Kaldi's Coffee celebrates 25 years with special benefit blend

$1 from each sale goes to stroke program at Missouri Baptist

Michael Calhoun
August 08, 2019 - 3:16 pm

KMOX/Michael Calhoun

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — How'd you wake up this morning? A hot cup of coffee? A chilled can of cold brew? Kaldi's Coffee is celebrating 25 years of serving St. Louisans, in the face of fierce competition.

What's their secret to success?

Owner Tricia Zimmer-Ferguson says consumers today are way more knowledgable and excited about how their coffee tastes and where it comes from.

"I really think we were lucky," she says. "We got into the coffee business at the right time, when specialty coffee was evolving and changing, not just in St. Louis but across the country."

It was 1994 when the first Kaldi's coffee shop on Demun in Clayton opened. Now, there are 18 cafes in St. Louis, Columbia, Mo., Kansas City and Atlanta, Ga.

But how has Kaldi's persisted, especially as national chains like Starbucks, Peet's, and Panera get aggressive?

A new line of canned iced coffee is apparently selling well. Kaldi's is also now in the tea business, having purchased Firepot Nomadic Teas.

"When I look at our relationships with our community partners, with our wholesale customers across here and beyond, and the farmers, we're continuing to focus on things like health, wellness, and education."

Zimmer-Ferguson is pretty familar with those farmers. Kaldi's has cultivated longstanding relationships with coffee growers around the world.

She says they are "people that rely on us buying coffee from them each and every year, and their coffee has gotten better and better and better. For example: This coming November, we are partnering with a local university in Rwanda, where we source coffee from. We're looking to impact global education as a whole."

Closer to home, Kaldi's is celebrating its anniversary by selling a special blend to benefit stroke victim recovery programs at Missouri Baptist Medical Center.

"There's still effects from stroke after hospital care ends. We want to be sure they have the education and support they need to get back to a thriving daily life," Missouri Baptist Healthcare Foundation Vice President Debbie Victor says.

"When (Zimmer-Ferguson) heard about the gap in care in patients after their care experience, it really moved her and brought about a passion within her," Victor said.

You can find the 25th anniversary blend at each Kaldi's location in the St. Louis metro, most grocery stores including Schnucks, or at Missouri Baptist Medical Center.

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