JL Hufford Coffee & Tea Company was founded in 1991 by owners Joe and Wrena Hufford who were inspired during a vacation to Seattle. The Tippecanoe Mall in Lafayette, Indiana has been our brick-and-mortar coffee shop's permanent home for almost 20 years.
Focused on supplying customers only the best in gourmet 100% Arabica coffees and fine teas, our coffee shop carries an enormous selection of single-origins, espressos, blends, and flavors. We’ve brewed over 1 million shots of espresso and boast the best drink menu in the area. Our cafe signature is the decadent homemade flavored whipped creams like S'mores, Almond Roca Mocha, Coffee Cake and tons more we make in-house daily.
In January 2002, JLHufford.com joined the online e-tailing community, offering a mere handful of gourmet coffee and tea products. Contrary to somefunny commercials out there, orders don't miraculously start coming in seconds. Our first week online, we received a whopping 2 orders – both to local customers who frequented our mall coffee shop. We didn't even have a shipping account set-up yet and we mixed-up their orders. Not a picture perfect start, but at least it was a start.
Over the next months, we learned how to bring customers to our website and all the other good stuff e-tailers should know. We had our first site redesign and added 3 of our favorite brands to date, Big Train Gourmet Beverages, Vita-Mix Blenders, and Capresso Coffee Equipment. We even updated our logo. Wow!
By the end of 2002, we had added a lot of new products, including our invention of Holiday chai flavors (Eggnog, Gingerbread, and Candy Cane) that kept us busy hand-packaging those orders into 1 lb. tin tie bags. Oh my, Holiday chai. Fortunately for us, Big Train launched Gingerbread chai and saved us the many laboring hours of work our own Holiday chai required. Whew!
We made it through our first year online, learned a lot, and smiled (most days) in the process. Our website continued to evolve and grow rapidly over the next 5 years. We moved our office and warehouse several times. The website changed again and again, always better than its predecessor. Our logo updated. Again. And again. And again? We became experts on every brand and product we offer.
In 2007, we made a commitment to expand into other gourmet areas including foods, kitchen electrics, and cooking tools. JL Hufford Coffee & Tea Company became JL Hufford – Discover Gourmet™. It was an easy, natural step we were ready to take and invest in. We will always remain passionate about coffee and tea and we celebrate that every day with the coffee bean displayed on the apron in our logo.
With all the changes over the past 20 years, it’s hard to remember all the way back to the beginning. But there are some things that haven’t changed. We continue to carry our owner’s dream forward with hard work, attention to detail, and dedication to providing our customers the best. To say that we appreciate our customers is a huge understatement. At a time when customers have more choices than ever before, our firm commitment to customer service, website security, and high quality products has led to many things that make JL Hufford unique.
We pride ourselves on providing highly-rated customer service at every opportunity. Our customers frequently rave about the convenience of being able to talk to a real person on the phone or by live chat and the quick responses by email. Our website is powered by trained, knowledgeable employees and not by systems or support manuals. We use hands-on training to familiarize every employee with our products. Expert staff members are always available to answer your questions - simple or technical.
We take our customers' security seriously by using multi-layered fraud prevention systems including website encryption, daily McAfee Secure Hacker Safe audits, and advanced 2-Stage Address Verification to protect our customers. Our secure checkout and customer account pages are encrypted with a special Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificate. An extensive background check is required for issuance of this EV Certificate and its presence is indicated not only by the secure "lock," but also with a green URL address bar for supporting web browsers. This protects you from phishing (scam) websites. The McAfee Secure icon at the top of every JL Hufford page indicates that our website has passed an intensive, daily security scan. Our 2-Stage Address Verification (AV) System requires that every order successfully pass your bank's verification system, and in addition, individual orders are selected at random for direct confirmation with the actual cardholder. Our AV System is so sound that we routinely catch stolen credit cards and alert cardholders before the banks do.
We encourage our employees to think outside the box. This has inspired ideas like our Build-Your-Own Coffees
and Superautomatika™ Blend
. This custom blend was developed by senior technicians who work on Fully Automatic coffee centers
and taste-tested with highest approval by our employees and customers. Superautomatika™ Blend
is now the most popular selling coffee at JL Hufford! Many of our employees have also created other favorite blends of regular and flavored coffees like Cabernet
and Blonde Bombshell
, adding to our over 400 different types of coffee. Our newest employee-inspired innovation is our GourmetGeeks blog
where our employees contribute their own unique recipes, ideas, suggestions, and fun facts on our products.
To our customers – thank you for the first 20 years. Without you, we’d never know that dogs like chai as much as humans. We wouldn’t be able to count the numerous times you poured water for the coffee maker onto the kitchen counter because you were half-asleep or that whole bean coffee (forgotten to be ground) doesn’t actually brew a good cup. Who could have known that we would see your 100th personal order for our coffee!? We won’t ask (too many) questions when you inquire if our blenders can grind bone or chop glass or help you to drink egg shells. And yes, “monkey poop” coffee does exist, but no – we do not sell it. You can crack stainless steel, suck sweetener packets up into your Italian espresso machine, or somehow cultivate algae in your water tank. You surprise us every day and keep us on our toes. We’ll be waiting to hear from you!
I look forward to the next 20 years and invite you to Discover Gourmet with JL Hufford!
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