Green Beret turns battlefield coffee into an $80M business

Black Rifle Coffee Company can trace its roots to the deserts of the Iraq War, now its a multi-million dollar business.

Black Rifle Coffee Company is on track to do $80 million in revenue by the end of 2019. The company, which was started by Green Beret Evan Hafer and fellow veteran Matt Best in 2014, has its roots in the desert during the Iraq War.

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“On the invasion of Iraq in 2003, I’d modified our gun trucks to have a grinder—a coffee grinder—and I would make French press coffee in the mornings before we were getting ready to conduct any operations in 2003,” Hafer told FOX Business,’ Stuart Varney on Veterans Day.

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Hafer’s company now has 200 employees—40 percent of whom are veterans—and aims to open 20 coffee shops by the end of 2020. At this point, most of the company’s business is conducted online, and sales are made directly to customers, he told Varney.

(Photo: Black Rifle Coffee Company)

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Black Rifle sources its coffee beans from South America, Africa and Southeast Asia, then roasts “millions of pounds of coffee” at its facilities in Utah and Nashville, Tennessee, Hafer said.

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Hafer’s first began roasting coffee on his own between 2005 and 2007 in northern Iraq when he was working with the Kurds.

“I started roasting coffee to take with me on deployments, from there that passion just continued to grow."

- Evan Hafer, Black Rifle Coffee CEO and founder

Hafer believes he is fortunate to get to work with his community of veterans and is happy about the fact that improving veteran employment numbers have made it harder for him to hire veterans.

He described Black Rifle as “a passion project that’s turned into a business.”

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