In 2014, when the third-wave coffee movement was just beginning in Indonesia, Common Grounds emerged as a pioneer by opening its first outlet in Sudirman Citywalk Mall. Since then, they have opened 12 outlets in Jakarta and several more in Bandung and Surabaya. Through its business model, Common Grounds aims to create shared spaces that can connect people of different ages, religions, races, occupations, and interests to come, find, and build relationships with one another through a shared love of amazing coffee.
The impressive growth of Common Grounds in the past eight years would not have happened without the outstanding management of the company’s three founders. Aston Utan, the CEO of Retail and CMO of Common Grounds, leads with his creative mind and vision to deliver the brand’s distinction, values, and personality through unapologetic execution. His responsibilities range from how the stores are designed, coffee packaging, collaborations, and all the way through the pastry & menu selections.
Daryanto Witarsa, the CEO of Wholesale, steers the company with his extensive experience in coffee sourcing and roasting. Due to this experience he was elected as the Specialty Coffee Association of Indonesia (SCAI) president. His responsibilities at Common Grounds include sources and curating the signature blends and single origin coffee.
Yoshua Tanu is the co-founder of Common Grounds and a multiple time champion in the Indonesia Barista championship. During four years of participating in the competition, he won the event three times in 2014, 2016, and 2017 respectively.
Common Grounds operates a roastery facility, provides coffee consulting services, an educational training service for farmers, as well as developing a new start-up company called Jago Coffee, a mobile coffee chain that aims to bring coffee closer to customers.
The success story of Common Grounds is the result of the founders’ brilliant innovations combined with the team’s hard work. The company always strives to hire the right talent to develop its business.
To get fresh ideas and to always get inspired, they travel and attend coffee competitions around the world—during which they talk and engage with coffee professionals from many different backgrounds to share insights and ideas.
“Coffee culture is a very open and modern take on life. It has a combined effect on culture and serves as a magnet to attract like-minded people. Hence, coffee has endless challenges that encourage us to provide something new always,” says Aston.
Holistic Approach to Coffee Industry
During the eight years journey, Common Grounds has evolved not only as the operator of the famed coffee shops but also runs under a new mission to become a holistic coffee company.
Common Grounds today is an integrated company; Not only managing a coffee shop chain in three big cities in Indonesia, but it also operates a roastery facility, provides coffee consulting services, an educational training service for farmers, as well as developing a new start-up company called Jago Coffee, a mobile coffee chain that aims to bring coffee closer to customers.