Food Service & Agriculture, Small Business & Startups, and Sustainability

Food distributor partners with beverage company

November 1, 2018
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Thrive Farmers coffee cup mug
Photo via fb.com

A food distributor in the area is partnering with a supplier of “sustainable” farmer-direct beverages.

Wyoming-based Gordon Food Service said last month it established an “exclusive” distribution partnership with Roswell, Georgia-based Thrive Farmers International.

Gordon Food Service will provide Thrive Farmers’ farmer-direct hot and cold brew coffees to its more than 100,000 restaurant, school, university and hospital customers.

Rich Wolowski, president and CEO of Gordon Food Service, said the new partnership embodies the company’s mission to provide products that are “good for the world.”

“(Thrive’s) work connecting farmers directly to customers starts with a premise that people care about the sources of their food and want to see quality growers respected and fairly compensated for their product,” Wolowski said.

“I saw this first-hand when I visited the Thrive Farmers in Guatemala. We want to provide our customers products with purpose, connecting them to the growers, so they can participate in something truly transformational.”

Tom Matthesen, president of Thrive Farmers Coffee, said Gordon Food Service’s approach to sourcing “products with purpose” is “innovative.”

“At Thrive Farmers, our biggest desire is to form partnerships that create true change for farmers economically and socially, and we are privileged to help connect and work alongside Gordon Food Service as they seek to empower the food service industry,” Matthesen said.

Thrive Farmers

Founded in 2011, Thrive Farmers International aims to “ignite change in the broken coffee industry by putting farmers first.”

The company’s revenue-sharing business model is intended to create sustainable income opportunities for farmers by bringing them to market as partners with “higher, more predictable and stable pricing,” which empowers them to create “higher-quality coffee and tea products.”

Thrive Farmers sells coffee, tea, brewing equipment and gift sets on its website. It also supplies wholesale products and beverages to restaurants.

The company became B Corp certified in 2016 and placed No. 19 on the Inc. 500 list in 2016.

Gordon Food Service

Founded in 1897, Gordon Food Service is a fifth-generation, family-owned food service company with customers throughout the U.S. and Canada in the health care, education, restaurant and catering industries.

It operates more than 170 Gordon Food Service Stores in the U.S.

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