Alumni Association offers MU-themed coffee

Part of the proceeds go toward the Mizzou Alumni Association.
The Mizzou Alumni Association launched its own line of MU brand coffee last week. The coffee is sold through an online store, and 20 percent of the purchases benefit the Alumni Association's programs, including Homecoming and student scholarships. Photo Illustration by Sally French

U.S. Army soldier and longtime MU fan Brian Dick used to drink coffee every day back in Washington, Mo. But since he’s been serving in northern Iraq for almost two months, he has found coffee is hard to come by.

That was until he discovered the Mizzou Alumni Association’s online coffee shop. Last week, the Mizzou Alumni Association launched the Mizzou Alumni Coffee Store, a website selling more than 25 varieties of coffee beans, all with an MU-themed twist.

“I am a big Mizzou fan and couldn’t see having any other coffee sent to me,” Dick said in a Facebook interview. “It is another way for me to support Mizzou.”

The coffee is packaged in an MU-inspired bag, which features an image of Tiger Plaza on the front.

“It’s themed very black and gold so as people buy it, they’ll buy it for the flavor, for the spirit or maybe they’ll display the packaging,” Alumni Association Marketing Director David Roloff said.

Dick was one of the first to contact the Alumni Association on the launch date, asking for the coffee to be shipped to his station in Iraq so he can rekindle his routine of drinking coffee as well as share MU with his fellow soldiers.

“As far as drinking all the coffee right away, well, that might be a different story,” he said. “I plan on conserving the coffee to make sure that we do not run out quickly, but at the same time making sure that we get at least one cup of the coffee a day.”

Proceeds from the coffee sold at the Mizzou Alumni Coffee store go directly back to the Alumni Association.

According to their website, 20 percent of online purchases benefit the Mizzou Alumni Association's programs and services such as Homecoming, student scholarships, reunions, faculty research incentive grants and alumni events.

Although the store just launched this week, the idea has been brewing for a few months.

“I picked up the idea at an annual conference for membership and marketing professionals this summer,” Roloff said. “The vendors were there and they had had a couple of schools already take advantage of this and we thought it was a great idea.”

The coffee store is a collaboration between the Mizzou Alumni Association and Beanbank Coffee Company, based out of Williamsburg, Va.

Beanbank creates 25 varieties of ground or whole bean coffee including dark roast, breakfast blend, fair trade, organic and specialty teas and ships it within three to five days. A single bag of coffee costs $8.95.

“We’ve been brewing samples of it since we’ve been testing it,” Roloff said. “Everyone who has tasted it really likes it.”

Roloff said he expects the coffee store will be a success. The association is already planting ads in the alumni magazine, which goes out to 165,000 alumni, and a member calendar, which goes out to 28,000 alumni.

“I think as the following winter goes on, it will only get more popular,” he said.

Beanbank Coffee is still figuring out the logistics of getting the coffee shipped to Iraq and Dick anticipates its arrival.

“Drinking Mizzou coffee while deployed will give me a sense of motivation and support that isn’t shown very much," Dick said. "Showing my support for anything that has to do with Mizzou just makes any day a good day.”

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