HomeNewsBlack Rifle Coffee Company founder: People are hungry for a brand that...

Black Rifle Coffee Company founder: People are hungry for a brand that represents them

van Hafer, a 20-year U.S. Army veteran and Black Rifle Coffee Company founder and CEO, concedes his brand may not be for everyone, and he is OK with that even as the company eyes a public markets debut.

“There are a group of people that truly love their country and they are passionate about serving their communities, those are my people. I think there are a lot of places in the United States that represent their values and their connections. To be honest with you, I am not really that concerned. I love this country. I am never ashamed to say that. I love the wide variety of people that have served this country in varying capacities. I love connecting with my customers across the country,” said Hafer on Yahoo Finance Live.

Black Rifle Coffee — founded in 2014 by the former Green Beret — has been somewhat of a lightening rod for controversy in recent years amid its support of the police and marketing to Trump supporters. The public scrutiny of the brand has masked a good company story. Some 60% of the coffee upstart’s workforce are veterans and it has had a solid growth story — one that is coming to the stock market soon.

The company said Tuesday it would go public by merging with a SPAC backed by Engaged Capital. The deal values Black Rifle at $1.7 billion. About $225 million in cash will go onto Black Rifle’s balance sheet after the deal closes in the first quarter of 2022.

Black Rifle will use the cash to open more retail stores beyond the seven it has now and lay the groundwork for greater distribution at supermarkets and convenience store chains.