Community Coffee based in Baton Rouge announces Tom Corely as its new CEO

Community Coffee based in Baton Rouge announces Tom Corely as its new CEO

January 09-2024

Coffee Geography Magazine

Community Coffee, based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, names Tom Corley as the incoming President and CEO effective January 15, 2024, as part of a planned CEO transition. Tom will succeed David Belanger, who in July of last year, announced his intention to retire after 12 years as CEO and a 25-year career with the Company. 

Mr. Corley began his career as a Sales Representative with General Foods, Inc (now KraftHeinz) in Alexandria, Minnesota, where he worked for over 30 years and was responsible for $18 billion in revenue in his last role as President of Sales and Foodservice. Since then, Tom has held various executive roles leading sales and marketing organizations, and most recently he was a board member and commercial advisor to several consumer packaged goods companies.

Matt Saurage, Chairman of the Board of Directors stated, "On behalf of the Saurage Family and the Board of Directors, I am very pleased with the election of Tom as our incoming CEO and Board Member. Tom joins us with over 30 years of Consumer Package Goods and Foodservice experience and has a proven track record of building effective teams and delivering business results. I am confident that Tom will drive growth of the Company, while upholding our Values and ensuring world-class consumer experiences with the Community® brand." 

Tom will be relocating to Baton Rouge with his wife of 36 years, Maggie. He stated, "I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to be your new President and CEO. I know that I have big shoes to fill, and I am grateful to be part of this brand's continued growth and success. Thank you to the Saurage family, the Board, and our employees. I am committed to serving you and look forward to our future together."

As previously announced, Belanger's retirement has been planned and to ensure a seamless transition he will remain with Community Coffee as an Advisor and Board Member until his retirement in June 2024.

community coffee logo

Community Coffee is a coffee roaster and distributor based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States. It is the largest family-owned coffee brand in the United States, controlling 52% of the market in South Louisiana and 72% in Baton Rouge, and employing over 850 people. The company has distribution throughout markets in the Southeastern United States. 

Community Coffee originated in 1919 when company founder Norman "Cap" Saurage began experimenting with coffee blends at his two grocery stores in downtown Baton Rouge. Demand for the coffee increased to the extent that by 1923, Saurage moved his coffee production to a converted barn, and in 1924, left his grocery business to focus on coffee alone. 

The company now imports coffee beans from Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico through ports in New Orleans and Houston. Twenty years ago, the coffee company had entered into a deal with the Abahuzamugambi farming cooperative in Rwanda, facilitated by the PEARL agricultural program, to purchase Maraba coffee. This was the first direct contract between an African farming cooperative and American coffee roaster.