This is no April Fool’s joke—Community Coffee Company turned 100 years old April 1! In honor of this centennial anniversary, we’re taking a look back at how Community® became the brand it is today.
The History of Community Coffee Company
It all began in 1910, when Henry Norman “Cap” Saurage opened a small general store in the Dixie neighborhood of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. With a fresh pot of free coffee always available, the store became a gathering place for the community. By 1919, the coffee became so well-liked by the store’s customers that Cap started grinding and packaging the coffee himself. Cap named the blend “Community” out of appreciation for his community of friends and the customers he served. Four generations later, the company is still operated by the Saurage family and has grown from a regional favorite to the largest family-owned and operated retail coffee brand in America.
While we continue to innovate and grow, we still hold our values close. Here are a few key events that have shaped Community Coffee Company:
- 1910 – Cap Saurage opened his general store in Baton Rouge, LA
- 1919 – Cap began to grind and package his own coffee
- 1923 – Community® coffee became so popular that Cap closed the general store and converted his backyard barn into a coffee grinding mill
- 1924 – Cap drove delivery trucks himself to get Community® coffee to local grocery stores
- 1934 – The company expanded into Lake Charles, LA
- 1935 – Community opened a branch in Houma, LA
- 1941 – The Saurage family opened their own proprietary roasting operation
- 1955 – Community became a direct importer of Brazilian coffee
- 1988 – Community launched its Cash for Schools® program
- 1970 – The Saurage family built a modern roasting plant in Baton Rouge overlooking the Mississippi River
- 1977 – Community developed the first vacuum-sealed coffee bags in North America
- 2008 – Community started the Military Match program
- 2019 – Community Coffee Company celebrates its centennial anniversary
Celebrate with Community Coffee Company
Though we’re proud of our history, we’re even more proud of the relationships we’ve built with our incredible customers and their communities over the past 100 years. We asked you to send in “Happy Birthday” wishes and your personal memories with Community on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Check out the stories below, and let us know how Community® coffee has played a role in your life.
“Our Aunt Paula turned 100 last week. People always ask her what her secret is to longevity. Her reply, ‘Community® Coffee with Chicory, New Orleans blend and lots of chocolate.’ Good things in life last a long time.”—Michael W.
“Community is the definition of family. Drinking Community with my father while my mother made coffee milk for my children then enjoying coffee milk with my grandchildren in later years. Hearing my granddaughter asking, ‘Maw, teach me how to make coffee so I can fix you a cup.’ It’s then setting up auto ship for my grandson in college because we all know nothing is better than a good cup of coffee to help replenish the soul. We are a four-generation family that celebrates life-changing events with a cup of Community® coffee....Thanks, Community for being a part of my family.” – Pearly L.
“As soon as I could hold a cup, my Mom would wake me in the morning with a cup of Community® coffee. I can still see her sitting on the bed watching me drink my coffee. I didn’t realize then, what a cherished memory that would be.” –Lynette M.
“I remember spending the night with my grandparents and my Pawpaw bringing cups of coffee for him, my Mawmaw, and myself before the sun ever came up. I would sit on a rug on the floor next to the bed drinking my coffee while they drank theirs and talked. I remember crawling back in bed after I finished. Good memories. Sure wish I could drink a cup with them again like that!” – Tonya J.
“Fell in love with Community® coffee on our first visit to Louisiana. Because we couldn’t buy it locally, we used to buy 10 pounds every six months. Then used the internet to get it. Now it’s locally available and we love it!”—Hugh S.
“My relationship with coffee began when I moved to New Orleans in June 1961. My real relationship with Community® coffee began in June 1962 when I changed colleges and enrolled in Newcomb College of Tulane University. My father gave me a challenge... to learn to drink my coffee black (no sugar, no milk or cream)…I started drinking the Community® Dark Roast and fell in love. So, I'd say this June will be my 56th anniversary with Community’s Dark Roast. I've tried your flavors at times, and even your instant flavored blends, but Dark Roast and French Roast are still my favorites. I think 56 years is a great length of time to have a solid relationship.” – Nedra E.
“My grandfather had a local grocery store and sold Community® coffee. When I was a child, my grandmother would make me a cup of coffee milk that was wonderful! I have been drinking Community coffee for six decades! To me, it’s the very best coffee I have ever had!”—Kathy W.
“Community® coffee always goes where I go! It was ALWAYS the first and only choice for coffee for my Great-Grandparents, Grandparents, and Parents. They always said never leave home without your Community® Coffee.”—Donna F.