Today is an important day in the history of Royal Cup, as we are thrilled to announce that we have finalized an agreement to acquire Richgood Gourmet LLC, manufacturer and distributor of Icebox Coffee, a New Orleans-inspired line of shelf-stable, cold-brew coffees that are available in ready-to-drink and concentrate forms. Created by our friend and industry colleague, Bebe Goodrich, Icebox Coffee has grown from a local farmers-market favorite to a nationally recognized leader in the cold-brew coffee category.
While you may be familiar with the product’s distinctive bottle and white label, you may not be aware of the brand’s unique (and amazing) story. Before the cold-brew coffee phenomenon took over the country, Bebe – armed with only a five-gallon bucket and a bag of coffee – set out to bring the bold, cold-brewed coffee she grew up drinking in New Orleans to our hometown – Birmingham, AL. She became a regular pit stop for local coffee lovers at Pepper Place’s Farmer Market , and quickly amassed a loyal following across the Magic City.
Icebox Coffee rapidly grew its customer base outside of Birmingham, thanks to Bebe’s leadership, ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit, and through early distribution agreements with major retailers, including Whole Foods and Central Market. The cold-brew coffee market itself grew 580 percent from 2011 through 2016, and insatiable consumer demand helped propel Bebe’s company into the national spotlight. Today, Icebox Coffee is sold nationwide, and Richgood Gourmet supplies shelf-stable, cold- brew coffee to large retail chains for private-label use.
Given the incredible (and growing) demand for ready-to-drink and cold-brew beverages, now is the perfect time to join forces with Icebox Coffee so that, together, we can achieve even greater successes and serve our customers well. Through this acquisition – a significant evolution in our longstanding business model – Royal Cup will launch its liquid-manufacturing vertical, jumpstart the next wave of growth in the ready-to-drink beverage market and bring new and innovative products to its customers and their customers.
We are also excited to announce that Bebe has joined Royal Cup as our director of liquid product innovation, and are confident that her passion and expertise will help shape the future of Royal Cup’s liquid manufacturing processes and product development. From an operations standpoint, we intend to retain all of Bebe’s full-time employees, and plan to transition all Icebox Coffee operations from Innovation Depot to our headquarters by the end of 2018.
We know you probably have a lot of questions. We will do our best to answer them as they arise, and provide more information as to how this acquisition positively impacts our customers and Richgood Gourmet’s customers. For now, let’s just cover the most obvious ones:
- Yes, Royal Cup has also acquired Richgood Gourmet’s existing customer contracts and will honor all existing terms and conditions. Richgood Gourmet customers will benefit greatly from Royal Cup’s strength, scale and international footprint, and continue to receive only the best cold-brew coffees, teas and other all-natural, ready-to-drink beverages.
- No, Royal Cup has no immediate plans to rebrand Icebox Coffee. Consumers will still be able to purchase Icebox Coffee through their retailer of choice, or directly through www.iceboxcoffee.com.
- No, this acquisition does not affect existing Royal Cup customer or support agreements.
We’ll have plenty more to discuss, no doubt, but for now – we celebrate! So please, join us by raising a glass of deliciously refreshing Icebox Coffee, and toasting to the newest member of the Royal Cup family, and our bright, bright future together!