Chris McArthur has the opportunity of a lifetime. The 36-year-old’s whole bean roasted coffee will be sold in 350 Publix stores throughout Florida starting in early June, and increase to 500 stores later in 2018, according to McArthur.
- Lakeland veteran's 'Patriot Coffee' to be sold at Publix
- Chris McArthur founded Patriot Coffee Roasters in 2015
- Coffee a part of Publix's "Florida Local" program
“It’s a little surreal to be honest with you,” said Chris McArthur, about his product being sold in Publix.
McArthur’s “Patriot Coffee”’ will have its Ethiopia, Colombia and Peru whole bean coffees will sold in bags for $13.49 to $16.49 each.
Prior to the grocery chain adding Patriot Coffee to its list of products for sale, the coffee offerings at Publix were dominated by large commercial coffee companies, according to McArthur, who founded Patriot Coffee Roasters in 2015.
“There hasn't been an opportunity for a small-batch, craft coffee roaster to reach the Publix shopper in a substantial way until now,” McArthur said. “Because most people purchase their coffee at the grocery store, Publix customers have been missing out on an elevated coffee experience. We look forward to the opportunity to expand their perception of what quality coffee can be.”
McArthur has invested more than $60,000 in packaging equipment, facility upgrades and inventory, as well as hiring five new employees in preparation of his product’s entry into Publix stores. The team is roasting coffee beans 20 hours per day in the days leading up to Patriot Coffee hitting Publix shelves.
“It's a big risk, but we're confident in our product,” McArthur said. “We know that once people have the opportunity to try our coffee, they'll taste the difference and keep coming back for it.”
The opportunity to become part of Publix’s “Florida Local” program came about when the person in charge of buying received a bag of Patriot Coffee from a friend who had discovered the beans at the Lakeland Downtown Farmers Curb Market.
“The buyer reached out and explained what the Publix Local program was all about,” McArthur said. “He requested a meeting where we sampled our offering and pitched our company. Shortly after, we were notified of our selection into the program.”
McArthur has been operating Patriot Coffee Roasters since 2015. He is also the owner of the coffee shop, “Black and Brew Coffee House and Bistro,” which he opened in 2006. Up until now, he had been selling his coffee in his coffee shop and a few other businesses around town.
McArthur chose the name “Patriot Coffee” to pay homage to all of the people who served and continue to serve in the armed forces. While in the Marine Corp Reserve, McArthur said he did one tour in Iraq.