Army Specialist Joe Cornall buys a hot coffee at the Green Beans Cafe trailer, which is next to the Burger King and Subway sandwiches trailers, at Camp Udairi in the Kuwait desert.
“We had a vision, and we knew that this was the future for the Gulf. There are a lot of Americans overseas, and no one was going out there to serve them,” Jon said. “We have hot bar drinks like espresso, café mocha, cappuccino, hot chocolate and chai, which is an ancient Indian recipe of spices in a warm-milk base. Our cold bar drinks are frappes in chocolate and vanilla, as well as mocha. We have all the hot drinks on ice. We serve fresh-baked daily sweets: muffins, doughnuts and cookies.”
Jon said the idea behind his and his brother’s business was and is to serve only military troops in the Gulf region.
“The mission is to put cafes on U.S. military bases and to support operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. We were the only coffee company that wanted to go where no one else was willing to go. We wanted to provide a service that the troops needed,” he said.
The Green Beans Café now has 10 locations throughout the Gulf region. Jon said he and Jason plan to expand as the needs of the troops dictate.
“It’s a double reward. Definitely it’s rewarding when your company becomes profitable, but it’s also rewarding when you know you’re inspiring people. They come to us and say, ‘Thank God you guys are here,’” he said. “We go where the troops go, and if that means going into Baghdad, we are ready. That’s our job.”