314 Spears Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37405   (423) 266-2600

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Coffee to Satisfy Every Taste

About Us

In 1960, Mr. James Powell, Sr. founded Southern Coffee Service in St. Elmo. Coffee service was a new industry then. It quickly gained customers because the convenience of having professional coffee equipment and supplies delivered saved customers time and money, same as today.

In 1979, Vending Chattanooga was founded by Robert Berman. In 1984, Robert recognized the potential of coffee service. Learning Mr. Powell was ready to exit the business, Robert purchased Southern Coffee Service and continued the name and tradition of service and value. Southern was an "office hold" word.

In 1986, Robert saw the health benefits and demand for bottled natural spring water. The business started from scratch and was an immediate success. As the years went by, the demand for convenience and better water led Southern into the bottle-less water dispenser purification business. To manage the growth, a route management computer system was installed to make certain the Hallmark of trusted service by Southern stayed high.

In 1990, ARAMARK sold its Tri-State coffee division to Southern. ARAMARK did not offer its customers vending, bottled spring water, or water purification dispensers, so Southern grew rapidly by offering "one stop, one invoice" convenience and service for all refreshments. In 2005, single cup coffee service began.

From the back of a car start-up to 800 square feet in Red Bank, to 3,400 sq. ft. next to Nikki's Restaurant, to 15,000 sq. ft. in the heart of downtown Chattanooga, Southern's guiding principle has been trusted service and value. This is backed by a 100% money back guarantee — even if the product has been consumed.


Community Involvement

“Paying It Forward” is the term for helping those in need in your community by donating or volunteering for good causes without the expectation of receiving anything in return. Unless you choose a supplier whose community actions are deserving of your support and business. For more than 30 years, Southern’s owners, Harriett and Robert Berman, have responded to charitable requests for donations and help from nearly every 501c3 civic and charitable organization in the area from Dalton to Cleveland. Since Southern’s resources are finite, most of our donations are directed to organizations that work with children and children’s health. Another priority is requests from our customers to help their chosen charity. Naming a few is not the point; you can trust Southern to give back to the community when and wherever possible.

Similar to “Paying it Forward”, Southern’s owners have served and serve today personally as general members on the boards and as officers of many community organizations. Southern has supported the Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau for over 30 years. Southern was involved in the processes during the 1980s and 90s that led to the revitalization of downtown Chattanooga and Hamilton County, such as Vision 2000, Coolidge Park, the Walnut Street Bridge, the Market Street Bridge, and the many outdoor recreational and sporting activities for which Chattanooga is not becoming a destination. Your business enables Southern to join other families in making our community a better place for families.