... you're allowed to love it.™
In 1995 we were a coffee company operating out of a spare bedroom in my parent's house. Our focus was the chef-driven restaurant. The early days consisted of roasting, selling coffee to chefs, and learning the service side for equipment. With limited time in our day, we thought it more efficient to partner with a friend’s company that sold iced tea to restaurants. We always knew friends were great, partnerships...not so much. However, this gave us time to formulate our own iced tea blend. We had to make sure that our iced tea was held to the same high standard as our Lakehouse Coffee. This happened in 2000 - Blue Durango Iced Tea became a brand.
ACSG launched Blue Durango in cello bags with black & white labels and a plain box. No beauty contest winner for sure, but we were effective. Feedback slowly came in as we increased our customer base. Blue Durango Iced Tea was being requested by restaurant accounts that didn’t even know we were actually a coffee company. Word moved quickly through the chef community. Our first “ah-ha” moment came when calls started coming in from our client’s customers asking how they could get Blue Durango Iced Tea in their home.
Fast forward to March of 2020. The brand is 20 years old. Covid-19 shuts everything down along with our restaurant customer base. We immediately started calling hospitals in and around Atlanta to see if we could donate coffee and tea to the first responders. We were told by every location that they could only take products that were for individual use.
Well...we had kicked around the idea for Blue Durango Ice Tea to be consumed on the go, but we never pushed the idea forward. But now is the time to revive our RTD idea. We developed our first 5 blends and off to the races. After mulling through many label designs we settled on a rebranding and color change along with choosing 16 oz. aluminum cans as our medium - easy to guzzle and recyclable to boot. Blue Durango Iced Tea can now be easily added to a to-go order, iced down in a cooler, used as a mixer, or just any plain ol’ thirst-quenching elixir.
We are now poised for the future.