You’ve seen interviews with a lot of people during our 20th Gilmore Girls anniversary special since October 1st – Shelly Cole (Madeline), Emily Kuroda (Mrs. Kim), George Bell (dialogue coach and actor), Patty Malcolm (stand in for Lauren Graham), Sheila Lawrence (writer and producer), right?
Of course we wouldn’t let our beloved character Luke Danes out of this party! I met Scott Patterson back in 2018 for an interview and we had a blast talking about his amazing coffee brand Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee and a bunch of other stuff.
And now, in 2020, his brand is even bigger – and of course, the interview too.
Are you ready to get to know Scott like never before? Grab a cup of coffee and let’s go!
Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee was launched in December 2017. How did it start? Where did you get the inspiration from?
Well, my mom and I were very close growing up and – you know, kids wanted to be older, they didn’t want to stay young and adults were happy that they were adults and didn’t want to be kids. It’s different now, so any activity that an adult did I wanted to do. So we drank coffee growing up. We had freeze dried crystals that we would – they’re called solubles today, right? But back then they were freeze dried granules that you would put in your cup and pour hot water in, and you’d get a cup of coffee. It wasn’t the best quality coffee, but it was fine. So I used to sit there in that little kitchen of ours, just talking about life with my mom from the time I was 12 years old on, what my life was going to be, figuring stuff out over the years and all the way through high school. When I got the show I started to think about coffee all the time. I wanted to learn my craft. I took some years and learned about the business and learned about sourcing and all that kind of stuff and then when I was ready and I thought it was the right time, I decided to launch the company.
I really just made some innocent remark in an obscure online financial blog that I was doing an interview with and the damn thing went viral. I mean, it went viral in a huge way, so, you know, we sort of, hit the accelerator on the business and said “alright, we need to get to market fast”.
And it all happened so fast? How long did it take?
Well, you know, I knew who I wanted to go with in terms of where we were going to get our coffee, I’ve been tasting for years. It just takes forever. I’ve tried all kinds of coffee – I’ve tried Vietnamese, African, Jamaican, Hawaiian coffees, you name it. So that is how my plans went. I was going after a certain taste that I grew up with. It’s a New Jersey diner coffee, that is the base.
You were born in New Jersey?
Yeah, Philadelphia. And I grew up in South Jersey.
Very populated, very concentrated area where I grew up – tons of diners. It’s a diner culture. I grew up next to a race track, a horse racing track and diners everywhere, so that is how the flavors got formed, by my experience in those diners. Well, I wanted to elevate the flavor. I wanted to get rid of the bitterness. It’s a very specific thing I was going for and I knew what it was. But it’s hard to get rid of that bitterness and everything I tasted, you still got a little bitterness. And people were saying: “well that is coffee and that is just the way it is” and I wanted to make it smooth and not bitter and just rich and smooth, so smooth. And low acid and that is the roasting process and it’s also a combination of different countries’ beans. Very diverse.
Really? What countries?
I can’t tell you. (laughs) I’m just saying I’m not revealing the formula but it’s diverse.
And how did you get to the final decision? Was it hard?
Well, it took a long time. But when you taste it and it’s like that nirvana moment. Pretty obvious when it happens.
I have to ask you – your character, because you played Luke for 7 years, right? Did that influence you in any kind of decision to open this business?
Oh sure, oh yeah. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t. There was that connection and I thought – and I love coffee – the idea of owning a business and the right business in such a large, potentially, global consumer base. It promised travel, promised growth and ownership and all that kind of stuff you don’t have as an actor, where you’re just an employee and it depends on a contract and it’s fine, I’m not knocking it, it’s kind of a brilliant business model – there’s no investment on your part, you don’t own anything but you just sort of get contracted to come in and you’re paid very well and it’s easy. They make it very easy and very pleasant. But I just got to a point where it was like I’m going to my own business, be the boss. I’m a good boss. I’m a very good boss. I hope, I think! (laughs)
And do you plan on going to Brazil anytime?
You know how long I’ve wanted to come to Brazil? I have always wanted to come to Brazil with the band and play music and I would still like to do that. But I’m so focused now on the coffee, the music had to take the back seat unfortunately, because this is 24/7, this is everyday all day, the coffee. And I love it. And I love the music too. Music is a hard business. And I’m not saying coffee isn’t. I just think that the music business, the potential for any kind of real return and to make a living for, it’s very difficult. Unless you’re willing to put in everything and you’re very young, then it’s probably not a good idea. I’ll always write music and I’ll release singles when I have the time but right now I don’t have the time. It’s just 24/7 coffee, coffee, coffee.
And acting, you don’t think about acting anymore?
Yeah, I just… there’s so much that I’ve done, there’s not a lot I haven’t done. They want you to do the same thing over and over again and that doesn’t interest me and it also doesn’t interest me in music. It’s like “I’ve heard that before, I’ve played that kind of character before, I don’t want to do that”. So, if they come at me with something I haven’t done before that really turns me on, I’ll do it. And it’s not about money. It’s just about my time, how I’m going to spend my time. If I’m engaged, I’ll do it. But then again, the coffee is number one. And, I mean, till they put me in the grave. It’s going to take a lot of traveling, it’s a lot of work, and I have a son and I really want him to see me succeed. Even though I’ve accomplished a lot he’s never seen me do it and I want him to see me and if I fail at a certain point, which I will, he’ll see me get up and continue and he’ll learn from that. He’s going to see me doing it, so that is important to me. I want to give him that. And when I pass, I’m going to give him the company. Maybe, not force him, but influence him to go to college and get a business degree, get an MBA, a law degree, or whatever, I’m not going to force him into anything. The companies that I really like and I feel the companies that are the best companies are the companies for the multi generation. I love 100 year old companies, I love companies that have been around for a long time, they just know how to do it. Another reason I started this, this is not a quick play, my great grandchildren will run this company hopefully.
And we never expected that. The fans from the show never expected you would launch a coffee brand which is pretty amazing and learning that this came from your relationship with your mom is pretty amazing.
Coffee is about just getting together with people, sitting around and drinking coffee. For me is just about my mom and I figuring life out and all the questions that I had, all the troubles that I had.
When did you start drinking coffee?
At 12. And it’s not like I was drinking it regularly, I would drink it with my mom, a couple of times a week we would sit around late at night – you know, because she never slept and I never slept. I never sleep. I might get 3 or 4 hours – but I love working, I have got a lot of stuff to do. I had a problem though when I played professional baseball back in the day because I just couldn’t sleep so I was always out – so they thought I was out doing bad things and it wasn’t that and I was like… “guys, I don’t sleep that well so I can’t bother my roommate in a hotel room so I got up and walked the streets, I do whatever.” I write a lot and I always wrote a lot of music and now is just coffee coffee coffee coffee.
Developing new lines of coffees, exotics, more special coffees, is time consuming. It’s a lot to take on, and I’m very hands on and this is my baby, these are my blends. The issue really becomes when you find that perfect blend and it sort of works for me this way – it’s always really expensive – I have very expensive taste, but it takes a long time for me to negotiate those people down. It’s getting that price where it’s like ok, I can sell this now to my customers at a fair price. The reality of the business is the coffee prices are going up, it’s got to translate into the price you charge and hopefully not too much. Coffee drinkers today are far more sophisticated. They’ve been exposed to the best coffees in the world, the most interesting blends so it’s harder to compete in this field – but the thing that I found is this wonderful roasters that can execute the blends that I tell them to and execute and roast them the way I want them roasted, and at a certain price so that I can offer them to my customers. I’m giving them a special coffee at a sort of everyday price. That is why we consistently have gotten 100% Five Star reviews. They never experienced anything at that price. I might have the best coffee, I don’t know that for sure but, but it’s up there. I tasted everything from all over the world. I drink mine at home, I drink it all day. That is why I made the company, because I wanted to drink better coffee. I was tired of drinking expensive bitter crap and a lot of that is from Europe and I buy it and I make it – and it is bitter, so I solved the problem!
So you drink your own coffee?
I drink my own coffee all the time and I get upset when I run out (laughs). My house is filled with it. And the smell of it is better than anything – my coffee is a high quality product at a very reasonable price.
The flavor profile is key to any brand, I have a specific flavor profile that I want to keep in the system and that is the difficult part. Especially as we go international, if we’re going to source and do manufacturing in Europe it’s got to be exactly how we do in the US. That is hard. It’s a different facility, different people, the air is different, everything affects it. So that takes time, we’re getting into that now, a lot of investors are coming and they want to get in business with us but we’re being very cautious, we’re doing it the right way, we’re going slow. We want to earn the right to say “we’re the best coffee company in the world” – it’s going to take a while, and you can’t say that right now. The DNA is in place, it is all about the customer service, because we know we have the product, the coffee is great, the marketing, the proper price point and first and foremost is our customer service.
The following questions were answered by Scott in November/2020:
Back in 2018, we asked if you had plans about opening coffee shops – is this still a plan during this global crisis we are living in due to Covid-19?
We’ve got to get grounded first. We’re still answering questions and we want to have more answers before we do that.
We’ve already been approached about this and retail is tricky – we have to be careful, that can blow up your brand and can end your career very quickly, especially now. Unless you’re in a position to negotiate really good terms then you shouldn’t do it, and we’re getting into that position and we want to be more solidified in that position – and we do want to go into retail space, we think that is definitely necessary if you want to compete in a global scale – or even national.
Going into retail is very tricky and I’ve always wanted to do it at low cost and low risk. We want to make our customer’s coffee experience better than anybody’s coffee.
It’s interesting because there’s a lot to be learned from, in a marketing perspective, from Steve Jobs. He total engineers, I want it to be this thin and this shape because it feels good in my hand *showing his phone*. It’s form. He says: figure it out and they’re all like: “you’re crazy, how are we going to do this, you’re a horrible person, you’re evil” (laughs). When he was growing up his stepfather built fences and Steve would help him do it. You’d think young Steve would be under the impression the job was finished and the father said “no, we’ve got to do the other side”, and Steve would say “why, if nobody else sees the other side?” – but that is exactly why – it’s got to be perfect, even the side they don’t see. So that is where he got his discipline about form because he understood the functionality. I’m not comparing myself to the guy but it’s important that when people hold it in their hand or they smell it or they hold the bags that it is perfect. It’s got to be perfect. The packaging is really key, everything is really key. So when I develop a product it is not just “oh those will sell, I can make a fortune”. No, it’s got to be perfect for my customers, it’s got to make perfect sense.
You had 5 blends back in 2018. How many blends now in 2020?
We now have 16 blend options available on Amazon plus several coffees that are exclusively available through our Coffee Gift Box collection at SCOTTYP.COM.
We can’t help but ask: this year is the 20th anniversary of Gilmore Girls. Are you planning anything special for this occasion regarding your brand?
We just ran a Luke Costume contest for Halloween and are giving away free coffee as prizes. We saw some great photos!
And of course, Brazil wants to know when will your coffee be available here! We all know now is a difficult time globally, but a lot of fans want to try the coffee since, I’m sure you know, Brazilians are known for being coffee lovers!
Good news for Brazil, we have a new “Wake Up & Do Good” Coffee Gift Box (buy here) collaboration with another company. This box includes my coffee along with other fun products and it will ship internationally, so we are all very excited about it.
A portion of the profits from the box will go to an organization I support, Operation Underground Railroad, which assist governments around the world in the rescue of human trafficking and sex trafficking victims, with a special focus on children.
This box is available for purchase and the gift box will be available for purchase through a link found on the home page at SCOTTYP.COM.
As far as shipping on individual bags and KCups – Amazon is currently not allowing export of coffee from the U.S. to other countries so we cannot ship internationally through Amazon. We are currently working on finding other affordable shipping options. ■
Phew! And THAT’S how you make good coffee, folks! Scott Patterson was not only a sweet guy and extremely professional during our interview back in 2018 in Los Angeles, but still is amazing at what he does with his coffee brand.
Now you know how Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee company works and how much effort and love he puts into his business to give you the best coffee you can find. And after reading this, honestly, I want to taste everything – as a good coffee lover Brazilian that I am!
If you want to keep updated about the brand, new products, new information and future international shipping, just sign up at SCOTTYP.COM!
And don’t forget to follow Scott’s socials:
Instagram: @scottgordonpatterson & @scottypsbigmugcoffee
Twitter: @ScottGPatterson & @ScottyPsBigMug
Facebook: @scottpatterson111 & @ScottyPsBigMugCoffee
YouTube: ScottyP’s Big Mug Coffee
Pinterest: Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee
Me and GGBR will be live on Instagram this Thursday, 11/19, at 3pm PT, to talk about the interview and my visit to Warner Bros. studios from when I lived in Los Angeles and got a chance to see Stars Hollow up close. It will be in Portuguese, I know, but you’re more than welcome to come along!