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Boyd’s Coffee, a family-owned coffee roaster and coffee company based in Oregon, is closing its doors after nearly a century in business. The company, which was founded in 1900 in Portland, has long been a fixture in the local community and has been one of the biggest suppliers of roasted coffee beans for hotels and other businesses in the hospitality industry.
But, as of October 2018, there will be no more Boyd’s Coffee shops in Oregon, or anywhere else in the USA. The company was recently purchased by Texas company Farmer Brothers, one of the largest coffee suppliers and distributors in America, and a direct competitor to Boyd’s Coffee in the retail, foodservice, and hospitality coffee supply space.
While the future of the company was unknown after the acquisition, it now seems clear that Farmer Brothers plans to roll Boyd’s Coffee into their own brand – and is not interested in maintaining the history of this 100+ year-old brand.
As of October 2018, all remaining Boyd’s Coffee facilities, including their historic coffee shop and corporate museum on Sandy Boulevard, will be permanently shuttered.
In addition, Farmer Brothers will be laying off a total of 230 workers from Boyd’s Coffee, as part of their transition and takeover of the brand.
The History Of Boyd’s Coffee – Family-Owned-And-Operated For More Than A Century
Boyd’s Coffee was first founded in 1900, when founder P.D. Boyd, an immigrant from New Zealand, began supplying local tea and coffee to homes using a horse-drawn red wagon, purchased for $5.
By 1910, trucks had replaced this horse-drawn wagon. By 1920, P.D. Boyd had decided to stop selling to residential customers. He began focusing on the foodservice and hospitality industry, and he also began loaning brewing equipment to foodservice clients – a practice that would continue for years to come.
In 1946, Boyd’s son Rudy Boyd took over the company and changed its name from The Boyd Importing Tea Company to Boyd’s Coffee. The company began introducing vacuum-packed coffee cans in 1955, and also began manufacturing their own brewing equipment to be used at restaurants, as well as a home model called the “Flav-R-Flo Brewer.”
In 1975, Rudy’s son David took over management of Boyd’s Coffee, upon his retirement. In the ‘80s, the company opened up 5 “Red Wagon” retail stores, as well as cafes in both Portland and Seattle. At this time, the company also expanded to a new distribution and processing center, to
Throughout the 1990s, Boyd’s Coffee focused on gourmet coffee and served coffee at colleges, department stores, hotels, and more from their trademark coffee carts. By the mid-90s, the company was packing more than 75 different types of coffee, and dozens of products for the foodservice industry.
In 2001, a major expansion plan and renovation took place, doubling the size of Boyd’s production facility, and preparing the company for more growth. By the mid-2000s, they had more than 450 different coffee products available, as well as quite a few accessories and brewing tools for foodservice companies.
However, by the late 2010s, the company was having difficulty hitting its revenue targets, leading to the decision to sell the company to coffee titan Farmer Brothers in 2018.
The Future Of Boyd’s Coffee Is Unclear – Will The Brand Live On?
After surviving numerous coffee shortages, two world wars, and more than a century of history, the future of Boyd’s Coffee hangs in the balance. It remains to be seen what Farmer Brothers intends to do with the historic Boyd’s Coffee brand.
While there is a chance that they will choose to continue using the Boyd’s Coffee trademark and marketing materials, there is still no word on whether or not Boyd’s brand will continue to live on in Oregon and Washington, where it’s been a staple of the community for nearly a century.