As just one rare story: There are 8 women that sit in a Director level or above position here are Philz Coffee. I proudly sit among 6 women at the Executive level. The Philz Executive team is currently seated with 6 women and 3 men. You read that correctly: women are in our executive room, not just equal measure, but in greater numbers. We are representative of Philz leadership across the company from Coffee to Operations and Finance to Technology. There isn’t any need for Philz to pat itself on the back for this. This is just good leadership showing up and down and across the board.
In my seat at the table for over 8 years, one of the many things I’ve been empowered to launch some truly meaningful partnerships. Initially launched within our Responsible Sourcing Coffee Program, Philz has generously supported Food 4 Farmers (F4F) since 2015. This past holiday season, with the support of our customers, we were able to raise over $21,000 for F4F as part of our Gratitude seasonal blend and gifting campaign.
It’s especially poignant to think of this during women’s history month because F4F was co-founded and remains led by amazing women.
The F4F program has celebrated women every day since their launch in 2011. I was sold into the work of F4F by one amazing woman in particular who I’d like to give a shout out to as she retired just this year: @JaniceNadworny. Janice is a gently powerful, kind leader that I am honored to know. Her legacy at F4F lives on with other excellent women at the helm including @Alywelch and @marcelapino.
F4F has always recognized the importance of women in the world. Philz has proudly contributed to their SOPPEXCCA cooperative which helped turn a home garden program into a community farmers market to tackle food insecurity for coffee farming families in Nicaragua. This program was led by women in the community. F4F is currently investing in young women leaders through their Community Promoter Program. This program works with young women from coffee farming families to teach them skills in leadership, program management, and organic farming. This month they've been telling stories of many women driving change in their communities and I encourage you to read about them. They are the women making history now that we will celebrate in years to come.
Learn more about Food 4 Farmers and the work they are doing here.
February 24, 2022 - Sustainability Series: The Coffee Coalition for Racial Equity
Written By Andi Trindle Mersch, VP of Sustainability and Coffee
In honor of Black History Month I am dedicating this month's update to an organization near to my heart. I was inspired to share after a recent conversation with Phyllis Johnson, founder of the Coffee Coalition for Racial Equity (CCRE), and current President of the Board, and someone I admire deeply.
I knew I wanted to write about the CCRE, “a robust, global community of coffee advocates driven to bring about equity and diversity in the coffee community’, as I am a committed, active inaugural board member. Philz has been generous in supporting my time on this work. It is the best way I can think of to use my platform within Philz to celebrate Black History Month.
I shared with Phyllis my original plan for this piece--to step back on any personal reflections and to simply tell the story of the newer history of the CCRE, which is of course rooted in much older history. I didn’t want to take any personal space.
Phyllis let me know firmly, though kindly, that she would be very disappointed in me if she read a version that shared nothing about my journey to the work. Disappointing Phyllis and all of the dedicated CCRE board members and stakeholders is something I never want to do.
So, instead of not personalizing why I am talking about the CCRE for Black History Month, I will share my “why”.
I have known Phyllis casually over many years in the specialty coffee industry where our paths crossed, mostly around promoting women in coffee. When Phyllis wrote a powerful letter to the coffee industry challenging us to do better for Black people in coffee, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and other acts of police brutality, I was one of many who reached out.
I highly encourage you to read her powerful, succinct letter: OPEN LETTER TO THE U.S. COFFEE INDUSTRY ON RACISM and I encourage you to read all of the incredible progress Phyllis has led with the CCRE since then (start here: celebrating black history month).
I reached out after Phyllis’ open letter because I was well aware that Black people had been woefully underrepresented in one of the most amazing industries to work in: specialty coffee. I was married/partnered with a Black man for 13 years during the time I was forming my now 28+ year career in coffee. I witnessed him suffer an act of police brutality. This was a painful experience that has, over time, become an enraging memory. Because of this, perhaps the lack of Black representation occurred to me more than other non-BIPOC people in coffee or maybe it didn’t. Either way, I did observe it, but I never did anything about it. Honestly, it didn’t occur to me that I could do anything about it or more shamefully that I should.
When Phyllis’ letter reached my desk, I understood that I could and absolutely should do something. I reached out to Phyllis because I needed to do something. It is my responsibility to do something. Phyllis kindly invited me into an incredible opportunity when she formed the CCRE.
I joined the inaugural board of directors for CCRE and, since then, I have served on the finance committee and led the Governance task force. I am newly stepping into the Chair of the Finance Committee role. These are not exciting or face forward ways to support the work, but they are integral and they require a generosity of time from both Philz and my family.
I am grateful I have had an opportunity to actively do something. My celebration of Black History Month ultimately is to echo Phyllis’ call to action. I invite everyone not yet actively doing something to combat racism to start.
As Phyllis told me in no uncertain terms, racial equity can not be accomplished by Black individuals alone or by any one group alone. It is a collective effort. We all come to the work for our own reasons and we ALL--everyone, everywhere--need to come to the work.
Below are various links to the CCRE website to get you started:
Visit the Coffee Coalition for Racial Equity website HERE
Subscribe to the the CCRE Newsletter HERE
CCRE blogs and articles that the Philz Coffee DEIB Committee recommends:
Open Letter to the US Coffee industry Racism by Phyllis Johnson
Addressing Anti-Blackness in Specialty Coffee by Umeko Motoyoshi
Strong Black Coffee by Phyllis Johnson
January 26, 2022 – Sustainability Series: Reducing Food Waste
One of the many things tugging on my sustainability heart strings and weighing heavy on my mind at Philz is food waste. Not only is food waste an enormous problem in the United States and globally, but food waste contributes significantly to global greenhouse gas emissions.
Food Waste Facts*
- 40% of food in the U.S. is wasted every year
- Globally, over ⅓ of food is wasted every year
- This contributes to 10% of all global greenhouse gas emissions
- Each meal rescued is equivalent to the CO2e emission of charging one smartphone fully 422 times
- Reducing food waste is the most impactful action an individual can take against climate change
Given that two of our ambitious sustainability goals at Philz include working towards Net Zero Carbon Emissions and Zero Waste, tackling food waste within our retail stores is essential. On top of these environmentally driven goals, we have been longtime supporters of Food 4 Farmers, where we have given generously of funds and time to address the issue of food scarcity in coffee farming communities. The irony of investing to prevent food scarcity while simultaneously struggling to reduce our food waste is a huge concern for our retail sustainability committee. I’m comforted to know that we are making real progress!
I’ve been very excited to support our retail committee and 10 test stores in a partnership we are piloting with Too Good To Go (TGTG). The concept and execution are very simple and the rewards are high. We not only get to save wasted “meals”, we get to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and gain exposure to new potential customers in Philz communities.
About Too Good To Go
- Too Good To Go app is the world’s #1 marketplace for buying surplus food. Connecting users with uneaten, extra products at local restaurants, cafes, bakeries and grocery stores to ensure delicious food doesn’t go to waste at the end of the day
- Users can pick up Surprise Bags of food - a mix of fresh, unsold food - at a range of local eateries
- This presents a win-win-win solution in which consumers get great food, store owners no longer throw away delicious surplus, and we, together, help the planet by reducing waste.
- Founded in 2016 in Copenhagen, and now available in 17 countries, Too Good To Go saves over 250,000 meals every day and 2 meals per second.
We have seen huge success from our 10 pilot stores in just one month. From Dec 21st, 2021 through January 20th, 2022:
- Meals** Saved = 303
- Kg of CO2e*** saved = 757.5
The real goal for us and for TGTG is to never have any excess inventory. The win for us (and I truly believe for TGTG) are the days where we have no excess food to offer. However, with Philz’ mission to better people’s days and our value to obsess over customers, we never want a customer to miss out on their favorite treat when they walk in our stores. We are, however, committed to ensuring that supply is not wasted. We recognize that there is still progress to be made. We will continue to analyze our demand and adjust our supply accordingly. We will continue to gather data from our TGTG pilot stores- and expand to more Philz locations. And we will continue to find innovative ways to get our food waste down to zero. We invite you to join us in this pursuit by checking out the TGTG app, or others like it in your area.
Download the Too Goo Too Go App HERE
*Food Waste Info and Stats compiled by Too Good To Go. Additional information here.
**Meals are defined as one surprise bag valued at $12 + retail value and estimated at 1 kg of food.
***Each Kg of food is considered equivalent to 2.5 kg of CO2e.
January 5, 2022 - Our Mandatory Vaccination Policy
As COVID-19 remains a serious threat, we have implemented a mandatory vaccination policy that enables us to continue bettering days in the safest way possible. We require our team members to be fully vaccinated or have an eligible exemption as a condition of employment. In order to protect the health and safety of all our team members and our guests, and to ensure that we are following proper safety protocols in the county and state in which you will work, we must ascertain your vaccination status prior to your first day of work. If you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, please plan to have a copy of your full vaccination record or a picture of your vaccination record ready to present along with your I9 form and identification documents during your onboarding and on your first day of employment. If you have not been vaccinated, and believe you have a medical and/or religious exemption to receiving the vaccine, we will ask you about this during your onboarding and we will require documentation in support of a medical and/or religious exemption. If you are approved for an exemption, we will engage with you in the interactive process to determine whether a reasonable accommodation that does not cause Philz undue hardship can be offered.
October 30 – Sustainability Series: A Greener Supply Chain
I’ve been percolating my thoughts on this post since August 9, 2021. Curious if this date will stand out for any Philz fans and customers. What if I put it in context of climate change? Climate change is something I think about A LOT. I think about it through the lens of coffee sourcing, sustainability and even through the lens of being a parent. On August 9, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published Working Group Part I of their Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). To help make a long story short, here are Five Key Ideas I learned about while attending a Harvard Climate Boot Camp session last week as it relates to climate change:
- Scientists agree.
- It’s real.
- It’s us.
- It’s bad.
- But there’s hope
(Leiserowitz, Anthony, PhD. Yale Program on Climate Change Communication)
Why am I sharing this with Philz customers? Because coffee is at serious risk with climate change impacts. We’ve been experiencing it for years now. “It’s real. It’s us. It’s bad”, you get the idea.
We have been thinking about this for quite some time as part of managing the risk to our supply of high quality coffee and as part of our commitment to environmental care. And, while there’s a long journey ahead, I am happy to echo, “But there’s hope”.
Here’s why I think so.
Over the past year and deepening over the last few months, we've been engaging with our Philz Preferred Partner (PPP) coffee suppliers to discuss reducing and mitigating GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions in our coffee supply chain. We've also included Enveritas, our partner third-party verifier of our supply chain environmental, social, and economic impact, in the conversation.
Here’s where I find hope: every single one of our core PPP suppliers is building a comprehensive carbon reduction strategy. And, they are all only delighted to hear Philz is interested in the work and willing to engage. Additionally, Enveritas is beginning to add carbon measurement reporting into their comprehensive supply chain verification reports, so we can jump quickly into measuring the carbon footprint in our coffee supply chain.
We have a lot more learning, measuring, conversations, and strategies ahead of us. Philz, along with many others, have a long way to go to reduce GHGs in our supply chain (and across our entire business). However, we are progressing in tangible ways. And there is so much hope in that. We’ve got big plans and we can’t wait to share more with you as we go.
August 31 – Sustainability Series: Support for Coffee Farmers
The NY Times recently published an informative article on the increasing price pressures hitting green (unroasted) coffee. The article does a good job covering the sustained upside price increases we’ve been mitigating at Philz, and there’s a lot to talk about under my coffee sourcing hat. Under my sustainability hat, however, this article sparked thought in a different direction.
My first look at the article came when I read an email from a fellow Food 4 Farmers (F4F) board member. He remarked, “How sad that the NYT couldn’t find space in this story for the farmers!” This comment was quickly followed by additional board member responses, such as: “Very frustrating, indeed. I've seen this news in other outlets, and the focus is the same everywhere: not on the farmers.”
As I read the article, I was able to pull out some places where there is at least a reference to the impact on farmers. But I also see that these references are more about impacts on us as buyers and consumers of coffee. It’s telling the story of significant cost increases roasters are facing that will drive price increases for consumers. This story is valid. However, the story I feel compelled to share with Philz customers is about coffee farmers.
Coffee farmers are experiencing the recent financial impacts that we as buyers, sellers, and consumers of specialty coffee are feeling. But these coffee farmers are feeling these impacts on top of years of pre-Covid poverty and food insecurity. In other words, more bad news on top of this systemic truth: Coffee remains an undervalued commodity and coffee farmers feel that deeply.
This is not something we feel good about at Philz as we seek to live our mission to “better people’s days.” We grapple regularly with how to balance our customers, our team, and our suppliers to deliver on our mission. Within the very complex coffee supply chain, our best efforts are nowhere near perfect.
However, this article reminded me to celebrate something we have done right: Our support for Food 4 Farmers. According to Janice Nadworny, the organization’s co-founder, F4F works directly in coffee farming communities to “strengthen local food systems, support farming in harmony with nature, and develop strategies that diversify income, improve nutrition, and build climate resilience for farming families and their communities.” I have had the unique opportunity to look closely into the work of F4F for many years and have witnessed their success in driving real, sustainable impact for farmers.
While we know we can’t guarantee that we are bettering everyone’s day up and down our coffee supply chain with every transaction, we do know that we are not forgetting about the farmers. And we know that we will not stop trying to improve upon our work. We appreciate the farmers tremendously and trust in F4F, along with our Philz Preferred Partner importers, to remind us what’s needed to help the people at the heart of our business.
One final note: Philz has been supporting F4F since we first began purchasing green coffee beans. To date, we have donated over $500,000 and look forward to that number climbing. So when you purchase Philz Coffee, you are helping us assist this amazing organization. Thanks for all your support.
July 22 – Sustainability Series: Water Filtration Project
As part of our monthly sustainability series, we’re thrilled to announce a water filtration project that Philz directly funded within one of our supply chains. In partnership with our Philz Preferred Partner importer, Volcafe Specialty Coffee (VSC), and our export side partners, Molinos de Honduras (MDH), Philz is providing water filters and usage training to 250 coffee farming families in Honduras.
This project came about following our Enveritas Honduras coffee supply chain verification in 2020. Through this external third-party review, we learned vital information about our supply chain. Overall, we were pleased to see that MDH farmers were performing well across environmental, social, and economic indicators versus the broader region. However, we were surprised to learn where farmers were struggling.
Thanks to our import partner at VSC, Mauricio Jiminez, we took this information as a call to action. Jiminez pointed out, “Just collecting information shouldn’t be the goal. We should use the information to make meaningful investments.” We took this feedback to heart. And after a series of conversations with our Honduras partners, we aligned on investing $25,000 towards the water filtration project.
“The goal is to give producers and their families an opportunity to access clean water, an essential need. Having proper training on the usage of the water filters too will benefit not only the families, but the whole community as they now will have proper guidance for better health.”
- Andrea Licona, Molinos de Honduras, Special Projects and Sustainability.
The final filters and trainings are being delivered through July. MDH will then track success through August and September and report back to Philz on our impact. We look forward to sharing our progress with you in the coming months.
June 19 - Juneteenth DEI Update
Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people were freed. As we recognize and celebrate the anniversary of this important day in our country's history, it’s also a reminder of how much more work there still is to do. We see signs of progress; but as a nation and company we still need to push forward. We wanted to share with you what we’ve been working on.
Ongoing Education and Training:
- Over 200 Philz Leaders participated in Social Identity & Bias training led by the Nova Collective, a female, black-owned company.
- We have partnered with Nova to create a course for all Philz team members to take.
- Select Philz team members, from across the company, are in the process of getting certified by the Nova Collective to train on Allyship & De-escalation. Enabling us to have key leaders across the organization sharing knowledge and skills to establish Philz as a Safe Place.
Philz DEI Committee Focus Areas:
- Development: Address issues of equity as it relates to opportunity for development within Philz.
- Resources: Ensure that Philz creates and shares resources that align with our DEI Strategy.
- Community: Reaching beyond our walls through our external partnerships.
On behalf of our DEI Committee I thank you for your continued support. Our guiding value through all of this has been “In Pursuit of Better”. We look forward to continuing our “pursuit” and will continue to keep our Philz community updated on our progress.
June 18 - Sustainability Series: Sourcing
At Philz, we’ve prioritized care for the environment across our business. That’s why we’re launching a monthly series to share our efforts. These updates will come straight from our VP of Sustainability and Coffee, Andi Mersch. This month, we’re focusing on the expansion of our responsible sourcing initiatives.
When it comes to green coffee purchasing, we work only with Philz Preferred Partners who report on critical environmental care practices for every lot of coffee we buy. We’ve also partnered with Enveritas, a third-party supply chain verifier of environmental, social, economic, and governance care criteria. Together, we’ve added verification for three additional coffee-producing countries we source from.
Next month, we’ll share details on a water project we’re particularly excited to support in Honduras, which was identified as a critical need through our Enveritas verification process in 2020.
June 15 - Reopening Update
Since March of 2020 we, along with businesses across the US, have been adapting the way we serve our customers and community in the face of an unprecedented pandemic. We are so grateful to our customers for adapting along with us.
As of June 15th 2021 we have reopened many of our Philz locations. We have reviewed guidelines from various federal, state and local agencies to determine the impact on our communities, team members and operations. Some of the changes we implemented over the past year will remain in place, (as we have found better, more efficient ways to serve our customers) while other changes will be lifted.
Here is what you can expect during your next visit to Philz:
- Mask Update: if you are vaccinated you are welcome to unmask. If you have not had a chance to get your vaccination we ask that you please remain masked when you are not actively eating or drinking within our store. At this time, our Philz Team Members will continue to wear masks and gloves.
- Social Distancing restrictions have been lifted.
- Seating Capacity is no longer restricted or limited.
- Ordering: we are continuing to take in-store orders at the register and as always you are welcome to use the Philz App to place orders for pick up.
- Drink Pick Up: if you are ordering in-store at the register, your drink will be prepared and handed off at the bar by a barista. We will no longer be placing lids on your drink. So be sure to take a sip and make sure it’s perfect! We will continue to place lids on mobile orders for quick pick-up convenience.
We have always taken a thoughtful approach to our COVID protocols; and therefore, we have waited to review guidance from the government and agencies in the various markets we operate in. Again, we thank you for sticking with us through this past year and we look forward to seeing you in-store soon.
If you have questions about our reopening policies you can reach out to our customer service team at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the Philz App.
December 22, 2020 - Protocols and operating model
As we navigate COVID-19, we continue to iterate on our protocols and operating model. Due to many regional restrictions, outdoor patios are closed in most of our locations. We will reopen them when deemed safe to do so. We have designed our pick-up model to minimize any interaction. We want to get you your delicious cup of love as safely as possible.
We want to also address some frequently asked questions:
What is the current way to get my Philz?
All of our stores have a mobile pick-up table and an area where you can walk up and order. We strongly encourage you to order ahead via the Philz Coffee app, as you can schedule a pick-up time, which will allow you to get your order quickly. Please remember that we require a mask to enter, and ask that you not linger in the store.
When my local Philz store is closed, what does that mean?
Most likely, we have a team member with a confirmed COVID diagnosis. We always take swift action, and quarantine team members in accordance with CDC guidelines, as well as follow their deep cleaning protocols. When we can, we will reopen with different team members, but unfortunately, that is not always possible. We encourage you to visit our nearby Philz stores.
If I was at that store, was I exposed?
No. We do not have any customer interactions that happen that meet the CDC definition of close contact (i.e., more than 15 minutes in a 24 hour period, less than 6 feet).
What is the Philz mask policy?
We require a proper fitting mask to enter. This is to protect our entire community. This means that the mask fits securely over your nose and mouth, and is not removed at all while in our store. We will kindly ask any customer to leave who cannot comply with this requirement.
My local store hours keep changing. Why is that?
We ask team members with any cold-like symptoms to stay home. Because of this, our team availability fluctuates, and there are times where we have to adjust operations and hours accordingly. Thank you for your flexibility and understanding. Health and safety for our team members and customers continues to be our highest priority.
October 12, 2020 - New Store Experience
One of our core values is to Deliver on Quality and to Make Progress, and as such, we continue to evaluate how to deliver the best experience for our customers, while keeping everyone safe. We take customer feedback seriously, and are adjusting our store experience to reflect recent feedback. Here are the changes you will see:
You will now find a designated ordering line for walk up customers who have not placed an order via the mobile app in advance. We still encourage all customers to use the Philz App so they can pre-schedule their pickups, and limit wait time.
Once you place your order with a Philz team member, there is a designated area for you to wait safely. Your name will be called from the door when your drink is ready. Masks are required while ordering, and waiting.
A Quicker Pick -Up
If you have ordered via the Philz App, look for the mobile pick up line and table where you can quickly grab your order at its scheduled time. Our team will set your order out at it’s pick-up time, alphabetically. There will be a team member there at all times to assist you with any questions and to ensure no one grabs the wrong drink. You must wear a mask at all times inside the store.
Thank you so much for sharing your feedback with us so we can continue to improve your Philz experience.
July 28, 2020 - Action Update
Last month we shared about our commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement and some of the immediate actions we were undertaking. We held 8 forums across Philz, closing stores to accommodate for these, to amplify the voices of our Black team members. This was moving, heartbreaking, inspiring and informed our action items.
We have many steps underway at Philz and believe that progress will be defined by our ability to deliver on being an environment free of discrimination. We wanted to share a quick update on some of these action items to be transparent with our progress so far.
- New reporting system will be implemented at the end of July- it enables reports to be made via text, email, or phone with the option of anonymity.
- We are investing in unconscious bias training via a third party that will happen in September across all of Philz.
- We have set clearer expectations of what it means for Philz to be a safe space, empowering our teams to uphold this standard with our customers. We will treat all customers with respect and will continue to be a place that is inclusive to all (assuming customers abide by our code of conduct).
- We have actively been discussing our relationship with law enforcement. We have historically extended a discount to first responders, which includes the police. We have always strived to be a safe space for all and to be inclusive we cannot pick and choose who to serve, or who we extend discounts to. Based on feedback from our customers and team members we evaluated our discount strategy and realized it was favorable only to people within certain groups. As such, we are rolling back all discounts as of 8/1/20.
Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion leadership team is now meeting weekly to review our actions and serve as a source of accountability.
We look forward to continuing our progress and will keep our Philz community updated with our actions. If you have feedback, questions or concerns please feel free to contact us at email@example.com
July 16, 2020 - Recent News
I’m sure this isn’t the first message you've read like this, especially from those in the food service, retail and hospitality business. COVID has had a real and heart-breaking impact on our business, our people and our community.
Everyone at Philz is driven to make a positive impact on people's days, delivering warm and genuine hospitality, and offering a hospitable and open place for people to gather and connect. Our mission, to Better Peoples Days, is why we do what we do. We miss seeing our regular customers lounging on the couches, the new faces exploring the menu for the first time, and the connections people make over coffee in our stores. No one could have predicted the widespread impact that COVID-19 has brought.
When COVID-19 began, we closed stores for two weeks and paid for scheduled shifts, and then furloughed team members who were unable to get hours, covering 100% of their benefits. As COVID-19 has persisted, it became clear that this would be a longer than anticipated recovery. Last week it became even harder because we had to make the very difficult decision to lay off nearly 20% of our team across different stores, roles, and geographies. The reductions in staff are not a reflection of any one individual but a hard reality we had to come face with as we navigate through this challenging period. While we hoped to never get to this point, the economic realities of our situation regrettably forced this decision.
I sincerely appreciate each and every one of the 180 Philz Baristas, leaders and home office team members impacted who became an integral part of our culture and served our customers with grace and kindness. While a thank you could never be enough, I thank you for what you brought to the Philz community. We will miss everyone.
2020 has been a year of trials and growth for everyone. I have no doubt that Philz and our communities will emerge strong from this pandemic with more resilience, kindness and inclusiveness. I am looking forward to having coffee with many of you in our stores again one day soon.
Until then, please support your local Philz by picking up your favorite cup, in a safe and contactless experience via the Philz Mobile App at one of our stores or purchasing Philz beans for use at home.
July 16, 2020 - COVID Safety Procedures
As our country continues to navigate COVID-19, we wanted to take this opportunity to share a more in-depth look at what we are doing at a store level to ensure the safety of our teams and customers. We take this very seriously and are very conservative in our practices.
We continue to remain open for pick-up ordering using our contactless set up at the door. While many counties have allowed for it, we have stayed consistent with not opening up our cafes out of an abundance of caution. We feel a great responsibility to keep our team members, and customers, safe. In this model, no customer will interact with a team member in a way that the CDC will define as “close contact”, ensuring that we are upholding our “contactless” promise.
- Please use the Philz App to schedule orders and arrive at your pick up time.
- If that is not possible and as we want to be inclusive to all customers, we will accept walk up orders using card reader, gift card or cash when our mobile queue allows for it. Please note these orders may take longer as our mobile queue has set pick up times and will take priority. We ask that all customers wear masks
- Masks are required when picking up and/or placing orders from our store fronts.
- Please respect our 6ft distancing markers while waiting, respect other customers.
Team Member Protocols:
- We continue to do daily symptom & temperature checks for all team members.
- Masks and gloves are provided and required at all times inside our cafes by our team members.
- Increased hand washing, cleaning and sanitizing routines are being enforced.
- Special COVID-19 safety training is mandatory for all team members.
- We take a more cautious approach than recommended for any potential COVID case. We are in touch with health departments, and have a Safety Committee dedicated to implementing current practices, but also evolving as more information becomes available.
These protocols and procedures will continue to evolve as we learn more. We are committed to keeping our team members and customers safe. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to us to learn more at firstname.lastname@example.org
June 23, 2020 - Our commitment to the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Meaningful change does not happen overnight. Saying we stand in solidarity with the Black community is not enough. We have to continue to work hard to create a culture and environment that fosters and embraces diversity and is free of discrimination. Philz Coffee is committed to the Black Lives Matter movement and combating racial injustice for the long-term.
We thank you all for allowing us the space to listen, learn and be thoughtful with our planning. Over the past few weeks we have engaged in many meaningful conversations across our company including a powerful call on Wednesday, June 17 with more than 400 Philz team members. During this call, a handful of team members shared personal stories and experiences around racism and discrimination. It was eye-opening and shined a light on the work we have left to do as a country, as a company and as individuals. From those conversations and stories we have committed to immediate actions to better support our Black team members, to respond to our customers concerns and to continue to push forward towards greater systemic change. We have also formed a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee that is now meeting weekly to help drive us towards further progress. They will focus on not just short-term, but mid-term, long-term goals and accountability.
Here are some of the additional actions we are focused on:
- We are hosting additional calls with stores over the next two weeks to continue to amplify the voices of our Black team members. Store hours will be modified to allow us the time and space to host these. Follow your local store Instagram for any hours changes.
- We have made unconscious bias training available through LinkedIn Learning with additional required training to come.
- We have added mental health resources, to support all team members.
- We have compiled a list of local organizations fighting against racial injustice that our team members can choose for Philz to donate to (via survey). Philz will donate $15 per team member up to $10,000 total. Donation options include*: Color Of Change, Black Lives Matter, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Black Organizing Project (Oakland), Equal Justice Society (Oakland), The San Francisco Foundation, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, ACLU (San Diego), San Diego Black LGBTQ Coalition, Know Your Rights Camp (Chicago), Chicago Urban League, Racial Equity in D.C. - D.C. Policy Center, and Showing Up for Racial Justice DC.
At Philz, we build community. We bring people together. We better people’s days. During this time, we must come together, recommit to our values and move forward to make progress. Our mission is greater than any one of us and drives us forward.
From all of us at Philz, we thank you for your continued support.
June 23, 2020 - How to Philz Safely
Philz is taking a responsible and phased approach to reopening and implementing a number of new health and safety measures, all guided by CDC and local health department best practices. While your Philz experience looks and feels a bit different, rest assured that every re-opened Philz location is guided by the same mission, which is to better your day. Your continued support of Philz means the world to us.
We wanted to review our current operations and share best practices on #HowToPhilzSafely.
A review of our current operations:
- Philz is currently offering contactless pick-up at stores using the Philz App for ordering.
- Our Team Members are following strict safety protocols including: symptom and temperature checks, wearing gloves and masks at all times, on top of stringent hand washing procedures, maintaining safe distancing during working shifts and regularly scheduled cleaning/sanitation of workstations and customer surfaces.
- Two queue system for pick up (check in line and waiting area), with marked social distancing queues. We are asking that all customers maintain a safe distance and wear masks during pick-ups.
- In addition to offering contactless pick-up at stores, we have recently partnered with Uber Eats to offer delivery of coffee bags and have begun to roll our delivery of prepared drinks for select locations.
As communities begin to lift Shelter In Place restrictions, we will work diligently to determine the best approach for Philz. Our north star remains the health and safety of our team, and customers will continue to utilize the Philz App for ordering for the foreseeable future.
We are constantly assessing and innovating our product offering, procedures, and partnerships to better serve our customers. Thank you for your continued support.
Please note: We have taken enhanced health and safety measures for you and our team members. Please follow all posted instructions while visiting a Philz location. An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the CDC, senior citizens and guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable. By visiting a Philz location, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19. Please help keep each other healthy and safe.
April 15, 2020
We made the extremely difficult decision to close our stores on March 17th to protect the safety of our team members and customers. Personally, this was one of the most difficult decisions we had to make. Since the early days of Philz, my dad and I have never dreamed of closing down stores but we knew we made the right decision through the lens of our people-first culture. With that said, we had to figure out how we’d take care of our team members, keep them engaged, get back to serving our communities and support the health of our business. We have to stand strong at the end of the crisis, so we stepped up and worked hard with our team members to test a safe way to Philz for our teams and customers.
We are pleased to report that we’ve designed a safe way to Philz for our customers and team members and have reopened most of our stores as of April 8th. Some of the changes include moving to mobile ordering, and placing cups at the entrance door for pick-up, making our entrance act like a walk-up window or drive-thru on foot. We are limiting how many team members work per shift, and are providing masks and gloves for protection, conducting rigorous and frequent sanitization along with daily cleaning checklists, and much more, which you can see in our other updates here.
The Philz Mobile App plays an important role in enabling a safe experience. It eliminates the need to order in-person and pay a cashier supporting a contactless experience. It also allows you to choose a specific pick-up time which helps support social distancing by reducing the crowd gathered to pick up drinks. It offers the full Philz menu including drinks, food and bags so you can enjoy Philz at home. And most importantly, the app has been custom designed to mirror the human-centered, personalized experience you get when ordering in store, by carrying a conversational tone when choosing your drink and letting you meet the Barista that’s hand-making your cup. The app will tell you exactly when your drink is ready. When you pick up, your name and your Barista's signature will be on your label, to reflect that cup of love that was personalized for you.
If it is your first time at Philz or first time using the Philz App and you need some help navigating through or choosing a drink, please reach out to us @Philzcoffee on twitter. I’m also available to help anytime @JacobJaber. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank our team and customers for the amazing support of Philz. It’s been very touching to hear stories from customers about how happy they are that Philz is back up and running and how it provides that sense of comfort and normalcy we are all craving. Our mission at Philz is to Better People’s Days. We want to build community through kindness, authenticity and connection. This is why we exist. We remain committed to this mission now more than ever.
Please download the Philz Mobile App, and come visit us and please help spread the word by telling a friend! Lastly, please keep the feedback coming, it is how we get better. As we continue to monitor the situation daily, please stay tuned for updates.
April 6, 2020 - Store Locations Currently Open
At Philz, our mission is to Better Days. We made the decision on March 17th to temporarily close our stores as it was in the best interest of our team and customers. Since that time, we have been working tirelessly on a way to re-open that is safe for all and allows us to better your day. Given that this is an uncertain time, we are beginning to test a mobile pick up concept in a few of our stores before deciding to go further.
The following locations are now open for a mobile-only experience and we’ve added food and pound bags to our mobile app for added convenience. Hours are limited and vary by locations. For most up to date hours check the Philz App.
- Civic Center
- Corte Madera
- First St. Mobile
- Folsom & Beale
- Front St.
- Noe Valley
- Ocean Ave.
- Russian Hill
- Dogpatch (4/20)
- Cupertino Main
- Forest Ave
- Los Gatos
- Middlefield Rd.
- Redwood City
- San Mateo
- Cupertino DeAnza (4/20)
- Walnut Creek
- Belmont Shore
- DTLA - Hope
- El Segundo
- Santa Monica
- Studio City
- Huntington Beach
- South Coast Metro
- Del Mar
- La Jolla
- Hyde Park
- Lincoln Park
- Wicker Park
Washington DC Area
- Adams Morgan
- Navy Yards
There are a number of steps we have taken to make this possible including:
- Moving to a mobile order only experience and placing the cups at the door for pick up. Think of our doors like a walk-up window or a drive-thru on foot.
- Unlike other pre-order apps, you can pick your *exact* pick up time, which will limit crowding and physical contact at the pick up table.
- Limiting the number of team members that are in store to 3 or less, and requiring 6 ft plus between them at all times.
- Working towards having the same team members work together each day.
- Daily symptom checks including temperature reads for anyone working a shift. If any team member is not comfortable working, they do not have to.
Download the iOS or Android app ahead of time to get started and please tweet us @Philzcoffee if you need any help on how to use the app or suggestions on what to order.
We have heard from so many of you that you would like to see us reopen under this model, and we are inspired by our team members who want to serve the community during this difficult time. One of our core values is to Make Progress and Deliver on Quality. We are excited about this test and to Better your Day!
We’re looking forward to your feedback. Hope you are staying safe & healthy.
March 25, 2020
With increased delivery needs across the country, our shipping partners may experience delays in processing deliveries and updating tracking information. We are working hard to fulfill your order as quickly as possible. Please check our partner’s websites for more up to date information. (UPS Service Guarantee, USPS Service Alerts)
March 18, 2020
A note from our Roasting Plant Leadership:
Monday we announced our decision to close our stores temporarily for the safety of our customers and team members. Today we want to take a moment to address the steps we are taking at our Roasting Plant to ensure safety of our team, and our process. We are currently open to produce coffee with a small team. Since we are a food processing facility, we have always maintained strict food safety policies including hair and beard nets, gloves and frequent cleaning. Below are the additional steps we are taking to keep our team and facility safe:
- We have increased our Industrial Cleaning staff and increased the frequency of cleaning all counters, doorknobs, common surfaces, machine common touchpoints and are sanitizing with an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Disposable gloves are worn in any area where a human hand could come in contact with coffee.
- We use a Pathspot hand scanning system which provides us with empirical hand washing data so we can validate there are no foodborne pathogens on the team members hands.
- We’ve installed additional hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the facility including breakroom areas and bathrooms.
Beyond these precautions we are checking in frequently with our Roasting Plant team to ensure they are comfortable in their work environment.
- Anyone who is not directly needed for the production process is not allowed in the roasting plant.
- All remaining work stations are set up to create social distancing.
- We held informational town halls with our team members led by our Food Safety and Food Defense Team Members to educate them concerning the COVID 19 Virus characteristics, how we can work as a team to prevent its spread, our personal and social responsibility in doing our part to keep each other safe and what we can do as a team to keep our facility clean and operable.
- If any team member feels uncomfortable working at the plant during this period, we are working with our People Ops team to work through options including time off.
We appreciate your ongoing support and concern for the wellbeing of our teams. We will continue to keep you updated here and through our social channels.
March 16, 2020
Dear Philz Customers,
I shared a message just a few days ago about the measures we’re taking to protect the health of our team members and customers against COVID-19. Like you, the Philz leadership team and I have been closely monitoring the situation in order to react in a bold and quick manner.
Now we are at a point that we feel the best decision is to temporarily close our stores starting tomorrow, 3/17. We’ll continue to track the situation daily and will reopen our stores as soon as it is safe to do so. We’ll be sure to communicate with you when that happens. Please know that we’ll be doing everything we can to care for our team members during this temporary closure, including paying for scheduled shifts and continuing all current benefits. As you can imagine, this was an extremely difficult decision, but we lead with our values at Philz. We know this is the right decision—the health of our communities is paramount.
We can’t wait to reopen and better your day with a Cup of Love. In the meantime, we have waived shipping charges from 3/20 – 4/20 (details coming soon on our website) to make it easier for you to enjoy Philz at home. We have an amazing selection that I hope you will check out. Please visit our website and make sure to tell a friend: www.philzcoffee.com.
We look forward to being back up and running so we can serve you. We will get through this and come out stronger, I know it.
Stay tuned, stay safe, stay healthy.