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Newhall Coffee donates java to help troops overseas

Local company puts its coffee where the troops are

Posted: May 12, 2009 9:20 p.m.
Updated: May 13, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Angel Martinez wraps plastic on a palette containing 400 bags of Newhall Coffee Roasting Company being delivered to numerous Southern California Sam's Club stores.

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Newhall Coffee Roasting Company sealed a major deal with Sam’s Club warehouse stores and as a result, the company will send 40,000 packets of ground java to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan this month.

Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., bought 152,000 pounds of java from the Valencia-based coffee roaster May 1, to be sold throughout the American Southwest and Hawaii. The coffee was shipped Tuesday.

“This is a real great opportunity for a little guy out in Santa Clarita to have a shot with the biggest retailer in the world,” said Newhall Coffee Roasting Company president and founder Mitch McMullen. “This is like a dream come true for me.”

Most of the coffee bought up was the Patriot Blend, which is part of a special promotion on the part of Newhall Coffee: For every 2-pound bag the company sells, it donates a 1.1-ounce packet of ground coffee to a soldier overseas. McMullen has been sending Patriot Blend to military men and women since two weeks after the start of the Iraq war in 2003, he said.

This latest donation, which weighs in at more than 2,700-pounds and which will be sent to soldiers by the non-profit organization Operation Gratitude over Memorial Day weekend, was made possible by the big buy by Sam’s Club.

The store chain bought 91,000 pounds of the Patriot Blend. It also bought 61,000 pounds of the Old Town Newhall Blend.

“Sam’s Club buying from a small, local coffee-roasting company, it’s stimulated the local economy,” McMullen said.

And soon, the caffeine-packed brew will be stimulating U.S. troops.

“They’re over there right now,” he said, “and they love this stuff.”

blowrey@the-signal.com

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