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Immigrant Entrepreneur Hall of Fame: Menelaos Kaloyanides

 

New England Coffee logoCountry of origin: Turkey

Year came to U.S.: 1910

Business: New England Coffee Company (1916)

Headquarters: Malden, MA

2012 revenue: >$100 million

U.S. employment: 211

 

  • Menelaos Kaloyanides started his career at the Automat in New York City.
  • The company he founded, New England Coffee Company, became the largest privately-owned coffee roster in New England.

 

Menelaos Kaloyanides was part of a Greek family living in Turkey in the early 1900s. At that time, Turkey was not a very hospitable place for people of Greek descent. In 1910, he followed his brothers and cousins to the United States to escape persecution.

Kaloyanides made a new start in New York working at the Automat restaurant. He impressed his employer so much that Kaloyanides was sent to Boston to open a new restaurant. In 1916, he decided to start his own business and, along with his brother George Kaloyanides and his cousin Megaklis Papadopoulos, he opened the New England Coffee Company in Boston.

The company started by hand-roasting coffee and delivering it by horse and wagon to nearby businesses. They were so successful that within two years they hired more family members and purchased their first truck.

The company continued to grow and expand and by the mid-1940s the next generation was ready to take over the business. Under the direction of Kaloyanides’ children and cousins, the company outgrew the Boston location and moved to Malden, Massachusetts, where they also launched their first retail store.

The family’s third generation of leaders emerged in the 1990s. After introducing consumer packaged coffee to supermarkets in 1999, the company became the fifth largest seller of bagged coffee in the United States. New England Coffee continues to expand its offerings and in 2012, the company introduced its first line of single-serve coffees, which are quickly becoming a retail success. In 2013, The company was purchased by The Reily Foods Company of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Updated January 2014

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