Dimbulah Coffee

Adel Dimian, Singapore Management University
Kevin W. Sproule, Singapore Management University

SMU Faculty/Staff can download the case & teaching note with your SMU login ID & Password via the following links:

For purchase of the case and supplementary materials via The Case Centre, please access the following links:


This case describes the 15-year journey of entrepreneur Chris Wanden and his mission to bring quality coffee from “plantation to cup.” The case discusses his personal journey from corporate life to farming to retail coffee shop proprietor. The development of Dimbulah Mountain Estates and Dimbulah Coffee Ltd is described and allows for class discussion on the challenges of starting and growing a new venture. The case presents the opportunity to discuss key strategic decisions throughout Wanden’s journey regarding growth while maintaining quality and brand value. Some of these strategic decisions include: sourcing and vertical integration of coffee beans; retail offering and location decisions; and future growth decisions. It further allows students to understand the inherent tension between the growth of the company and the personal life style of a founder. Key issues include the capacity of the farm, vertical integration options, sustaining quality in the value chain, and growth challenges and their impact on quality and lifestyle. An important overall question for the case is “How can the CEO grow Dimbulah 10 times in five years?”