Next time you re in a hotel room with a little coffee maker, take a look at the individual coffee pod. There s a good chance it came from right here in Baton Rouge, headquarters of Pod Pack International. The local company manufactures and distributes single cup brewing solutions not only for hotels, but for offices, restaurants, convenience stores, and homes. And as of recently for every Taco Bell in the US. Last year, the company announced plans to expand its presence in Baton Rouge and invest more than 10 million building a new larger manufacturing facility and hiring 19 more employees. Pod Pack s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Martin tells Stephanie about the company s recent exciting successes after what Tom describes as being "a 15 year startup". Pod Pack isn t the only coffee company in Baton Rouge. Ian Melancon is the second generation owner of River Road Coffees, a family business that for 20 years has been roasting high quality, signature blends of coffees for the Baton Rouge market. The company has a thriving retail business, both online and in supermarkets across southeast Louisiana, and sells to restaurants, office clients and convenience stores. In an interesting explanation of the coffee industry, both Tom and Ian explain how Starbucks hasn t killed the coffe biz, it s saved it. Photos over lunch at Mansur s on the Boulevard.
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