Coffee being poured

Java Jolt: New App Gives a Boost to Local Cafes

by Gabe Chester, Public Relations Intern

There seems to be an app for everything these days, from workout trackers to constellation guides. With more than two million apps to choose from, the CoffeePass app eliminates the need for multiple coffee-related apps, not only clearing space on users’ phones but simplifying the coffee ordering process as well.

The CoffeePass App, created by Cedarville University alumni Noah Bragg and Andrew Bidlen, is an order-ahead coffee app that acts as a platform for local coffee shops, businesses that often lack the technical know-how to create an ordering app themselves. The platform consolidates local coffee shops on one universal platform, so users only need the one app to order from multiple coffee shops.

— Andrew Bidlen

“We wanted to help local coffee shops compete with the large chain coffee shops,” said Bidlen, CoffeePass co-owner and a 2017 electrical engineering graduate. Bidlen and his college roommate Bragg started their business on May 31, 2018. To date, 650 people have accounts on CoffeePass, averaging 100 orders a week.

They have completed more than 2,500 transactions and generated $19,000 in business for the coffee shops on the app. Of all the CoffeePass customers that order, four months later more than 50 percent of them are still ordering. Sixty-four percent of users say they order more at their local coffee shop because of the app.

CoffeePass takes an 8% commission on sales from the app and gains new customers by allowing businesses to market for them.

CoffeePass co-owner Bragg, a 2017 computer science graduate, first recognized the need for this service when his sister-in-law, who runs a coffee shop in New Hampshire, told him of her need for an online ordering app to compete with Starbucks and other large chain shops.

“The thing I appreciate the most is my personal interaction with Noah, something you don’t get with larger businesses,” said Cynthia Stemple, owner of Coffee Hub in Xenia, Ohio. “The app is perfect for what we need it for.”

A few weeks ago both Bidlen and Bragg left their full-time jobs to work solely on the business.

“Cedarville offers a really exceptional engineering program,” noted Bidlen. “Cedarville helped us ask questions like, ‘What is the purpose of business?’ It helped us understand why we do what we do.”

Bidlen and Bragg also reward users who refer local coffee shops to start using the CoffeePass platform by offering $100 in Coffee Pass credit for each shop they connect to the platform.

Interested parties can download the app for Android smartphones in the Google Play Store or for iPhones in the App Store, visit coffeepass.io or reach out to Bidlen directly at drew@coffeepass.io.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,193 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including its bachelor of science in computer engineering program, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.