Client: Hotbox Roasters

Work: Branding, Copywriting, eCommerce, SEO, Social Media Marketing, WordPress


Working with Hotbox Roasters has been one of our most creative endeavors. Hotbox is a coffee company founded by Dale Katechis and JR Ralston of Oskar Blues Brewery. They contacted us before the company officially launched to develop a website and advise on startup marketing. The brief called for an eCommerce site with subscription product capabilities, a strong irreverent brand, and substantial copywriting. We worked closely with Ground Floor Media, a Denver-based PR firm to develop press releases and promotional materials for the launch as well.

The creation of this site was a collaborative effort between us at DogCat and Hotbox’s Derek and JR. They both understood that as a startup marketing is essential to success – and they knew that good marketing was even more important. They handed us the reins on many aspects of their marketing while they continued to run the business and prepare for launch. During the development stage, we had a consistent exchange of ideas, always evolving the project to bring it to full realization.

We think the finished project is pretty great. Sadly the client decided to hand it over to an untrained staff member, so the site has been somewhat decimated since completion.

eCommerce and Ease of Use

In twenty seconds and two clicks on the front page, you can select coffee, add it to your cart, and go to checkout. In fact, checkout is just a few seconds and two clicks from just about anywhere on the site. We’re well aware of the decline in the amount of time spent on websites, so it was paramount for us that shopping be as easy as possible.

We employed modal information windows for each product in the store so that every item’s details could be viewed from any page of the website.

Startup Marketing & Branding

Oskar Blues has built a strong brand nationwide; they’re quickly recognized by craft beer fans for their irreverence and attitude. As a startup, Hotbox Roasters didn’t want to rely on Oskar Blues’ branding for their own success, so we worked to develop a startup marketing and branding plan.

Largely, the branding was based on the brand that Oskar Blues has built. Hotbox is irreverent, a little stoner-ish, but interested in getting outside and being active. Most of that personality came from Oskar Blues. What separates differentiates Hotbox is the explanation of the Hotbox process. We created content detailing the steps that take Hotbox’s beans from a farm in Bolivia to the can of roasted goodness that their customers receive. We spent hours with them while roasting, cupping, and tasting, taking notes.

These notes became a page on the website that explains it all from start to finish. It’s in-depth, coffee fanaticism, but it’s content that shows that Hotbox cares. They may be damn good coffee without pretension, but damned if they don’t know what they’re talking about.

We used our startup marketing skills to create a strong brand, strong content, and strong eCommerce website for Hotbox Roasters.