By: Casha Doemland
Chances are when you think of Florida, you think of four things, hurricanes, gators, suffocating humidity and Disney World because Floridians need the “The Happiest Place On Earth” to balance everything out.
Despite that, the sunshine state has some redeeming qualities like producing the most oranges for national consumption, as well as a handful of businesses on the up and up. One of which is Made Coffee, a St. Petersburg Coffee Cannery, whose motto is “How do you withstand your typical Florida summer? Cold coffee.”
Made Coffee started from humble beginnings in early 2015 when founder, Michael Rideout, started shelling out Cold Brew and Nitro Brew from the back of a coffee bike to local eateries and establishments. As the desire to expand arose, the question of how swirled around in his mind. Why become another local coffee house, when you can become “The Cannery,” the nickname for the production facility they acquired in 2016.
Just like that, Florida’s Original Canned Cold Brew was born, and the handful of accounts ballooned to well over 900 with help from Reggie, their Diedrich Roaster that roasts all of the fine coffee beans at their facility.
They also brought in Break Maiden for some assistance on their branding and packaging design.
“Marc Berenguer (Creative Director) and I developed the Made brand a few years back when we were working together at a local agency here in St. Petersburg,” says Kenny Coil, Break Maiden’s other Creative Director at Break Maiden. “The branding and packaging project made a huge splash locally, regionally as well as various social channels. Through the success of Made’s brand launch, I developed a great relationship with Mike and the Made team.”
After Coil relocated to Austin, Texas, he kept in contact with Mike, and when the idea came around to pay homage to everyone’s home state, everyone was on board to create a Made For Florida brew. After all, craft breweries do it all of the time, why couldn’t a craft coffee do the same?
“Our cold brew is refreshing in the Florida heat and perfect to bring along on outdoor adventures,” says Taylor Prater, co-founder, and marketing maven at Made Coffee. “We wanted this new packaging to utilize the symbols of Florida – palm trees and sun depictions – with a bit of edginess to stay true to the brand.”
Before introducing the idea to Break Maiden, Made Coffee developed a concept through a series of mood boards, that way they had a solid jumping off point for collaboration.
“The design obviously had to be Florida inspired one way or another, but I knew it didn’t want it to be vintage or distressed,” says Coil. “It felt too easy and maybe a little overdone in the beverage industry. I started my research on South Florida and quickly became obsessed with Miami South Beach architecture. The Colony Hotel, Jerry’s Deli and The McAlpin served as great sources of inspiration to start building out the wireframe.”
Skipping traditional pencil and paper, Coil went straight to the computer to craft his designs. “It’s so much easier to work with straight lines and within a packaging dieline,” Coil chimes in.
Throughout this process, Berenguer acted as his cross country guide as he was still in Austin and together they explored numerous layouts and color palettes that all fell within Made’s brand guidelines. For example, Made’s original Cold Brew & Nitro Brew cans feature the triangular dip at the top—the Made logo and established date were nonnegotiable. With that in mind, Break Maiden incorporated that basic design into the linework of the limited edition Made For Florida can.
“Once the front and back frames were designed to mimic the architecture of South Beach Miami, it was a matter of figuring out what visuals would sit inside of them,” shares Coil. “We settled on the three most representative of Florida: palm trees, sunshine and the gulf.” While the idea of highlighting the weather in various colors crossed their mind, at the end of the day, the team decided it would only complicate the design.
“Phase two was the waiting game,” starts Coil. “They wanted to make sure they got the time just right. It didn’t make sense to launch a Florida inspired can in the middle of winter, even if the temperature wasn’t changing.”
The empties ended up sitting pretty in the Cannery awaiting release for a summer launch, which went off without a hitch.
Looking back, Coil learned the process of using shrink wrap in combination with a complex mono-line design on aluminum can cause a little distortion, and as “shops printing in small quantities are solely focused with getting the job done and out the door, we did our best to quality control to ensure a bangin’ final product,” adds Coil.
At the moment, the Made Coffee is only available to Floridians and those passing through to Disney World or Miami, but expansion isn’t out of the question. The right product line and moment haven’t presented themselves for national distribution, so it’s best to stay on your toes to see when Made Coffee’s Cold Brew or Nitro Brew will be paying homage to a state near you.
LA-based and Georgia-bred, Casha Doemland spends her days crafting poetry and freelance writing. Over the last two years, she’s been published in a variety of publications and zines around the world. When she’s not nerding out with words, you can catch her watching a classic film, trekking around the globe or hanging out with a four-pound Pomeranian.
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