Why the Long Name?

Posted on 30 November 2017

We’ve had loads of questions about our name and logo so we wanted to share the story of how we decided on an unconventional four word name!

It took just about 2 years from the conception of our idea through to the doors opening at Old Quarter Coffee Merchants. There were so many new things to learn, so many hurdles to overcome and a million tasks to complete (or so it felt like). It seemed we could easily decide on what cups to buy, what colour to paint the walls and what days to open doors, however, deciding on our name and logo was something that spanned almost the entire 2 years! For all the importance we place on logos and branding, the reality is, it is just a symbol! So why did it take us so long?

In 2015 we travelled to Vietnam to research the coffee industry and build our network. It was a momentous experience to be travelling together again in a country we love so much, but this time for business! Our sense of anticipation and excitement was palpable throughout the whole trip but there was one moment that stayed with us long after we got back to Australia. Read on!

We spent our last couple of days in Hanoi, in a guesthouse on a leafy street a few blocks back from Hoan Kiem Lake in the Old Quarter. Our vision for our business had shifted almost completely during our trip but we felt so much more in touch with our goal and even more committed to starting a social business, one where improving farmers lives would be the core driving principle.

We walked around the lake, visited the ancient Temple of the Jade Mountain and drank lots of coffee (and lots of beer!) on the frenetic, buzzing streets of the Old Quarter. We were also buzzing as we felt the intermingling of thousands of years of history, our own sense of belonging and our shared excitement for the future!

We felt at peace with our dreams (albeit rather sweaty) as we crouched on small plastic red stools in the gutter. Half intoxicated, highly caffeinated and inspired we thought “have we found the name for our business venture?"

But it wasn't that simple! During our market research we realised everyone was using cool, sleek one word names with simple logos. Everywhere we turned we got advice that we were on the wrong track. So we explored different names, tried to simplify, tried to reduce, tried to find just ONE bloody word to say it all.

After 2 loooooooong years we called the saga to an end. After multiple attempts at logo and name combinations and two friends beyond generous contributions to our logo design (a big shout out to talented artists and friends Ramses Goldblat and Amber Carbury) we had finally built the confidence to say:

“If it’s going to be truly our story, it has to be true to our story”


Our Logo Explained!

The Temple (Centre)

We wanted to capture that moment in in the Old Quarter as well as our love for Vietnam and southeast Asia. This temple embodies our love for travel and ultimately the feeling of freedom we experience on the streets of Vietnam. We asked ourselves then "will we use this freedom to follow our dreams?"

The Coffee Branches and Beans.

We wanted to start a social business that would do good in the world but we never wanted to lose sight of our passion for specialty coffee or our committment to quality. We love every aspect of this unique plant and we're committed to delivering a superior product that will make every coffee drinkers day just that little bit better!

The Circle

We understand all things in this world are connected. Our ethos is about reducing the inequality in the world one cup of coffee at a time and ensuring every choice we make is ethical and sustainable.

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