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The beginning


Coffee Time, Inc. was founded by Sam Riffel. Although not for another 50 years, what started as a one-man operation delivering coffee out of thermal urns to Wichita businesses would become the PrairieFire Coffee Roasters we know and love today.

Batch brew


Coffee Time, Inc. received a US patent on it’s “Batch Brew”. This new system allowed the user to brew up to 24 cups of coffee while simultaneously dispensing previous brews from the same urn. This process was the catalyst for a new trend in the coffee industry still in use today at many convenience stores nationwide. As the 70's came to a close, Riffel had 10 employees working for the company and was gearing up for explosive growth in the coming decade. 

Commercial Roasting


Coffee Time, Inc. became the first commercial coffee roasting company in the state of Kansas through the building of a custom roasting plant! The company experienced incredible growth through this expansion which allowed them to roast their own beans ultimately giving them complete control over product quality and taste. As their market expanded, so did Coffee Time's place on the map. Given the increase in demand, Riffel began batch roasting beans in quantities up to 500 lbs. in the roasting plant's largest roaster. Additionally, a small roaster was installed giving Coffee Time the ability to create small, specialty flavored roasts on demand. This roaster has since been made portable and is still used today to roast on-site at special events.

Flavored Coffee


Coffee Time, Inc. introduced gourmet flavored coffee and specialty blends. Flavors were added to the beans before they were ground by using only the freshest most natural ingredients. With over 20 different unique flavors, Riffel started offering clients the opportunity to create their own blends. Specialty blends were made by request and kept on file for future orders.

PrairieFire is born


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!

The history of PRAIRIEFIRE