The journey of Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea started at a friend’s house in Switzerland. Two friends from Boston, Chris Chantler and Craig Arseneau, were watching the 1989 World Skiing Championships and found themselves captivated with Vail, Colorado. Chris and Craig had been following the development of the specialty coffee industry for a while and were looking for an excuse to start their own business. Soon after they returned home, they dropped everything to move to Vail and they opened The Daily Grind Coffee Company in 1989.
The Daily Grind quickly became the heartbeat of Vail, an institution fulfilling a need that locals didn’t even know they had needed–including the need for a free travel mug. Weekly events like “Tele" Tuesdays began to create a community of Vailites and fellow small business owners. The success of The Daily Grind inspired Chris and Craig to open five more locations throughout Vail and Denver, including one in the Tivoli Student Union at the Auraria Campus. Eventually, Chris and Craig decided to start roasting their own coffee.
For the next six months, they perfected their roasting process and served their coffee to their coffeehouse customers. When they finally revealed to their customers that they were drinking Vail Mountain Coffee Roasters coffee and were met with praise, they were ready to launch their wholesale roasting program in 1993. They sold the retail outlets in 1996 to focus on growing the roasting business.
By 1998, Vail Mountain Coffee Roasters established itself as the primary coffee provider for the Vail Valley, handling small and large local accounts such as the ski resort company, Vail Resorts. In the late ’90s, expansion continued with growth into the Denver and Boulder markets. Today, the team continues to provide assistance to coffee houses and restaurants as part of its commitment to customer care.
Tea was added to the product line in 1995. Since then, Vail Mountain Coffee Roasters has become the leading buyer and distributor of loose-leaf teas in Colorado. As a result, in 2002, due to the growth and success of the tea line, the company changed its name to Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea Co. (VMCT).
As roasters and tea suppliers, Chris and Craig have established personal relationships with micro-estates and sustainable farms throughout the world for decades. VMCT is committed to providing the best quality coffee and teas that have the least impact on the environment. Learn more about our commitment to quality here.
VMCT supplies more than 350 retailers throughout Colorado and its neighboring states, with 46 different coffees, 60 different teas, and a large selection of espresso equipment, accessory goods and syrups. The success of VMCT is the result of buying only the finest coffee and tea, consistent roasting, commitment to freshness, and outstanding customer care.
Stop by the Roastery Cafe, located in our roastery in Minturn, to taste our excellent products in person, check out our state-of-the-art espresso and grinding machines, and just hang out. We are bringing back everything that was great about The Daily Grind all those years ago: a strong sense of community, outstanding customer service, and exceptional quality coffee and tea.
The following are some of community organizations and foundations we’ve donated to this past year: