Small-Town Coffee Purveyor Goes Grande

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is climbing, financially and socially
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2008 9:00 PM CDT
Small-Town Coffee Purveyor Goes Grande
Jim Abair, right, enjoys a free fill-up of Biodiesel for his tractor at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters headquarters in Waterbury, Vt., as G.M.C.R. driver Todd Jones, left, watches on July 10, 2007.   (AP Photo/Alden Pellett)

A success story is brewing in tiny-town Vermont, where a coffee roaster is supplying beans to 600 McDonald's restaurants across 50 states and 25 countries. The creator of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Bob Stiller, never imagined such a feat—nor the $121 million in sales last quarter—when he started the business in 1981. "This vision of today was not in his mind," Green Mountain exec Jon Wettstein said.

A mix of good planning and good luck made Green Mountain a hit, as did America's love affair with specialty coffees. Now Green Mountain can write large checks for coffee-growing communities and mix a few blends to profit social causes. It's all a far cry from Waterbury, Vt., where Green Mountain's local shop still services a community of fewer than than 5,000 people, the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus reports. (More coffee stories.)

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