Five Star Food acquires Southern Coffee Service

Authored By Ashley Hopkins

Chattanooga-based Five Star Food Service has acquired Chattanooga “coffee service legend” Southern Coffee Service. 

Adding Southern Coffee to their fold will allow Five Star to add water options such as bulk bottled, single-serve bottled and filtered. This acquisition will also allow Five Star to become the exclusive provider of Community Coffee products in the area, which is a distinction previously held by Southern Coffee Service. 

Southern Coffee and its former owner, Robert Berman, are best-known not just for the product but for civic engagement and philanthropy across the region. Berman purchased the company in 1984 from the original owner, who founded it in 1960. 

Southern acquired Aramark Tri-State Division in 1990 and grew into one of the largest vendors in the area. Berman plans to remain active in the business at Five Star, serving in a customer service and sales capacity. 

“Southern has a solid track record of providing excellent coffee and water service to some of the largest companies in the Greater Chattanooga area,” Mike Laurer, Five Star’s vice president of coffee service, said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to adding Robert and his talented staff to our team.” 

Officials said Five Star can consolidate the competitive coffee service landscape within the region and bolster growth with this new line of service. 

Five Star Food Service is an on-site food and beverage solution provider for commercial, institutional and educational locations.