Joshua Dick won’t say which ones, but his Elmsford-based, family-run business is at least partially responsible for providing great-tasting coffee at some seriously large, international coffee chains. Indeed, Urnex Brands sells cleaning supplies for commercial coffee-machines in more than 65 international markets and has a year-over-year revenue growth exceeding 10 percent. Now, Dick is going after the consumer market with their Full Circle green cleaning products, currently sold at Williams-Sonoma.
“Coffee is a beautiful, natural oil, but when exposed to oxygen, it turns rancid and sour,” says Dick, whose great-grandfather founded Urnex in 1936. His largest competitor in the retail market is, of all things, vinegar. “It only removes some of the mineral buildup,” he says. Commercially, he’s up against giants like Italy’s Puly Caff, along with manufacturers in Germany and the UK.
“The retail market is a totally different beast,” Dick says. He sees huge market potential for Full Circle. “Most households in the US have a coffee machine, but few know that they should clean it.” Still, Dick is confident he can spread the word; his marketing director is a former member of the marketing teams at Kraft and Pepperidge Farm.