Zavida Coffee Company

In pursuit of the world's freshest coffee

Founded in 1982 by Charles Litterst, Zavida Coffee Company is celebrating its 30th successful year in business.

Based in Concord, Ont., Zavida has grown into a distinct leader in the gourmet coffee industry, with two upcoming and exciting launches—Zavida’s brand new website as well as the world’s first unsweetened gourmet syrup made for brewed coffee, MiniSyrup.

The two new releases add to an already strong product line. Speaking with President and CEO Charles Litterst and son Danny, the two highlighted the unique identity of Zavida Coffee Company.

Its place in the coffee industry

With a variety of coffee flavours, Zavida offers its products through worldwide export and distribution channels, food service suppliers, office coffee service providers, gift companies, direct through e-commerce, and acts as a private label manufacturer.

As a unique player in the diverse coffee industry, Zavida maintains an enviable position in this always developing sector. In Canada, Zavida is among the most popular wholesale coffee brands, with its largest distribution channel being Costco Wholesale.

So what’s next for Zavida? According to Charles, Zavida must continue to penetrate additional distribution channels and expand its product lines as a whole worldwide. The goal is “to continue to ethically grow with a key focus on sustainability.”

“We’ve been a private label manufacturer for so long that many people have tried our coffee without knowing it,” Danny said. “We are now fully pursuing the Zavida Coffee brand.”

Charles added, “It is important for us to have integrity. We’re not just slapping on a logo.  We have to work very hard for it.”

Introducing MiniSyrup

The world’s first unsweetened syrup specifically made to flavour brewed coffee, cup-by-cup, MiniSyrup is sugar free, sweetener free, zero calorie syrup which creates an assortment of flavoured coffees with just one brew and no added equipment. Zavida believes its MiniSyrup is “the greatest innovation in flavoured coffee in the last 20 years.”

There is a notable distinction between MiniSyrup and typical brewed flavoured coffees, being that regular brewed coffees, like standard house blends, can be flavoured one cup at a time with MiniSyrup. Such a convenient option has allowed Zavida to break into the quick serve food market providing quick serve food retailers with more coffee selection while using less counter space. Currently, MiniSyrup utilizes about 50 per cent of Zavida’s resources focusing on its expansion into this market.

“Flavouring coffee cup-by-cup is a new trend in what is otherwise a bland market right now. People are looking for more variety without additional equipment or space and MiniSyrup provides our customers with new and exciting tastes,” added Danny.

MiniSyrup was recently launched at a show hosted by the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association, and was met with enthusiastic reviews. MiniSyrup is available in 10 tasteful flavours, including six-pack and three-pack Starter Kits. Flavours include Hazelnut Vanilla, French Vanilla, Irish Cream, Crème Brûlée, Cinnamon Bun, Ginger Cookie, Amaretto Almond, Hazelnut, Raspberry Chocolate, and Caramel Royale.

Committed to quality, passion for coffee

Organic certified in both Canada and the United States, Zavida is also heavily involved with the Rainforest Alliance, an organization primarily focused on environmental sustainability. Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee emphasizes crop production that ensures ecosystem and water resource conservation, wildlife protection, and fair treatment and good working conditions for workers, among many others.

“Our biggest commitment is to increase the amount of Organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified coffees we purchase, now standing well over 1 million pounds per year,” Danny said. “Zavida is now also Carbon Neutral Certified through Trees for the Future where we offset any carbon we produce on an annual basis with physical tree planting throughout the world.

“We have planted more than 10,000 trees and that number is increasing, especially now that a tree will be planted on behalf of our customers for each and every product purchased on our new website.”

An enthusiastic Zavida Coffee Folding team has also begun and Zavida is now dedicating a large amount of computer resources to assist the Stanford initiative “Folding home” for valuable medical research.

The most notable distinction of Zavida is its dedication to product freshness, something it believes is potentially its greatest point of difference from the average coffee company.

“On our new website, we will be offering what no one else in the coffee industry is offering online, and that is a brand new section called ‘Roasted Today where we roast coffee and then offer it for sale on our website on the same day that it is roasted,” Danny summarized. “We feel Zavida is the best kept secret in the coffee industry. It’s something special.”