Lakeland, Florida – Whole bean coffee roasted by Patriot Coffee Roasters will be available for purchase in 350 Publix stores throughout Florida beginning in June, and will increase to 500 stores later this year.
The locally roasted coffee beans are one of the newest additions to the Lakeland-based grocery chain’s Florida Local program, which offers products that are grown, harvested or manufactured by Florida suppliers.
Patriot Coffee’s Ethiopia, Colombia and Peru whole bean coffees will be sold in 12 oz. bags for $13.49 to $16.49 each.
Prior to the grocery chain rolling out its Local program, the coffee offerings at Publix were dominated by large commercial coffee companies, said Chris 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 more team members to prepare for his product’s entry into Publix stores. Patriot Coffee also underwent a branding and packaging overhaul. 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 the 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.”
About Patriot Coffee Roasters
In December 2014, Chris McArthur embarked on a journey to bring small-batch roasted coffee to Lakeland by roasting coffee beans on his back porch. He opened a roastery in Dixieland in December 2015 that was capable of supplying enough coffee to meet the needs of Black & Brew– the café he opened in 2006 – as well as several local restaurants and retailers.
The roastery’s namesake is a tribute to the individuals who have served or continue to serve in the armed forces.