“Ultralife Cafe was created to offer hearty & healthy food & drink options for people like us – always on the go but still craving nutrition & quality.” I know and believe this statement to be pure. Prior to their investment and launch of Ultralife I would often see Matt and Stephanie at Crossfit Newport. Matt was also a administrative pastor at SB, Pastor Luke is a trainer/athlete, Bo Douglas gets his Olympic lifting jam on, too: a social network of health, fitness, and nutrition.
Unlike other businesses that emerge in our community my proximity to Stephanie and Matt has given me a few more details with which to observe the origins and genesis of Ultralife. The “nutrition and quality” component of their business model was one that was uncertain and enthusiastic. Would there be a large enough market for “clean eating” and further… vegan? Coffee, on the other hand, appears turnkey. According to Google, “Over 50% of Americans over 18 years of age drink coffee every day. This represents over 150 million daily drinkers. 30 million American adults drink specialty coffee beverages daily.”
I need my coffee. You undoubtedly NEED yours, too. However, If the quality between two businesses is comparable – sometimes it comes down to who has the shortest line at the drive through. Ultralife has managed to nail the recipes for consistency and uniqueness @ultralifecafe. One of my favorite drink discoveries is their green tea matcha latte. I prefer mine with hemp milk. Oatly (another dairy alternative) is equally delicious. I tried the Starbucks version, yesterday. Ultra has a big edge on this one, IMO.
The broader model of having SOMEWHERE to get quick, healthy food, is not that easy for the discerning. Granting, that “healthy” might be a matter of opinion. How would Ultralife fare and compete? Check out the menu. Try these creations. Believe. https://ultralifecafe.com/cafe-menu/ (I am looking forward to an audio interview with Matt and Stephanie so we can get down and dirty. What does it take? How is it going? More to come on this.) I wish I could offer more in regard to food cost and turn around time. I don’t have the data for a deeper case study. Nor have I remembered enough details to cite; Matt loves to talk about this stuff. So far, my taste buds have done the inspecting and they are remarkable good at contriving and making statements with food stuff.
What of this local thang? It’s a “more bang for the buck thang”. Simply put, the likelihood that investing with local businesses, such as Ultralife, in turn multiplies these dollars back into our immediate economic waveform. “One perspective of the local multiplier effect focuses on the greater local economic return generated by money spent at locally-owned independent businesses compared to corporate chains or other absentee-owned businesses.” – Wikipedia.
Ultralife is grass roots evidence of the multiplier phenomena. I love seeing it in action. With every new tweak to their business offerings I get excited that it might be the next and best variation to further solidify their permanence. It reminds me of a time long ago when my own success was much more dependent on this proof of concept. I was coming up. Hungry to evolve in local radio. I was also naïve with much to learn about marketing and advertising. In the late 90’s we were still pre internet. The idea that we might “put lipstick on a pig” was often SOP (especially) at the advertising agency level. This philosophical construct to marketing still holds true – some of the time. Glossy campaigns about lifestyles yet beholden motivate us to try and buy stuff. But, now more than ever, we want products and services that intrinsically authenticate our trajectory and desires. Innovation is a double-edged sword. “Minimalism” continues to trend. Seth Godin, says successful marketing, “Is about building trust, creating a connection, enabling an emotional bridge between your solution and the need that someone else has.”
When Ultralife dropped the Nye Beach location its was an opportunity to stretch their vision into an environment that would support a balance between their ideas and ours. Matt and Stephanie value community and interaction. They are social creatures. I love how there is complexity and simplicity to the hardware, the tables, the style and the environment. It’s a place that feels good to chill and talk. But, I suspect Matt would tell me that’s not the primary thing keeping the lights on. I presume, since the car is not idling, we can slow down a little and wait for our food to be served while watching the waves crash. We might take a little more time to find out just how much depth there is to the culinary side of Ultralife’s personality.
I encourage you to share your opinions and feedback with the delivery and construction of their goods. Not every business owner has the emotional resilience to process these inputs. Ultralife appears comfortable with symbiosis. Another aspect of their success, I believe, is their ability to move into this space and make the necessary adjustments while keeping their own vision vital. “Marketers make change. We change people from one emotional state to another. We take people on a journey; we help them become the person they’ve dreamed of becoming, a little bit at a time.” – Seth Godin
Cheers to supporting local and the continued success of Ul…! Ultralife Cafe.