Flying High Coffee Sun ’n Fun’s first choice

The folks at Flying High Coffee are busy preparing 500 pounds of top-grade coffee beans for next week’s Sun ’n Fun. The company, founded by a pilot, is the new official coffee of the airshow.

“We’ve carefully combined a very special blend of top-grade coffee beans to bring to Lakeland,” notes Rob Riggen, the founder and president of Flying High Coffee, which donates a portion of its profits to non-profit aviation education efforts. The company will be serving brewed hot and iced coffee from three locations. They expect to serve between 8,000 and 12,000 cups of coffee. “We chose three Arabica varieties from Central and South America to create a full-bodied and complex, yet accessible cup of coffee for people to enjoy during the week.”

Preparing the coffee for Sun ’n Fun

Riggen, who is a CFII and lover of fine coffee, has a personal goal of doubling the donation his company gave to the Able Flight and Girls With Wings programs in 2011. He also hopes to add another aviation not-for-profit benefactor to his program of funding aviation’s charities via coffee sales.

“The intention all along of Flying High Coffee is to provide stable and dependable streams of funding to our not-for-profit programs,” Riggen says with some pride. He estimates that many millions of dollars of profit are “pumped out” of the aviation industry each year through aviation’s voracious appetite for caffeine. He views his project as being similar to the Girl Scout Cookies program, but for aviation and with coffee. “If we can brew and sell all 500 pounds of our ‘#SnF12 Blend’ we will be in good shape for advancing our program.”

“Thank you for joining our team in a more substantial position,” emailed John “Lites” Leenhouts, president of Sun ’n Fun to Riggen earlier this month. “We all look forward to enjoying your special brew this year.”

Katie Naumec who is the Food Services Coordinator at SUN ‘n FUN this year, told Riggen, “Flying High Coffee is SUN ‘n FUN’s first choice in coffee for 2012.”

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