Stanford graduate, entrepreneur, and barista Clement Jones recently launched a Kickstarter for his ambitious new venture, Third Wave Gum. I was lucky enough to sit down with Jones and ask him some questions about why he believes Third Wave Gum will change the specialty coffee industry forever.
RJ: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me today. To start off, would you mind sharing a little bit about your background?
CJ: Well, I’m a Stanford graduate with a focus on entrepreneurship, and since graduation I’d been working for this really great startup that ended up folding last year. After we went under, I ended up working some barista shifts for pocket money and really fell in love with third wave coffee, so I decided to focus my next effort on launching my own product inspired by that experience.
RJ: Tell me a little more about the project and what inspired it.
CJ: Well, as a student I lived off coffee, but coffee shops in my neighborhood weren’t staying open as late because of labor expenses, which I’ve since learned is a problem all over the US. I’d turn to caffeine gum in a pinch, but it was disgusting, nothing like a perfect pourover or cappuccino from a cafe.
Working in coffee and learning more about the specialty coffee movement, I had this brainwave: what if I could create a line of caffeine gums made with all the same principles as a great cup of coffee, espresso, or cappuccino? Meaning not just flavor but all the things we care about: sustainable purchasing of coffee and milk, excellent roasting, and perfect extraction and prep.
RJ: I can imagine some folks saying that that sounds like a lot of work for a piece of gum.
CJ: Absolutely, it is. The concept is that we’re doing all the work of creating a perfect cafe product and experience, in the most convenient and portable form possible. That’s why we’re looking to raise a solid chunk of money: 250k to be exact. Our Kickstarter went live this morning and we’re already seeing an amazing response from some well-known visionaries with great investment portfolios. I think it’s obvious to anyone really looking closely at the market that this not only fills a super hungry niche, it also has potential to disrupt the way people think about coffee in general, both inside and outside of specialty.
RJ: Very exciting. Thank you for taking the time to share! For readers interested in investing in Third Wave Gum, contribute here.