Bay Area Coffee, Inc.
- 4201 Industrial Way
Mitch Lison and Tom Waterman first met at Hills Bros. Coffee, Inc. which later became a subsidiary of Nestle Enterprises. A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Lison earned a degree in Marketing from John Carroll University, an MBA from Xavier University in Cincinnati and, among other accomplishments, helped build Hills Bros. into one of the nation's leading roaster of food service industry coffee. The California-born Waterman earned a degree in Sociology from California State University Hayward, and first concentrated on the area of human resources, developing labor contracts and policy for Hills Bros. Here the two began to truly cut their teeth on the coffee business, sitting with industry elders at informal roundtable discussions at San Francisco restaurants and bars, including several such as Boondock Bay that later lent their names to specific Bay Area Coffee brands. Inspired by the integrity inherent to the coffee business where a handshake means more than a contract and a man's word is as precious as life itself Waterman left Hills Bros. to purchase and operate one of the largest green coffee warehouses on the West Coast, and then owned and operated two gourmet coffee stores in The City. Meanwhile, Lison became the vice president and general manager of the Nestle Beverage Company's Gourmet Division, securing new business with major grocery chains and increasing sales volume by more than 50 percent over three years.