"Campus organization launches online coffee business" - Spectator News

Bradley Johnson

The UW-Eau Claire Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization is launching a new coffee business called Blugold Roast this fall.

Founded in 1997, the national organization’s goal is to give students who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs the opportunities, resources and connections they need to further pursue their entrepreneurial career.

According to the organization’s website, CEO currently supports over 200 colleges in over 43 states nationwide. Each college having their own chapter or section within the organization. The diverse entrepreneurial community equips students with the knowledge and support to help start businesses through conferences, chapter activities and CEO events.

Graduating senior and member of CEO Daniel Beck said the group doesn’t just offer these resources for business students; CEO students of any major to join.

“Others think it is just College of Business people who are a part of it,” Beck said. “We are trying to bring other majors into the organization.”

The idea for Blugold Roast came from an alumnus of the organization. Eau Claire and CEO alumnus Jim Stewart founded Seattle’s Best Coffee and recently sold it to the Starbucks franchise.

After hearing about Stewart’s success, CEO President Tyler Anderson said the organization got the idea to create an Eau Claire brand of coffee for alumni and current students.

Blugold Roast will start as an online coffee business selling bags of university coffee brand. CEO sent out a survey to Eau Claire students to vote on a logo and they are working on getting it officially branded.

Anderson said the new coffee business is expected to open for Eau Claire’s 100th anniversary and the College of Business’s 50th anniversary in September.

The organization is in the process of selecting a roaster for the business, but is leaning toward having the coffee made locally. The website will have a variety of flavored coffees available in 12-ounce bags for single or bulk orders.

Beck said marketing to both alumni and current students, the business will bring in both groups of customers. Anderson said another reason CEO created Blugold Roast is to connect alumni and current students to the campus through coffee.

Following the same principles as CEO, Anderson said Blugold Roast will aim to bring together students of all backgrounds and studies over one shared interest: coffee.

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