Local resident’s Coffique line of holders alleviates challenges for single-serve coffee drinkers
By Karen Billing
Carmel Valley resident Sean Rones has invented a product he hopes will provide a sleek and chic alternative for storing single cup coffee maker K-Cup packs. Named Coffique, the product is a stylish counter-top holder that sits directly under a Keurig K-Cup machine.
QVC has been the first to jump on Rones’ product (patent pending) and he has been able to secure positive meetings with Bloomingdales and Macy’s in New York.
“To get appointments is very difficult, especially when it’s a new product and a single skew product,” said Rones, who will also meet with Williams & Sonoma and a few Canadian retailers.
Once vendor agreements are signed, Rones expects his product to sell well as he thinks there’s nothing else like it on the market. Adding to his confidence is the fact that Keurig has sold 2.3 billion K-Cups and over 20 million machines since 2005.
“This sector is going to see explosive growth,” said Rones. “This could be the one in 10 product that makes it.”
His children, Talia, 5, and Jaden, 7, have been excited about dad’s Coffique invention succeeding, hoping it means a vacation to Cabo.
The invention came about as his family was seeking solutions to their K-Cup storage woes. Sean and his wife, Natalie, got their Keurig last year after she looked at his year-end statement and noticed he’d spent $1,100 on Starbucks. The single-cup coffee maker uses small packets of coffee that look like creamers and they’ve got to be stored somewhere.
First, Rones bought a holder that took up too much counter space.
“Every time you pulled a cup out, it left a void and my wife, being a perfectionist, kept saying I needed to put one back in and it was driving me crazy,” Rones said.
It also kind of looked like a spice rack and their kitchen already had too many “gadget-y”-looking items on the counter that didn’t match the décor.
The second holder Rones bought solved the space issue but was unattractive and looked like office equipment.
“That one never made it to the kitchen counter,” Rones said.
After the second failure, Rones, who has a background in manufacturing other products and designs for third-party companies, made a joke that maybe he should design a custom one.
“At that point the light still didn’t go on in my head. Then my wife came home with a business magazine and I read about how many units Keurig has sold and how popular the Keurig brand is,” Rones said. “The light finally went on.”
Rones said he was additionally inspired by the movie “Moneyball,” about Billy Beane, a Mt. Carmel High School alum — as is Rones.
“Seeing him put it all on the line and do something different inspired me because I was thinking, I’m 46 and there’s not many job opportunities out there,” Rones said. “That’s when I really thought I could make this idea into a reality.”
In engineering the product, Rones went after what his wife was looking for, something design-centric with a high-end aesthetic.
He wanted a simple functionality — when you open the drawer there is a turning carousel that makes it easy to find a selection. The carousel is hidden so no need to refill an empty spot.
The Coffique also goes underneath the Keurig machine, acting as somewhat of a stand so it doesn’t take up any additional counter space.
Rones hopes to continue his entrepreneurship in the coffee biz—when Keurig’s patent is up, he’d like to look into making his own line of single-serve coffee K-cups.
To celebrate, that 11-day Cabo trip is booked for the summer.
To learn more about Coffique, visit www.coffique.com
- Cafe Positano owner trades daily grind for a fresh coffee
- Carmel Valley resident’s MODA by Sofia clothing line created for all women
- Carmel Valley resident’s monogram jewelry line reflects the importance of family
- Carmel Valley resident’s new Dank & Dewey belt line makes a statement
- Use your bean for iced coffee to beat the heat
Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=35967