ProStores helps coffee roaster wake up the nation

Essential Wonders

When it comes to price, versatility, and ease of use, I don’t see a better cart out there.

Matthew Phillips, Owner of www.essentialwonders.com

The perks of starting a business

Matthew Phillips was selling furniture when he decided to switch to the coffee business. His wife had gotten tired of drinking bad coffee, and noticing the dearth of high quality coffee on the market, he decided he would try to make the perfect cup. That was in 2000. Now his company Essential Wonders blends and sells its own brand, Catherine Marie’s gourmet coffee, and carries equipment and accessories. It also does a brisk business bringing coffee service to offices and businesses.

Going online

In 2003, Matthew realized that "the web was the future of free advertising," so he and his partner tried a slew of cart solutions, before signing up for ProStores. "We played around with other ecommerce solution providers," he recalls. "We spent $3,500 on one solution; both of us went to school for computer science, and it was still difficult to use. And you had to be a genius to figure out another storefront solution, which was $300 a month and they charged for support."

"With ProStores, the editor was easy to use; coding was simple; and we could incorporate everything we wanted right into the website. We had a store up and running in just a few days. And the support has been amazing. When I call the support people, they call me right back. They’ve all helped me write code and not charged me. It’s the easiest website software we’ve ever used."

Matthew also likes the value. "What’s nice about all the features, upgrades and third-party add-ons is that ProStores caters to every customer. When it comes to price, versatility, and ease of use, I don’t see a better cart out there."

From Ohio to California

The web store now brings in 20 percent of Essential Wonders' $500,000 in annual sales. "The main reason we wanted a website was to get our name out there. Now we’re picking up national accounts." It has helped the Ohio-based company reach customers as far as California, like its most recent client Lucasfilm. "Before ProStores, they wouldn't have heard of us. Residential customers didn’t have a clue who we were. Now our website growth is double our local. We believe that in another five years the website will surpass our local business."

Matthew helps drive that growing web traffic – now up to 4,000 unique visitors a month - by using ProStores marketing tools. He spends over $2,000 a month on pay-per-click advertising on Yahoo, Google and MSN, with his ads showing up on high-profile sites like Amazon and Target. He also uses marketing add-on tools like the customer review software PowerReviews and the email marketing service Sales in a Click.

He’s a stickler for search engine optimization and relies on ProStores to advise him. "Everyone needs to read the whole ProStores' SEO guide and all the posts on the ProStores forums. If every customer did that, he would fully understand how to optimize every page and product in his store."

Have a cup of Catherine Marie's

Most of Matthew's sales come from coffee service and accessories. But his dream is to make Catherine Marie’s Coffee Beans into a household name, and ProStores is helping him accomplish that. "ProStores has opened the door to hundreds more customers around the country. We're making a quality cup of coffee, and now the whole country is enjoying it. Since we signed up with ProStores, we’ve had a continuous 20 percent increase in sales. There hasn't been one quarter when we’ve had a setback. Our web store could be the future of our company."

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Tips for Success

DON’T FORGET SEO

“Read the whole ProStores’ SEO guide and all the posts on the ProStores forums. If every customer did that, he would fully understand how to optimize every page and product in his store.”

HAVE PROSTORES WORKING FOR YOU.

“Set up the automated shopping comparison site feeds and utilize all of ProStore's SEO tools. This is key to long-term success.”

BE A RESOURCE TO YOUR CUSTOMERS.

“We contacted the best resources out there in the tradeshow industry and asked for permission to have their articles and contact information featured on our website.”