Thrive Farmers and Gordon Food Service Announce Partnership


Gordon Food Service and Thrive Farmers International have established an exclusive partnership to bring Thrive’s distinctive, high quality and farmer-direct beverage products to the foodservice industry. Thrive’s business model creates sustainable income opportunities for farmer partners, a goal shared by Gordon Food Service and consistent with its commitment to socially responsible and sustainable sourcing.

Thrive Farmers works directly with coffee and tea producers to ensure that everyone, from the farmer to the customer, can thrive. Its innovative revenue-sharing model brings farmers to market as partners with higher, more predictable and stable pricing. This keeps them invested as stakeholders through the process and empowers them to continually create even better coffee and tea products.

Serving more than 100,000 restaurants, schools, universities, and hospitals, Gordon Food Service will now provide its customers with access to Thrive Farmers’ premium, farmer-direct hot and cold brew coffees.

“Our new, exclusive partnership with Thrive Farmers embodies our passion and commitment to provide products that are not only high quality, but good for the world. Its work, connecting farmers directly to customers, starts with a premise that people care about the sources of their food and want to see quality growers respected and fairly compensated for their product.,” said Rich Wolowski, President and CEO of Gordon Food Service. “And when farmers are empowered with dignity and respect, they make their own communities better. I saw this first hand when I visited the Thrive Farmers in Guatemala. We want to provide our customers products with purpose, connecting them to the growers, so they can participate in something truly transformational.”

Founded in 1897, Gordon Food Service began as a butter-and-egg delivery service, working with local farmers and creating an appreciation for the land and the people who grow its products. Their dedication and caring has helped to grow the brand to become a leader in the industry, with a passionate focus on delivering top-notch products to the people it serves in the Midwest, Northeast, Southeast and Southwest regions of the United States, and coast-to-coast in Canada.

“We applaud Gordon Food Service for its innovative approach to sourcing products with purpose. This concept sets it apart in the distribution arena, and perfectly aligns with its dedication to high-quality business built on strong relationships,” said Tom Matthesen, president of Thrive Farmers Coffee. “At Thrive Farmers, our biggest desire is to form partnerships that create true change for farmers economically and socially, and we are privileged to help connect and work alongside Gordon Food Service as they seek to empower the foodservice industry.”

The extensive menu of products Gordon Food Service offers will now include Thrive Farmers’ signature blends of hot and cold brew coffees.

About Thrive Farmers International

Thrive Farmers International was founded in 2011 to ignite change in the broken coffee industry by putting farmers first. Its innovative revenue-sharing model empowers thousands of farmers with the means to transform their livelihoods with stable, predictable and higher pricing for their coffees, keeping them invested to the point of sale and empowering them to continually create higher quality products. Thrive Farmers became B Corp Certified in 2016, verifying its pervasive dedication to create positive world change through its business practices. Thrive Farmers has quickly grown into an industry leader and placed No. 19 on the Inc. 500 list in 2016. Thrive Farmers remains steadfast in its commitment to creating positive impact and continues to influence the food industry’s perspective on the transformative power of intentional beverage program solutions. Thrive Farmers continually innovates beverage menus according to brand partner needs and introduced its first tea line in 2017. Learn more at

About Gordon Food Service

Since 1897, we have delivered uncompromising quality and heartfelt service for our customers. We began as a simple butter-and-egg delivery service, and have grown to become the largest family business in the foodservice distribution industry by upholding the same approach for 120 years—remaining passionately committed to the people we serve. Today, we serve foodservice operators in the Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, and Southwest regions of the United States and coast-to-coast in Canada. We also operate more than 170 Gordon Food Service Store® locations in the U.S. By partnering with organizations from across industries—healthcare to education, independent and chain restaurants, and event planners—we help our customers create food experiences that people choose, enjoy, and remember.

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