Coffee Klatch with Café Kubal


Sleeve a Message’s very own Max Barker (MB) sat down with Christina Ting (CT) of Café Kubal Roaster, to find out what exactly has lead to Kubal’s growing success.


MB: What marketing efforts does Café Kubal take towards customer engagement?

CT: Engage the social media followers via hash tags and photos contest. Reward the followers by having them like and share the social media post. Let the followers be part of the decision making process for Café Kual by taking a poll on the seasonal menu and the design for a merchandise item.

We also have a suspended coffee program that we do to help the customers engage with each other. A customer can prepay for a cup of coffee out of kindness for any stranger that walks in the door. A Kubal barista then activates the prepaid coffee for the customer who has had a bad day or runs short on change. Anyone can come in to check and see if there is any prepaid coffee as well.

Proving coffee brewing knowledge and information about the farm through newsletters, blogs, and having in-store tasting events.


MB: Which social medial platforms do you value the most? Which one is your favorite, and for what reason do you enjoy it the most?

CT: They are all very valuable. Each reaches out to a different demographic. The most effective one so far is Instagram and its hash tags. Instagram does not have too much of an agenda or ads on it. It indicates the café locations. It encourages interest, and it is linked to Facebook and Twitter so it makes it easier for me to cover all media in one post.


MB: These days, consumers are very green-conscious and are attracted to businesses that practice sustainability. What efforts does Café Kubal take towards lessening it’s carbon footprint and making a positive impact on the environment?

CT: Sourcing environmentally friendly restaurant supplies to the best ability we can. While the durability of the product and the pricing are also a big concern, we do the best we can to use paper products instead of Styrofoam. We also encourage composting.


MB: Café Kubal has opened three new locations this past year, excluding the temporary kiosk in Syracuse’s Hancock Airport. What efforts does the business take towards attracting new customers?

CT: Café Kubal currently has these four locations: Downtown, Eastwood, SU and Medical Center West. Cafe Kubal will have the fifth location this December at Creekwalk Commons. The airport location was pulled out this year due to the lack of quality control in the current concessioner.

We run Facebook ads that target customers who like coffee but have not yet been a fan of Café Kubal. You can get very specific with the targeting settings with the Facebook ads.

We also run ads on local blogger’s sites, and we do cross-promotional specials with other local business that we partner with by having them distribute coupons and newsletters.


MB: Lastly, we love to see you updating Café Kubal’s sleeves with new content every 1-2 months, taking great advantage of Sleeve A Message’s low minimums and free artwork updates. Any advice for how other businesses can plan, design, and integrate sleeves into their marketing practices?

CT: Having a seasonal calendar helps for the business to plan ahead. Keep the writing short and simple. Having fresh content and design helps to catch the customer’s eye.