We have all seen the t-shirts, mugs and memes that aptly describe our collective love of coffee. My favorite is simply “But first, coffee.” I don’t do anything until that first sip of morning joe hits the bloodstream. Coffee in the Pacific Northwest is almost a religion, so it is not surprising that L&E Bottling has jumped headfirst into the coffee business with stellar results.
L&E Bottling is a family-owned company that has been providing cold beverages to their customers for over 70 years. They like to say that they have been “Quenching thirst since 1945.” It only seemed natural to supply the equipment and service so customers could enjoy hot beverages as well. L&E Bottling began their coffee service four years ago by offering it to their existing customers. “We had the delivery structure already in place, so it made sense to add this convenience for our customers,” explains Shad Cooley of L&E.
Providing a coffee service for their existing customers streamlined things for customers so they didn’t have to rely on multiple vendors. L&E is renowned for its customer service, and businesses were thrilled to partner with them for this new offering. Today, L&E has more than 350 coffee service customers in their territory covering Thurston, Mason, Lewis and south Pierce Counties. Customers range from companies that sell coffee in their retail convenience stores to offices that provide coffee to their employees. Having good quality coffee available is a great perk for customers and employees alike. There is nothing worse as an employee or a customer to look forward to a cup of coffee only to find a burned pot of sludgy black liquid that has been sitting out all day. I have a friend who chose where to buy her car based almost entirely on the excellent coffee service that was provided at the dealership – no kidding!
L&E provides their coffee service in the lobbies of all the local TwinStar Credit Unions. I stopped in the Olympia branch to chat with branch manager Tina Davis. “Our customers love the coffee that we offer in our lobby,” shares Davis of the coffee provided free of charge. “It is so nice to be able to offer the kids a hot chocolate and their parents a cup of coffee or even a mocha.” The coffee machine is easy to operate with a user-friendly touch screen. L&E Bottling provides the machine and all the accessories such as cups, stirrers, creamers and sweeteners. TwinStar Credit Union prides itself on customer service, and offering clients this extra treat when they come in fits right into their company mission.
Convenience stores, hospitals and schools also love the service. L&E provides all the equipment at no additional charge with excellent customer service and no delivery fees. The gas station at the Safeway on Olympia’s Westside is the perfect example of a cafe-style coffee station located in a small convenience store. Customers know the coffee is made fresh and the choices are nearly endless. What a pleasant surprise to enter a small convenience store and find the impressive Cafe Vittoria set up, not a pot of questionable brew on the burner. Customers can choose a cappuccino by simply pressing a button along with other coffee choices like French roast, French vanilla and Northwest roast.
The coffee itself is purchased from Cycle Town Coffee Roasters in Portland, Oregon. “Cycle Town coffee is organic and fair trade,” shares Cooley. “These are two things that are very important to many of our customers and we were thrilled to find a company that provides this quality coffee.” Cycle Town is a small batch roaster meaning that L&E can order with only two weeks’ notice, ensuring that the coffee has been roasted fresh with every brewed pot.
“We can provide service to the complete spectrum from a small company’s office with 5 to 10 employees to hospitals with hundreds of employees and visitors,” explains Cooley. L&E provides the same flawless customer service that they are known for in the cold beverage industry to their coffee service customers. As Tina Davis of TwinStar shares, “When we call L&E for service on the machine or for more product, our L&E representative, Chad, is always so responsive.”
Not only can L&E keep businesses and their customers caffeinated, but they can keep them hydrated as well. The company offers a five-gallon water cooler service, complete with hot and cold water, perfect for chats around the cooler on the latest office happenings or your favorite Netflix series.
Opening a new business line has given L&E Bottling even more opportunities to support their community. L&E provides coffee free of charge to the Lacey Chamber of Commerce at their monthly meetings. Local non-profit organizations have received coffee service for events and meetings. “We love to support our community and this gives us another way to help,” shares Cooley.
The community has also been enhanced by the addition of several employees to L&E’s staff to help support the coffee service. “We have added two new business development positions, a full-time coffee employee and a part-time coffee delivery person to our team,” shares Cooley.
If you are interested in providing quality coffee (or water cooler) service to your employees, your customers or both, L&E Bottling can help you choose the service that is right for you.
Visit their website or call Shad Cooley at 1-800-500-3812. L&E Bottling is located on Mottman Road in Tumwater.