bryan feil lanna

Lanna Coffee Co. CEO Bryan Feil speaks at the unveiling of the Rosa Brothers Cold Brew Coffee Milk in June. Feil took over in 2015 and has been leading a series of collaborations between Lanna Coffee and other companies and producers in the Central Valley. Photo by Donald A. Promnitz

published on July 31, 2017 - 3:54 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

A Downtown Fresno coffee company is gaining a reputation for both the quality of its product and the extensive partnerships it’s been making throughout the Central Valley.

Located at 617 Broadway St., Lanna Coffee Co. is quickly expanding its business and is making its mark with other local producers as well. These partnerships have resulted in Lanna coffee being found not only in bottles and mugs, but also in milk, ice cream and even beer.

“It’s honoring to be seen like that because I think it’s a value for our company,” said Lanna Coffee CEO Bryan Feil. “We find that here in the Valley, if we could work together, we definitely are able to help and benefit one another greatly.”

Originally from Bakersfield, Feil came to Fresno to attend college. He got his business degree from Fresno Pacific University in 2007, and was hired by Lanna in 2015 to be the new CEO. Under Feil, the company has become increasingly keen on reaching out to other producers and growers in the Valley.

Its most recent partnership has been with Ampersand Ice Cream in Fresno. Together, these two have purchased the Mia Cuppa Caffe location in the Tower District. The purchase was made on June 1 and the shop was closed for renovations on July 2. It is expected reopen under the store’s original name — The Revue, this month. The newly owned coffee shop will feature products from both companies and eventually wines from Valley growers.

“We want to showcase Ampersand; we want to showcase Lanna,” Feil said. “We want to showcase just the best of the Valley.”

“This is the area we love being in and working in,” said Ampersand Ice Cream President Jeff Bennett. “I definitely want to put all my efforts towards the Tower District area, and so from there, we just kind of started step-by-step forward in that.”

Bennett, originally from the Santa Barbara area, got into the ice cream business after falling in love with the Central Valley. Ice cream, he said, was the best way to showcase its produce.

“The Central Valley has all the ingredients needed to make good ice cream,” Bennett said. “(We have dairy), we have nuts, we have fruit — we have all the things that you can imagine going into ice cream here in the Valley, and so we’ve collaborated since Day 1.”

This is not, however, the first collaboration between the two companies. Feil and Bennett, who met at the Well Community Church, also teamed up to create the Lanna Coffee ice cream flavor at Ampersand.

For dairy, The Revue will be using products from Rosa Brothers Milk Co. of Tulare. Rosa Brothers also used Lanna’s coffee in its most recent product — the Cold Brew Coffee Milk. The collaboration was conceived after last year’s Fresno Food Expo and was revealed in June.

“It wouldn’t make sense for Rosa Brothers to partner up with a Folgers coffee,” Feil said.

Rosa Brothers’ Cold Brew Coffee Milk was nominated for the New Product Award at the Fresno Food Expo this year, coming in second place for the People’s Choice Award. 

Lanna’s coffee has even found its way into beer, with four different breweries incorporating it. The most recent beer to feature it, the Rush Hour Breakfast Stout, was released last December at Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co. in Fresno.

“How amazing that is,” Feil said, “that we can roast here and then take it a block-and-a-half down the road and put it in a product of theirs.”

Lanna Coffee is supplied by growers in the mountains of northern Thailand, and 25 percent of the company’s proceeds go to funding clean water and other development projects. Feil stated that this is just more incentive to branch out.

“I think that there’s a lot of people who have a lot more experience in product development and in processing products that I think we can learn from,” Feil said. “And if we can learn and work together with people, we can make a win-win situation for everyone involved.

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