A Reflection on 80 Years

Every morning, you wake up, brew fresh coffee, and chat with your family about your upcoming day out of habit. While you go about your routine, what you probably don’t think about is that there is another family, much like yours, that carefully selects the beans you enjoy. That family is ours, with over three generations of expert coffee roasters who care about the quality we deliver.

As we celebrate our anniversary, our family is proud to provide quality, delicious coffee for families and businesses for 80 years! Here’s our family’s story and how we got to where we are today:

How it Began
In 1941, our grandfather Elwood Torke moved from Chicago to Sheboygan after making a career change and joined our great grandfather, Adolf Torke, who had previously purchased the Sheboygan Coffee Company. Elwood quickly strapped up his horse, loaded coffee into his buggy, and delivered hand-roasted coffee around Sheboygan with his father.

With Elwood’s help, the Sheboygan Coffee Company became Torke Coffee.  

The Growth
In 1956, Elwood’s son and our dad, Ward Torke, joined the growing family business. After working with trade roasters, our family decided to purchase their own roaster.

According to Ward, “[The roaster] changed our whole quality control and our interest… we had to be in a range of the competition’s quality or better.”

Another important factor in the company’s growth was credibility. As Ward became immersed in the company, he saw the potential in the coffee wholesale market. Ward developed relationships with local restaurateurs and pioneered one of the industry’s first complete coffee solutions, including reliable brewing device service.

“If even on a Saturday night, your coffee brewer failed, we would come to fix it, which we still do today,” states Ward. “The biggest thing for our company at the time as far as growth was credibility.”

Torke’s Impact
Credibility and reliability have carried through to today with our hands-on customer service. In early 2000, we joined the company as President and Senior Vice President. After experiencing the company’s operations from childhood, we made it a mission to continue the company’s success and impact on customers and the community. 

Most recently, we worked to launch the Every Cup Gives initiative, a program that allows customers to give back to charities and organizations with every purchase. Giving back has always been a part of our family’s values, but the initiative is the next step in elevating Torke Coffee’s impact.

According to Jay Torke, President, “We are most excited about the future of the Every Cup Gives initiative because we know that we’ve really only scratched the surface in what we can do. We feel that moving forward, the sky’s the limit.”

Celebrating 80 Years
For generations, our family has been invested in the company’s success and our ability to give back to those who support us. That investment, and the investment of our customers, has led us to where we are today, celebrating a successful 80 years!

“I’m extremely happy to be running a company that is celebrating 80 years. I’m really blessed that I do love coming to work every morning because I don’t think that’s the case for everybody. I love coming to work, I love working hard, and I love watching the success of working hard,” states Jay.

According to Ward, he feels “very positive [about the anniversary]. We’ve been through a lot of things, ups and downs… you can’t know success unless you’ve had failure.”

“We have given our heart, soul, and our whole family to this company. For us as a family, celebrating 80 years in the same business, it’s a pretty cool accomplishment. I’m very proud of our whole family for all that we have given and all we have done,” states Lynda.

We could not make it to where we are today without the support of our customers! Join us in celebrating 80 years and shop your favorite Torke Coffee roasts!

-Jay Torke, President, & Lynda Torke, Senior Vice President

Jay and Lynda Torke pose for photo

Every Cup Gives

Join our family in giving back by shopping Torke Coffee. 

Our mission is to give back to the people and communities who support us. By buying Torke Coffee, you give back with us, and together - We're there.

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