Case Study: SQF Certification at McCullagh Coffee, Inc.


McCullagh Coffee is a 150+ year-old locally owned, family managed roaster, grinder, and distributor of specialty coffee and peripheral hot beverage products marketed to institutional, restaurant, commercial, and retail customers. The second generation of the family continues to lead the business and continually attains new levels of success. Located within the city limits of Buffalo, NY, McCullagh services customers on both a regional and national level.


In the midst of the Covid pandemic, McCullagh saw an opportunity to take their product quality to a new level by attaining SQF 9 certification.  It was a milestone they were excited about and willing to embrace. The SQF 9 code is the latest version of the Safe Quality Food (SQF) standard, a GFSI-recognized Certification Program that assists food and beverage companies, distribution, and primary production facilities in maintaining stringent food safety and quality requirements. Highlighting a food safety culture is a significant aspect of SQF 9, something which is important to McCullagh and highlights their unwavering commitment to product quality and safety.


The company worked with Insyte Consulting over the years on a variety of innovative and quality-inspired initiatives. Based upon prior work with other leading WNY manufacturers in this industry sector, Insyte was well-prepared to assess McCullagh’s readiness and drive the changes necessary to achieve SQF 9 certification. Insyte’ s experienced food industry expert began the project with a gap analysis, then introduced industry requirements to identify the highest priority improvement opportunities. The system was designed, tested, and ultimately implemented by the project team. McCullagh Coffee Inc. subsequently attained certification on their first attempt, laying the foundation for many more decades of growth.

“We are proud to have achieved SQF Certification – our customers trust McCullagh to deliver high quality coffees and ensuring the safety of our products is our highest priority.  The assistance Insyte brought to our business helped us to achieve our goal and exceeded our expectations.”                                                                                                  – Warren Emblidge, President


  • Attained SQF 9 Certification on first attempt within expected time frame.
  • Retained existing customers due to increased importance of food safety.
  • Differentiates company from competitors for potential new customers.
  • $150,000 growth in near-term revenue.
  • Expected 5% increase in workforce.
  • Quality Management System scalable as company increases sales and work volume.
  • Improved employee job satisfaction and pride due to achieving objective while managing day-to-day business challenges.
Insyte Consulting