SAN ANTONIO – The nation's fastest growing veteran-owned and operated coffee company is now based in San Antonio.
- Began roasting coffee between deployments
- Now a multi-million-dollar brand
- Ships 15,000 pounds of coffee to deployed service members
Black Rifle Coffee Company launched in December 2014 by former U.S. Army Green Beret Evan Hafer.
"Really what I was looking to do was try to find a small batch of coffee that I could order and have delivered to the Army Post Office. I couldn't find [a brand] that I really liked and I wanted to dive a little bit deeper into the details and aspects of coffee," Hafer said.
In 2006, Hafer began roasting his own coffee in between deployments. He first developed a drip coffee, then an espresso.
"It took me a couple of years because I was coming home from a deployment and I would roast 100 to 200 pounds of coffee and throw out a bunch of it if I got it wrong. Then I would take what I really liked overseas and me and the guys I was deployed with we would drink it and I would ask for their cupping notes," Hafer said.
From 2006 to 2008, Hafer worked on perfecting his roasts. However, it wouldn't be until January 2015 that his first bag of coffee would be sold.
"I would say that I'm very committed to providing people the best in-home coffee experience more than providing a coffee shop." -Hafer
"I couldn't afford to start a coffee shop so I started roasting coffee to see if I could start selling online so I could generate enough revenue to open up a coffee shop. Now we got three coffee shops and two roasters." Hafer said.
Nearly four years later, Hafer now runs a multi-million-dollar brand with more than 150 employees. Some employees work in his roasting hubs in Utah and Tennessee while another set of employees work in his corporate offices in San Antonio. He hopes to expand retail operations by 2020.
"About 40 percent of our employees are veterans, which we're, plus ten times the national average of veteran employment of any company out there. I think the growth of the company is one thing where we've really focused on growing the company the right way where we are going to veteran outreach and employment seminars, trying to get people in who are veterans," Hafer said.
As his company continues to grow, Hafer says he is committed to hiring up to 10,000 veterans to run his “roast to order” operation.
"The entire DNA of Black Rifle Coffee is set in as a veteran owned and operated company," Hafer said.
In addition to delivering customers the finest coffee on their doorstep, he is also committed to serving service members their caffeine fix overseas.
"We've shipped 10’s of thousands of pounds overseas. Just last year alone, we've shipped over 15,000 pounds of coffee to deployed service members in increments of pallets to individual boxes to units that were deployed," Hafer said.
To learn more about Hafer and his company, you can visit their website.