Customer's convenience is the reason behind the Taula Beverages opting to open a warehouse in the heart of Apia.
The three-storey building comprises offices and storage area and will be open for business tomorrow morning.
Established in 2012, Taula Beverages Company Limited is owned by Taimalie Charlie Westerlund, who is also the Managing Director.
“Our new location allows us to service all the bars, restaurants and it’s more central," said General Manager Enele Westerlund.
“We have had a lot of customers who walked in to make a purchase and we can see how ideal it is and how this was a good move, even before we officially opened for business."
“We can tell that it was working straight away,” said Mr. Westerlund. He said their main concern is offering quality service for their customers.
“This location is convenient and we want to make sure the customer does not wait for their order once it’s placed."
“We also welcome all walk-ins, curious customers who want to know about our product or buy a product out of the fridge.”
The construction of the new building started in November 2017 and was completed in early March.
“This move will allow Taula to be close to the action and better the response time with customers, increase efficiency of deliveries and sales, along with overall levels of customer care."
“As Taula becomes more of a household name in Samoa, the brewery aims to increase the momentum and to continuously improve with the support of its customers and business partners,” said Mr. Westerlund.
He said with the new building, they are able to conduct any transaction for any sale, empty returns, distribution and administration.
Mr. Westerlund proudly elaborated on the products sold by Taula.
“When we first started in 2012, we started with two lager beers, one was 5.5 percent (alcohol volume) another was 6.5 percent and that’s what we kicked off with."
“People were fond of it, but there was something missing and by 2015, we had tested a certain recipe for the whole year and we were getting a really good feedback from it."
“And we broke it up and introduced Taula Original which is a 4.9 percent and that comes in both a small and a large bottle and also reinvented the large Taula."
“We created a Taula strong lager which is a 7 percent alcohol and that’s only available in a large bottle at the moment."
“Once we introduced Taula Original, it hit off really well. It took a little bit of time for people to really acclimatise to a different type of beer in Samoa, but I think we managed to break a few barriers and people really like the Taula original."
“We took a German traditional method because we have four different German Brew Masters, they looked at the recipe we had and they all tweaked it and gave us their input."
“And of course our Samoan Brew Masters were there as part of the process."
“While the Germans know how to make their beer, they still don’t have the taste that Samoans do have in beer."
“So the Samoan Brew Masters managed to create something the Samoans and our visitors can really enjoy.”
According to Mr. Westerlund, the sale for Taula Original for 2017 compared to the previous year has doubled.
“I can happily say that the Taula Original is literally doubled the sale and it’s all happened within one year. The leading cause of that we hired a craft beer specialist and is working with the local brewers and he has a really knowledgeable background on all sorts of beer.”
He also pointed out their company has installed new equipment.
“It’s pretty much state-of-the-art German engineering of brew house and it’s a complete control over how the beer is handled from A –Z."
“This brew house has a lot more control that comes with it and there is less human error involved. Beer it is an art and is a particular science in making an actual beer but it wouldn’t be good beer if the engineering behind it isn’t good,” said Mr. Westerlund.
Asked about exporting to overseas markets, Mr. Westerlund said they do export to New Zealand and American Samoa.
“We also have been receiving requests from Australia and Hawaii, which of course are huge markets; however we want to focus on catering to the needs of our people first before we can look at exporting it overseas.”
Currently, Taula Beverages Company Limited employs about 90 people. Mr. Westerlund said they anticipate hiring more people.
“Our marketing and sales team is starting to increase and also having a second distribution here at Taufusi that means we have to hire extra loaders and staff to look over the stock and inventory."
“We’re trying to be as efficient as possible, however with the increase of efficiency, comes increase of demands in the science department, the engineer department, marketing and sales department that all needs to increase proportion and so we try to be more efficient it’s hard to get away from needing to bring in more into the company."
Offering employment is one of the main reasons the Ah Liki Family invests in immense businesses.
“Employees are important to us and we have to make sure that business can operate far into the future. So we have to make sure that we are careful in going forward, however that is one of our primary objectives.”