Founder Liana Herrera came to Seattle from Lima, Peru to study at 18 years of age, and decided to stay. She worked hard, got her degree and a US citizenship, and met up with Michael Mayer of Portland OR. Together, the pair got married, had a big idea and wound up launching Bottomless.
The idea came up because the couple were constantly frustrated with being able to keep their pantry properly stocked at home; they found that they were always out of something they needed. Then, naturally, they realized that this was a very common problem. They decided to create a solution and make a business out of it.
A unique combination of business and tech
The pair claims they have an "obsessive focus" on Bottomless, and because of this, their relationship is actually an advantage to them, as they work tirelessly together, and a lot of work has been needed to flesh out this unique business model.
They decided to focus on coffee because it's the thing people are most likely to run out of at home. And, indeed, who hasn't had to make a run to some third-rate corner store and end up with inferior coffee just because they ran out at the worst time?
Bottomless is actually a coffee subscription service, and some unique tech is what makes it tick in a way that it fine-tunes itself to the subscriber's household needs in a data-driven way.
This allows for subscribers to get the kind and amount of coffee they need, with a minimum of precious time wasted in doing so.
The details of how Bottomless works
Subscribers pay for every new bag that they receive, and also pay a monthly subscription fee which also covers all shipping costs. Subscribers, upon receiving their bag of freshly-roasted coffee, leave it on an electronic scale, which is hooked up to the internet. When it gets low enough, a re-order of the same product is automatically generated according to the subscriber's settings.
It's simple to describe it in such a short paragraph, but, as can be imagined, working all the bugs out was a gargantuan task, and cost the pair of budding entrepreneurs a lot of "sweat equity" at first.
Bottomless scaled up slowly and carefully
The couple expanded the business slowly and cautiously, scaling it bit by bit as they got better at building the scales. On the other end of things, they were also gradually improving the web app, working bugs out, adding features and improving the interface.
At the same time, they were working on the B2B aspects of the business, which, little by little, improved their profit margins while they were able to offer more and more competitive pricing to their growing list of subscribers.
Today's result is over 40 top-notch coffee choices provided by the different suppliers briefly mentioned above, available in various bag sizes, and, once again, showing up at the perfect moment, as fresh as freshly ground coffee can be!
Get 20% off your first order and 10% off the every future bags (Subscription available in the U.S. Only!)