On Winning the Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Jo Ann and I started our business in May 1987. We were having difficult financial times and we wanted our own source of income. We both worked full time jobs and delivered coffee on lunch hours, nights and weekends. We started with just the coffee service and added vending two years later.

Today things are very different, we serve 17 counties and have 23 employees. I believe we have been successful because we put our customer’s needs first. Technology is the buzzword in business today and it certainly has its place but personal service (the human touch) is still the key to our success and I don’t see that changing.

Another key to success in today’s business is offering the products your customers need and want. We have greatly expanded the services we offer our customers, such as filtered water systems and micromarkets. We are always looking for new ideas to better serve our clients.

When you are starting a new business, all your focus is on making a profit and establishing your business, as your business matures, some of your energy should be directed to giving back to your community. We have tried to be an asset to East Texas by Adopt-A-Highway program and other charities. We encourage all our employees to adopt the same philosophy.

Which leads me to my final point: to grow your business you must recruit and employ good people. You cannot do everything yourself so you must surround yourself with competent, dedicated individuals. We have done this at Robert’s Coffee & Vending and have a great team.

Jo Ann and I want to thank the Chamber and our employees for this award.


*Originally posted in March 2014