Our passion is great coffee. The dirty little secret of the coffee industry is that coffee has a shelf life. Coffee is only fresh within the first month of its roast, a very limited time period. Most prepackaged coffees are at least three to six months old. After tasting fresh coffee for the first time, you can never settle for stale coffee again.
This company had been a dream of David Blanchard's for years. Somewhere on I-95 between Hilton Head, SC, and Richmond, VA , in early September 2004, he decided it was time to stop dreaming and start doing.
After numerous late night conversations between David and his wife, Kelly, the decision was finally made. In the middle of October, 2004, They sold Kelly’s college graduation present, a 1999 Limited 4 Runner, and bought a 10 Kilo Ambex Coffee Roaster.
The roaster arrived January 2005 to David’s parent's garage (a child never really moves away from home). It took three trips to a hardware store before the machine could fire up for the first time. The anticipation was palatable. Finally, the pilot lit, and seconds later the burners flamed! When the first batch of coffee poured out of the drum into the cooler smoking and cracking, a dream had become reality.
The original business plan was a mail order coffee of the month club. This would help guarantee freshness by roasting mere days before shipment, often even the same day. In late January of 2005, Blanchard’s shipped out about 35 lbs of Ethiopian Yergacheffe.
April 2005 brought great news for Blanchard's Coffee Co. A chance encounter with a Ukrop's Supermarket executive landed Blanchard’s in the chain's specialty store, Joe's Market. Less than a year later, Blanchard’s was expanding into the company's larger stores. After the transition from Ukrop's to Martin's Food Stores, Blanchard's Coffee remains in all Richmond area stores (look for our retail bags on the bottom shelf of the coffee isle).
You can also find Blanchard's coffee in many of Richmond's popular restaurants from Can-Can to Cielito Lindo to Positive Vibe. Blanchard's is proud to be the brew of choice for so many.
Change continues to be our constant. If you are ever in Richmond, drop by our shop and roastery. Good things happen when we take the time to talk over a cup of coffee.