K&M Coffee Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Posted On: 12/11/2018

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NORTH CANTON, OH -- K&M Coffee is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and president Bob Grimsley attributes the success of the family business to its commitment to customer service.
"It starts with all our employees; they all want to be the best at their positions," Grimsley said. "They will do whatever it takes to keep our customers happy. Note our tagline – 'where a happy day is brewing.' We understand that you cannot put a price on customer relationships, and we want to thank each and every one of them for helping us to reach this important milestone in our company's growth and success."
K&M Coffee was founded in 1968 by husband and wife Dean and Sharon Kendall ("Kendall & Mrs." = K&M). At the beginning, the operation was run out of the family home and shortly afterward moved to a garage North Canton. Two years later, the company added vending machines and their daughter Lora took over the route when she graduated from high school. Grimsley was Lora's high school sweetheart, and the two married in 1977.
"I was injured and off work and noticed Dean was scrambling to get vending machines ready for a new account," Grimsley recalled. "I started to help him to speed things up. We worked well together and Dean offered me a job with K&M Coffee, I thought about it for about 30 seconds and the rest is history."
In 1978, K&M Coffee moved to a new facility in North Canton, featuring office space and a warehouse in the lower level. In 1983, K&M coffee made its final move to its current location.
In 1987, Dean Kendall suffered a fatal heart attack. "Dean was a very good teacher and I learned a lot from him," Grimsley said. "Sharon made me manager and we hired more employees. We recovered with the help of suppliers, friends, employees and family." Bob and Lora are joined in the business today by Bob's sisters Jeanette Ickes and Nancy Yates and his brother Junior.
Sharon Kendall sold the business to Bob Grimsley in 1999, and he decided to focus solely on the coffee side of the business. He sold the vending division to a local competitor.
"This allowed us to focus on one thing; coffee. Do one thing and do it well," Grimsley said.
K&M Coffee stocks products from 16 roasters, offering a large choice of coffees, cappuccinos and more than 400 allied products, including kitchen and bathroom supplies. According to Grimsley, K&M Coffee has more than doubled its customer base, taken on more warehouse space and added new technology to keep its competitive edge.
Over the years, K&M Coffee acquired Snack Time Goodies (Akron, OH); Quality Coffee (Canton, OH); Country Coffee Brewster (New Philadelphia, OH) and Coffee Express (New Philadelphia, OH). Grimsley said it's currently pursuing another acquisition.
"We are a one-stop-shop providing exactly what our customers want; they ask for it and they get it," Grimsley summed up.