Twenty years ago, our Bean Baron Danny O’Neill was given a hint of advice: it wasn’t just restaurants that he should stock full of delicious Roasterie coffee—he should focus on grocery stores too! So, in order to make a mark in local restaurants, Danny approached Fred Ball, the current chairman of Balls Food Stores. Lucky for Danny, Fred Ball always believed in an open-door policy.
Balls Food Stores currently owns and operates all of the Hen House grocery stores as well as a majority of the local Price Chopper grocery stores—28 total to be exact—in the KC metro area. What started as a small neighborhood grocery store on 46th & Stewart in 1923 became a company of 4000 hard-working employees across all of Kansas City. Balls Food Stores was started by Sidney and Mollie Ball, Fred’s parents. Today, Balls Food Store’s COO and President David Ball (Fred’s son) runs the day-to-day operations, including the business relationship with The Roasterie.
Twenty years is a long time to stay with the same coffee company—but David Ball wouldn’t have it any other way.
“We are both small, independent companies whose principles and values align with one another,” explains David. “The Roasterie people, especially the employees, make all the difference.”
Balls Food Stores (both Hen House and Price Chopper) were the first grocery stores to ever carry Roasterie products. Today, the company sells an abundance of Roasterie products, including its very own blend—the Hen House Blend.
“It’s the best one!” says David. “The cupping process was outstanding. I absolutely loved it. I like to think that I worked with Danny to sophisticate his palate during the cupping.”
So what else do Balls Food Stores and Roasterie have planned for the future? The second Roasterie coffeeshop will open this June inside the Prairie Village Hen House location. The first coffeeshop opened earlier this year on the Sprint Campus.
We would like to thank David and Fred Ball for selecting and sticking with The Roasterie as their specialty coffee company for the past 20 years. It’s because of our first customers that we are experiencing the successes that we are today. A huge thanks to Balls Food Stores—from its founders to its employees—for believing in The Roasterie and bringing delicious coffee to grocery shoppers throughout the city!