Five years after opening the first of three Duffy’s cafés in Port Moresby, owner and entrepreneur Travers Chue is preparing to expand overseas, marketing Papua New Guinea specialty coffee and premium health products.
‘When we first started Duffy’s, our goal was to create the first specialty coffee house in PNG, but now we want to manufacture premium health products in PNG and export them to China and across the globe,’ says Duffy’s owner, Travers Chue.
Chue tells Business Advantage PNG he plans to open his first outlet in China’s southern city of Guangzhou by the middle of 2018. At present, he is finalising an exact location.
The project is being funded through the family-owned, PNG-based parent company, Pacific Industries Ltd.
Starting in China
‘We are planning to kick off very modestly in China with one store, which will be approximately 150–200 square metres.
‘Once we get our feet wet and learn the ropes of doing business in China, then—only then—do we plan to spread our wings.
‘The plan is to use our café business, which hopefully will have several outlets, to distribute these products to the Chinese market.
‘We have so much potential for exports with our rich and resourceful land. Businesses in PNG should be focusing on capitalising on this … rather than just relying on the domestic market.’
‘These products will range from coconut water from Rabaul—as we can piggy back off our existing Pacific Industries beverage manufacturing plant situated in Rabaul town—cocoa from Bougainville to make chocolate, bottled water from one of PNG’s many pristine water sources and we are even looking at organic honey from the Highlands.’
Chue is a firm believer in PNG and the export potential of its pristine products.
‘We have so much potential for exports with our rich and resourceful land. Businesses in PNG should be focusing on capitalising on this and trying to expand their operations outside of the country rather than just relying on the domestic market.’
Chue’s approach to expanding to China is based around being a coffee shop and coffee brand that originates ‘from this exotic and mysterious land called PNG’.
The secret, he says, is producing consistently high quality beans.
He praises the Coffee Industry Corporation for its annual PNG Cupping Competition.
‘We are trying to teach the farmers that, if their coffee is getting higher cupping scores due to implementing and following strict procedures and practice, then we—the roasters—are willing to pay higher prices for their hard work.
‘Growers need to see that there is more profit to be made in producing higher grade coffee, from which they can earn more bang for buck per kilo of cherry.’
He says it is the only way coffee farmers can overcome poor infrastructure, erratic weather conditions, deteriorating tools and minimal training.
‘Most people who know PNG most probably know the country for its great coffee—and we intend serving them the best premium grade specialty coffee that PNG has to offer. This is going to be key to success in China.
‘It makes me very proud to look back at my family’s history and to know that something my grandfather started before WWII on Rabaul now has the potential to go international.’