Black Rifle Coffee Company’s Manchester location is celebrating its one-year anniversary with an open house event held last Tuesday.
One year ago, Black Rifle Coffee opened the Manchester location, which is the brand’s roasting and distribution facility. The company’s headquarters is in San Antonio, Texas and it operates the original facility in Salt Lake City, Utah that focuses on Partner Roasts for Warriors’ Heart, a nonprofit out of Texas.
The lion share of Black Rifle Coffee, which amounts to over two million 12 oz. bags this year in 400 pound batches, is roasted in Manchester.
As the nation’s fastest-growing veteran-owned and-operated business, the local facility opened with three employees, and today the company is employing 33 residents, including 11 veterans of Manchester.
According to Co-CEO Tom Davin, the focus on patriotism and veterans is what sets Black Rifle apart in the industry, in addition to making world-class coffee.
“The mission of the company is to serve coffee and culture to those who love American. Whether you’re an American or just want to celebrate what America stands for,” he said.
According to Davin, former Green Beret Evan Hafer started the company in 2014, literally out of his garage. He had perfected roasting coffee at home and during various deployments.
“Military coffee is hot, but otherwise tends to be very mediocre quality,” Davin explained. “Evan wanted great coffee wherever he went — a taste of home, so he would take coffee that he roasted at home or even green coffee and roast it out it in the field…he was creating world-class coffee all over the world.”
Then, while still contracting with the CIA in 2014, Hafer, at the advice of some friends, placed few bags of coffee on their T-shirt website. All 500 units sold labeled as Freedom Roasters Coffee.
The Black Rifle name came from his reputation around the CIA, Hafer, “the coffee guy,” always had his black rifle and his coffee, Davin explained.
“It started with Evan thinking, I want to celebrate America and American values,” Devin said. “A big part of the mission is honoring those who serve and inspiring others to serve and giving back.”
Davin said that the company is growing 40% per year. The Manchester location has expanded a packing line, added an automated bag filler to the line and will install a new roaster next month.
“We’re building a lot of capacity to double our volume over the next several years. We added a second shift running five days a week,” he said.
“A big part of our mission is to hire veterans whenever possible. We give US military veterans and active duty reservists preference in hiring. We’re looking for the best qualified people and when we can hire veterans.
Over 30% of the employees are veterans in addition to former law enforcement. The goal is to have a 50% veteran workforce across the company.