Member Feature: Operator Coffee

OPERATOR COFFEE MEMBER FEATURE

In the world of entrepreneurship, Casey Betzold, CEO of Operator Club, the parent company of Operator Coffee, is a firm believer in the power of networks. A seasoned serial entrepreneur, Betzold started the Anteris Alliance in 2015, a venture dedicated to bringing together veteran-owned companies and supporting companies to foster collaboration, reduce overhead costs, and amplify revenues. This commitment to synergy echoes the ethos of the Idaho Manufacturing Alliance, where collective efforts lead to greater success than individual endeavors.

Betzold, a former military officer with over 20 years of professional experience in military and defense leadership, strategic business development, program management, and global sales, purchased Operator Coffee five years ago from a young military couple he met through Anteris Alliance. The couple had decided to pursue other professional opportunities and start a family. “Having a business is like having a baby. There’s a lot of nurturing that needs to happen,” emphasized Betzold’s wife and business partner Sara, drawing an apt parenting analogy.

Betzold runs Operator Club, LLC, along with his other business interests, with Sara who has a strong background in the coffee business. Sara Betzold jumped at the chance to run Operator Coffee. “We loved coffee. We loved the brand. We loved their mission,” said Sara listing the multitude of reasons they made an offer on Operator Coffee.

As a premium small batch roaster, Operator Coffee distinguishes itself from similar ventures by focusing on the art of coffee.  “Large batch roasters are like a Jack Daniels bourbon versus a handcrafted small batch spirit,” explained Casey. While the Betzolds don’t necessarily aspire to grow to a large batch roaster, they do have plans to grow Operator Coffee in other ways.

Being a veteran-owned company, Operator Coffee has made it their mission to not only provide the best coffee, but also help give back and build a community for those who need it.  True to their tag line, Brewed for Service, they donate a percentage of their proceeds to organizations dedicated to helping our veterans and first responders. Operator Club works directly with OATH, Inc., a veteran nonprofit, as well as Firefighters for Healing, a first responder nonprofit.  

Expanding their demographic beyond the military to first responders seemed like a right direction. It fit naturally with their mission to help fight the depression and high suicide rates from PTSD. They plan to further expand their focus to the blue-collar American worker. Their company statement defines them as a tribute brand for those who get up every day and enter the grind of life to support themselves, their families, their communities, and this great nation.  With tributes for our active military, veterans, law enforcement, fire, farmers, nurses, truck drivers and more, Operator Coffee is focused on those who serve as an American Operator. 

Their plans to include first responders in their mission-based demographic blended perfectly with their plans to open the first Operator Club in the Treasure Valley. The Operator Club concept is to create a place where local veterans and first responders can go to establish new bonds and friendships. A place of fellowship that brings people together to drink a cup of Operator Coffee and support both veterans and first responders. Excited to open their first venue where Operator Coffee customers can gather, they’re offering Operator Club partnership opportunities to help bring the concept to life.

Operator Coffee actively roasts coffee locally and stocks their products for sale across the Treasure Valley. They also bulk roast for local coffee shops and restaurants, as well as partner with businesses interested in launching their own premium, small-batch coffee brand. From gift bundles to daily coffee drinking needs, Operator Coffee offers a full range of beverages – light, medium and dark roasts, single origins, espresso, decaf, white coffee, and even premium hot chocolate for the non-coffee drinker. All of their products and branded merchandise can be ordered on their website at operatorcoffee.com.

New to the IMA but not to the power of networking, leveraging the power of their membership in the Idaho Manufacturing Alliance is second nature for Casey and Sara.

At the time of our interview, Operator Coffee had just been notified that the space they are currently leasing is being sold and they will need to move. They are in search of around 1,500 sq ft, with natural gas, 30-amp power and the capability to support an 8” vertical exhaust.  Contact Casey Betzold at casey@operatorcoffee.com or at 406.360.1631 directly if you know of any available space, preferably in the Nampa/Caldwell area, that might be a perfect fit for the first Operator Club.