I am sure I am not alone when I say that 2009 has been a very interesting year for all of us. We reached a tremendous milestone this year by celebrating our 25th Anniversary. It is amazing how time flies by. For me, 2001 when I joined Joffrey’s as its CEO, seems like yesterday. Chris de Mezzo, our Roastmaster, celebrated his 23rd year with us, and reminds me constantly of how far we have come as a company. It is always fun to hear him tell stories about the company’s first building in Drew Park, near the Tampa airport.
In an effort to better serve our customers, and provide greater personal attention during these tough economic times, we diversified our wholesale business into four primary segments; Grocery, Office Coffee, Hospitality, and the Internet. In doing so, we have been able to offset the rough year our Hospitality segment had with increases in our Grocery and Office Coffee Segments. We witnessed the consumer shying away from their local coffee shop and either brewing their coffee at home or waiting until they got to the office.
We were very fortunate to make some terrific personnel hires this past year. Andy Marsano, a 35 year veteran in the food brokerage business joined our team to head the grocery and hospitality segment. Jodi Stanley, an eight-year veteran with Starbuck’s, and formerly one of their 25 global Coffee Diplomats, also joined us. Jodi’s primary responsibility will be training enhancement and customer attentiveness. Linda de Mezzo returned after taking five years off to concentrate on her family. Linda’s focus is customer service. Her long tenure with Joffrey’s and our industry provides considerable strength to our customer service team.
There is a good reason why our primary hires this year have been in the area of customer service. Many businesses today take their customers for granted, or do not realize the lack of customer service they provide for their customers. We asked ourselves: without our customers where we would be? So our leadership team made a conscious decision to focus more directly on our customers this year. I am pleased to see some positive results, and confident we will have even further progress on 2010.
The other portion of our business is a quiet one – the retail units we own and operate in Walt Disney World. We added our 17th unit there in March of this year, and increased our team to 90 highly valued “Cast Members”. Our dedicated team there has created an exciting opportunity for Joffrey’s to further develop it’s partnership with Disney. We will have more information about this opportunity during the first quarter of 2010.
Because of these positive developments, combined with the efforts of all our company’s 120 terrific team members, 2009 will end our eighth consecutive year of record revenues. I am very pleased to see how we are positioning the company for even greater successes in years to come.
I would like to wish each of you and your families a very Happy, Healthy and Safe Holiday Season.
With warm regards,
President & CEO