THE HISTORY OF PRAIRIEFIRE COFFEE ROASTERS
New Ownership, New Name and New Logo. C.R. Hall, president and owner of Hall’s Culligan Water, acquired Coffee Time/Prestige Coffee in mid-2007, A leading coffee service provider for businesses, institutional facilities, convenience stores, restaurants and coffee shops throughout Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas, Colorado, Arkansas and South Dakota. The company was distributing coffee under three different names: Coffee Time, Prestige Coffee, and Riffel’s Coffee Company.
To stop the confusion and simplify, the company sought a brand name that would build on the legendary efforts of Sam Riffel, its founder. The new name and logo needed to suggest the history, quality and excitement of a growing company whose reach radiates out from the Kansas prairie into many surrounding states. A drive through the magnificent Flint Hills during the spring prairie burning season was all it took. The name PrairieFire Coffee Roasters virtually ignited.
The striking logo features a coffee farmer (Sam), holding a burlap coffee bag, strolling through the prairie, with stylized flames rimming the hills.
The company unveiled the new name and logo at its annual picnic in September 2008. New shirts and business cards were given out, a new delivery van was displayed, lots of food was eaten, music played, line dances performed and everyone embraced the new Brand!
Riffels Introduced Gourmet Flavored Coffee and Specialty Blends. Flavors are added to the beans before they are ground by using only the freshest most natural ingredients. Riffels has over 20 different unique flavors. Along with the flavored coffee, Riffels started offering clients the opportunity to create their own blends. Specialty Blends are made by request. Clients can come up with their own recipes and Riffel’s will make them and keep their special recipe on file for future orders.
Riffels starts roasting their own beans! This is a huge expansion for the company! A roasting plant was custom built and Kansas finally got their first commercial coffee roasting company. This put Riffel’s on the map. The roasting plant gave Riffels the ability to control their own quality of product and increase the taste of their coffee as well as expand their market. The large roaster will roast 500 lbs. per roast (I don’t know if you want to use this but they roast about 5-7 roasts per day). A small roaster (that Riffel used to roast Specialty coffees in the ‘80’s) has been rebuilt and made portable. It is used today by PrairieFire for special events to roast on site.
Coffee Time received a US patent on it’s “Batch Brew”. This new system offered up to 24 cups of brewed coffee in a dispenser. It allowed you to dispense coffee while another pot of coffee was brewing into that same dispenser. It started a new trend in the coffee industry that is still in use today. Almost all convenient stores use this or something similar to this today. By the end of the ‘70’s Riffel had 10 employees working for the company. But he was gearing up for explosive growth in the ‘80’s.
The founding of Coffee Time, Inc, by Sam Riffel. Coffee Time started as a one-man operation with Sam delivering brewed coffee in thermal urns to Wichita businesses.