COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah (ABC4 News) – The holiday season is here. As we prepare to enjoy this time of year with our loved ones, troops overseas are putting our country first and sacrificing that.
That’s why a local business is making sure while they are away they at least have a taste of home.
At the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon sits Alpha Coffee.
Thursday, the place was packed with customers looking to warm up on a cool fall day.
But, there’s a bigger story here than just providing a hip place to connect with friends or close a business deal.
This is a military-minded business owned by Carl and Lori Churchill.
Carl is a veteran who engaged in multiple combat deployments over 21 years, and now their son is serving now.
“He’s an amazing young man. He’s in the University of Utah ROTC program. He’s also already deployed to Syria,” said Lori.
Even though Carl isn’t enlisted anymore he’s still serving.
Or should we say serving up those in uniform?
“I’m proud of our coffee, our team and our mission,” said Carl.
That mission is the Coffee for Troops Program.
“When you are deployed you’re living on coffee, and it’s usually really bad coffee, terrible coffee! So, sending coffee downrange to deployed troops was part of our mission right from the start,” said Carl.
Using proceeds from sales, they pack up bags of coffee and hot cocoa, snacks and a thank you note to be shipped off.
They have sent more than 17,000 bags and counting.
“It means the world to our troops to get the flavors of home when they are overseas, away from their families. Especially, this time of year with the holidays,” said Chief Brian Garrett with the Utah Air National Guard.
That salute to our troops does impact the bottom line for Alpha Coffee.
“Our accountant tells us all the time you’re sending way too much coffee to deployed troops, you need to put some in your pocket,” said Carl.
But, they say you can’t put a price on the letters they get back from those who are putting it all on the line to keep us safe.
“For us to send them something so small, but it’s big in their eyes because they are remembered on the other side of the world is a big thing,” said Lori.
They also donate products and money to local veteran charities.
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