The Miss Ellie's Coffee Story

From the heart of the True South comes Miss Ellie's Coffee, a coffee you will be proud to serve to customers or guests. Ellie says "Our purpose is to make a smile with every sip". Miss Ellie's is a family owned and operated company. The Company is a certified diversity supplier. Bill McClure (the Dad) is a proud citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

From the Beginning. For Ellie, coffee is the perfect way to pursue one of her several passions. When Ellie, and her step-father, Bill, decided to go into the online coffee business, Ellie said, "Sure, but I want to do it the right way, a way where the benefits get spread around. Oh, and may I have my own line of coffee?" The next thing she wanted was direct involvement In choosing the blends that would bear her name. As with everything Ellie does, she is passionate and meticulous in the selection process, working closely with her roasters, traveling to out-of-the-way places, tasting, and reflecting on it.

Today, Miss Ellie is best known for her gourmet coffee and delicious coffee cakes. When you think Miss Ellie's you know it is going to be good.

The Brand, Miss Ellie's - "Attention to detail, sweat the small stuff." Bill McClure, a perfectionist, believes everything about the customer is important. Be passionate, listen to the customer and make it happen fast. You must have a clear set of values and create a tightly focused brand.

Focus the brand on a southern belle "Miss Ellie," with high quality coffee and let Ellie speak directly to the customer. The brand was born with an emphasis on being cheerful. warm, and genuine.

Run the operation like an old fashioned hardware store in an online world. Answer the phone, (if the customer is on hold for one minute, the order is free). If the order is placed at 4 p.m., ship it today. Send a handwritten thank you note. Create a friendship with the customer. Be dependable.

The values are simple. Be Nice, be courteous, be efficient, learn more product knowledge, use good judgment, never criticize for doing too much, please the extended family, provide hassle free buying, go above and beyond the call of duty, and perform outstanding acts of heroism.

Get the word out. Find a way to make everyone hear about Miss Ellie's three times. Initiate a relationship with the customer as well as providing a great cup of coffee, a good value, and impeccable service.

McClure made everyone in the organization learn about viral marketing by reading "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell suggested that ideas spread like viruses and brand marketing can do the same thing.

The Brand was conceived by Bill and Ellie to be her own coffee with the "Ellie flair", Since it was truly the heart and soul of the Company's communication and marketing efforts, the job was to encapsulate the essence of the message. Knowing the road as a startup, fighting for attention among other brands; McClure crafted the strategy to reach the initial target audience and customer through online e-commerce and social media.

Management has spent thousands of hours and several years honing the message that differentiates Miss Ellie's coffee from the rest of the coffee pack. Establishing the "voice" and continuing to talk to the audience through social media with over 230,000 active Facebook friends. Combined weekly social reach is between 950,000 and 1 million homes.

The ability to get on national television was not affordable. McClure then hired Chicago publicist, Sam Chapman to help get Ellie on television and radio morning shows, talking about coffee. Miami, Denver, Phoenix and on, the message was live.

Miss Ellie's Coffee.org has grown from a small online company to a major supplier of offices, convenience stores, hospitals, hotels, the food service industry, and state, federal and local governments.


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