MatchaBlog: Pop-Up Fever

As a company, we always strive to do things a bit different. In marketing, they tell you when everyone else zigs, zag! 

When you’re running a business, you realize everyone is trying to zag, so how the hell do you stand out? We figured the best route was meeting people face to face, and serving actual matcha drinks to real people. We quickly came up with a mobile MatchaBar setup that would pave the way for countless pop-up events to come... That was the easy where do we bring it? Max, Eli, and I created a simple criteria: the events we attended had to inspire us! Events that gather passionate, like-minded people together.

After a few emails, and by a few I mean maybe two dozen...I had some interest. The legendary Ted Talk series was doing a local event here in Brooklyn in just a few months - Ted x New York @ the Williamsburg Savings Bank with over 800 people in attendance. I was humbled by the invitation to serve our matcha to such an established, forward thinking group of people. We had never done a pop-up event, so we’re naturally beyond nervous as the morning of the event approached. We were told we'd be in a booth next to Sweetgreen Salads and Bluestone Coffee... what a trip to think we belonged in the midst of two established brands in the world of Food & Bev! These guys were some of our idols. I remember feeling like I did on my first date...butterfly city. Would anyone even want to try our matcha? 

Three hours later, I was dripping in sweat and had lost my voice - we sold out of a full kilo of matcha (500 matchas) before the morning session was even over! That comes out to about 3 matchas served every minute... the hustle was real. The majority of the crowd had never tried matcha, and it blew me away to see not only how open they were to learn about our product, but how much they enjoyed their drinks! The best part about doing something you truly love is that your passion shines through. At the end of the day, that is the key to getting someone to listen... Be genuine, or you’re wasting your time.

From this event on, we brought our pop-up event everywhere from serving matcha at College Hackathons (from 12-2am no less!) to Anime festivals and back - we even did a pop-up in the middle of the New York Post headquarters... Setting up shop in the midst of hundreds of desks, and having to pitch loud and clear to an office full of people who often leave out the details! Each pop-up event was meaningful in its own way. Not only did we continue to grow our MatchaFam, but I was able to slowly develop and improve my matcha pitch, seeing the varying reactions from different crowds. 

The biggest pop-up event we executed was this past Summer - at Governors music ball!  We decided we would take it to the next level, and try and execute a multi-day pop-up event. The logistics were a nightmare, not to mention the fees to get in the damn festival, but we made it happen. Why? We thought the music lovers of New York deserved a better alternative to the Red Bull and other crap they took to stay energized and alert for three days. The results? Over 2,000 matchas served in just three days! The event took over 15 people to execute but was well worth every ounce of energy we poured into it. Where will we go next? Shoot us an email with suggestions, you will be surprised how hard we will work to make it happen!

Appreciate the hustle,


Graham Fortgang
Graham Fortgang