It was an ordinary day, or so I thought, Valentine’s Day 2016 when my husband and I sat down to have our morning coffee. He offered because it was a special day, to go and get me a “specialty cup of coffee” but it was so cold in New York that I said that we could just have coffee at home. I looked down, as he was pouring me a cup of coffee and I had my “AH HA” moment. He had placed on the counter alongside mine and my daughters’ Valentine’s Day Cards individually wrapped candy hearts filled with delicious caramel and marshmallow.
When I saw that I immediately thought that it would be amazing if I could drop that into my coffee and instantly have a delicious gourmet flavored coffee without having to go anywhere or spend a fortune too! That is when JAVAMELTS was born. Javamelts is flavored sugar for coffee, tea, baking, artisan cocktails, and more! Our 4 delicious gourmet flavors are Hazelnut, Mocha, French Vanilla, and Caramel.
After the initial thought of Javamelts, the idea was so powerful that I quickly became obsessed and we hit the ground running. Without any previous experience in the food and beverage industry, we educated ourselves and saw a void in the marketplace, and started to get ready to launch. Almost a year to date after the idea we launched the first versions of Javamelts on our website: www.javamelts.com and soon thereafter started attending the largest tradeshows so that we could learn and grow.
There were a ton of struggles and obstacles that we encountered along the way and each time we were relentless to fix the problems and move on! Well, we were growing year after year and I even got on QVC, I-Heart Radio and things started looking good. By March of 2020, I had won 3 National Best Product Awards and we had just signed an NDA with a global coffee company and then COVID hit! Devasting us, our company quickly started to crumble before our eyes.
The COVID-19 Pandamic
Everything that we worked so hard for slowly started to go away. Our lowest hanging fruit was the Office Coffee Service and Foodservice Industries and obviously with COVID, they were closed off and we started to panic.
We were in touch with our facility who manufactured for us (a co-packer) and they started to share that things were not good with them and yes, you guessed it, one day as I sat down at my computer, I got the Dear John Letter……… “Dear Carolyn, unfortunately, our business has been negatively affected by COVID and we have to close our doors……” My husband and I begged them to help us find someone else and they did!
After a few months, we were back up and running. Along with this, our Amazon store seemed to be slowly improving too and we were happy because it was definitely quickly becoming an online shoppers’ place being that people were afraid to go anywhere and buying online was the way to go!
Well, we were definitely not out of the woods. Our second co-packer quickly informed us that they were so busy with the primary business that they didn’t have the manpower to manufacture for us. While this was happening our Amazon store was closed without any warning because it was erroneously tagged with another store that had conducted illegal activity and it took us months to get things ironed out with them.
Switching to Natural Ingredients
All while this was happening, we did decide to pivot and switch to only natural ingredients and to rebrand to a more modern and better packaging. We had hired a marketing and design company and were able to relaunch and rebuild from scratch!
Thankfully, this March 2021, I was featured in Entrepreneur and I was just a contestant on USA Network’s America’s Big Deal with Joy Mangano in November! I was able to pick myself up, dust myself off and move on!
I am proudly a mother of three amazing daughters who have been supporting and encouraging me not to give up along with my husband of 32 years. Danielle is 29, Kelly is 27 and Jessica is 25 and have all graduated from college and have each found their way with amazing jobs!
Things are starting to pick up but it’s been a struggle…. Each time I thought I was “almost there” things went terribly wrong….. Hope this story will motivate, inspire and ultimately help others.