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Posted on: January 13, 2017

Better Burns Harbor: Gourmet coffee distributor grows business through town location

Tandra and David Robinson discuss inventory at the Fast Coffee warehouse in Burns Harbor.

In the ever-changing, energized marketplace of coffee, two ideals remain constant for business owner Tandra Robinson.

She focuses simply on the old-fashioned staples of quality and customer satisfaction at Fast Coffee Service Inc., a boutique coffee distributor.

“We provide the best service and highest quality of products to our customers and we never compromise on either,” Robinson said. “There’s a lot of people selling coffee these days but if I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it right.”

Located just off the intersection of U.S. 20 and S.R. 149 in Burns Harbor, Fast Coffee has offered affordable top-shelf coffees and products to area customers for more than 30 years.

A second-generation company, Fast Coffee began as a hobby for Robinson’s father during his retirement years ago. Robinson decided to continue his legacy by buying 25 accounts in September of 1981.

Today, the company now services approximately 300 accounts — ranging from small mom-and-pop restaurants and offices to large corporate office and convenient stores within a 50- to 60-mile radius throughout Indiana, Illinois and Michigan.

Contributing to the company’s growth, Robinson said, is the location. Burns Harbor’s proximity to four state and federal highways as well as toll road, Port of Indiana and South Shore Line serve as benefits to a wide range of businesses. “This area, this location is ideal for commerce. Everything is right here. The location is very advantageous for us geographically,” Robinson said.

Fast Coffee has called Burns Harbor home since 1999 when Robinson’s husband, David, seized the opportunity to acquire the strategic property (prior, the Robinsons worked from home and then rented office space in Valparaiso for a short time). The couple built the current 6,000 square-foot space, which holds administrative offices, warehouse as well as available rental space.

The Robinsons and their team sell and deliver a wide range of about 30 different types of coffee such as Tandra C’s fine specialty signature blend — a Columbian mixture she described as smooth and flavorful. Other popular blends include the 100 percent Columbian medium roast or variety of dark roasted coffees. Many customers enjoy a variety of flavored coffees such as chocolate raspberry, Michigan cherry or vanilla crème flavors. A full line of related products like cups, creamers, sugars, teas and more complement Fast Coffee’s offerings. Taking customer service one step further, spring water is also available for offices and residential homes.

Coming in early 2017, the company plans to launch online coffee orders for individuals.

“Once we define your needs, we can put together a plan that’s perfect for you,” Robinson said. “We’re not cookie cutter. Our customers never feel limited as we have a variety of options.”

For more information about Fast Coffee/NATUREL Water, call 219-787-JAVA (5282). Interested business owners, developers or investors may learn more about the Town of Burns Harbor by visiting http://burnsharbor-in.gov/273/Opportunities-Information.

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