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Growers First Coffee

GF Coffee--consumer choice, empowered by the transparency technology provides, transforms the lives of remote, small-plot coffee farmers.

  • Stage Full Product Ready
  • Industry Consumer Products
  • Location Laguna Beach, CA, USA
  • Currency USD
  • Founded December 2010
  • Employees 4
  • Website

Company Summary

Growers First Coffee is a for-profit social enterprise that offers a proven solution for small-plot coffee farmers to achieve measurable long-term sustainability while engaging LOHAS consumers in a farm-to-table experience that delivers quality and a traceable impact on poverty. Growers First Coffee seeks to take advantage of its first to market platform to capture market share in the fastest growing segment of the $40 Billion US coffee market.


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    Stephan Jan Erkelens

    With 70+ year family history and 20+ years of personal experience in the coffee industry, from production and processing to export, import and trading. He has served on the boards of several coffee-exporting and trading firms in Latin America and the U.S. Invested in strategic initiatives involving non-profit management and philanthro-capitalism and more recently the merging of for-profit ventures in support of non-profit sustainability.

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    Glenn A Parrish
    VP Business & Partnership Development

    Glenn brings more than 20 years of leadership experience working with businesses and philanthropy to make a lasting social impact through innovative and economically sustainable approaches. Specializing in start-ups he has pioneered entrepreneurial social enterprises such as the Rising Tide, he provides leadership in this area to major foundations as well as corporations such as Golden State Foods and United Stationers.

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    Michael Moss
    Director of Sales - LOHAS Channel

    Michael has strong background on how to introduce and enlarge the footprint of quality products in the Natural Food marketplace. He helped start Rocamojo, a soy coffee company, driving an innovative product into more than 2300 stores nationwide. More recently Michael helped launch Mamma Chia as Managing Director, a brand that became a viable product in the natural food market within a year and is now distributed by Whole Foods nationwide.

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    Jeff Smith
    Channel Development Manager - Colleges

    Jeff joined Growers First to build out the college engagement program, establishing the brand at Wheaton, Stanford, NYU, the University of Michigan, and other top-tier schools. An entrepreneurial and innovative professional with in-depth sales and marketing experience in both retail and college channels, he is responsible for developing and implementing the company's college mobilization, marketing and sales channel.

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    Danny Stepper
    Board Member - Retail Strategy Advisor

    A world class consumer product and entertainment executive with 16 years of experience working with blue-chip organizations including THE COCA-COLA COMPANY, ADIDAS, DISNEY, and ANHEUSER BUSCH. Danny has consistently been successful in identifying and capturing new business, developing and managing global senior retail relationships, penetrating new territories and managing large teams.

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    David Vanderveen
    Board Member - Distribution Strategy Advisor

    A managing partner and co-founder of XS Worldwide, LLC. an energy drink brand that has lead the development of great tasting flavors of sugar free energy drinks and unique online distribution for beverages. David is a recognized innovator in the energy drink marketplace and has a history of success developing emerging brands and ideas.


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    Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
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    Robert R. Redwitz & Co.

Previous Investors

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    Stephan Erkelens, Glenn Parrish, Blue Sand Holdings, David Vanderveen, Tom Berryman, C&C Sloan
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    Paul Houriet, J&S Moore, McKay Revocable Trust, Richard McAuley, Mathew Six Ten Foundation
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    Radach Family Trust, Rogers Bourne Family Trust, Scott Erik Haug Trust