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Home  »  Brewing up Bean Biz
Brewing up Bean Biz
Black coffee has been popular for centuries.  But in Queens, White Coffee is moving on up. No, White coffee isn't some mutation of the deep brown beverage consumed around the globe.

Rather, the White Coffee Corp. is a long Island City-based, third-generation family-owned coffee importing and roasting business that has been in business since 1939.  They helped create the category of specialty coffee back in the 1970's and were pioneers in specialty coffee-bean importing and roasting.

They were the first to introduce Swiss water-decaffeinated coffee to North America as well as the use vacuum packaging - which has since gone on to become the industry standard.

Today, White Coffee offers more than 300 varieties of coffees, marketing its products in restaurants, hotels, health care facilities, upscale coffee bars, grocery stores and corporate venues.  Some of their High-end clients include the Queen Elizabeth 2 luxury cruise liner; the Ritz-Carlton hotel; Tavern on the Green and such catalogs as hickory Farms and Swiss Colony.

In Queens alone, more than 200 delis and a large number of hotels and restaurants work with White Coffee.  but despite their lengthy client list, the company's executives tout personal attention and service as their calling card.

"Our greatest strength is that we can grow your business. We can Customize what a client needs by helping them with equipment, sales training, special blends, branding and marketing," said Gregory White, the company's vice president of operations.

White's grandfather, David White, founded the company with some business partners in the late 1930's under the name White-Kobrick Coffee Co.  The company - which initially specialized in office coffee supply - eventually became the White Coffee Corp. when David White branched out on his own.  in the 1950's, when coffee consumption boomed, David's some Irwin joined the firm. 

today, Irwin's wife, Carole, who serves as White Coffee's president, and their somes Jonathan (the company's executive vice president) and Gregory oversee the operations.
"We will go out into the field with the customer or the distributor to help our clients make more money," Gregory said.

"That is the difference between us and other coffee companies."

Portofino, a Northern Italian restaurant that has been a fixture in Forest Hills for the past 33 years, has done business with White Coffee for more that two decades,  Twice a seek, White coffee delivers their Colombian blend and herbal teas to the eatery. 

"They have treated us right all these years," said Portofina manager Nika Mejia.  "The service of the team, the quality of the product and delicious tasting coffee are the reasons we don't need to look anywhere else."

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