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..