There is no documented history of coffee's origins. But a good legend will do. Some hundreds of years ago, about 900 AD as the story goes, an East African goatherder named Kaldi noticed that his goats seemed a little peppier after eating cherries from a coffee tree. Being curious, the goatherder tried some himself. Before long, everyone was trying it. And the coffee tree, native to Ethiopia was being planted and grown throughout the Middle East. Eventually, it spread around the world, throughout the warm, wet climates of the coffee belt, between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. From a single goatherder's discovery, coffee has become one of the most widely-served beverages across the nations.
Just as coffee has a rich history, so does S&D. In 1927, just before the Great Depression, J. Roy Davis, Sr. and Lawrence Switzer began by providing fresh roasted coffee to local and regional grocery stores. As the company grew, they learned about buying the raw beans, the intricacies of different roasting processes and, especially, the simple but deep pleasure that a quality cup of coffee can bring.
By the late '60's, J. Roy Davis, Jr., now succeeding his father as President and CEO, refocused the strategy of S&D. With the expanding influence of a few major national brands in the consumer market, Davis identified opportunities on the commercial side of the coffee business, concentrating on a customer base of restaurants, hospitals, offices and convenience stores instead of small grocery stores.
In January 1997, we completed our largest expansion to-date, a $16 million dollar plant and warehouse expansion. We increased our coffee holding, roasting and warehouse areas significantly, including a dramatic upgrade in the specialty coffee roasting and packaging areas. Today, we offer a full line of coffees, specialty coffees, teas and juices and are one of the top coffee producers to the foodservice industry with the demand for our coffees exploding every day.