Special Coffee Blend Honors Fallen Hero in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

Apr 18, 2006, 01:00 ET from Caribou Coffee Company

    MINNEAPOLIS, April 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Anyone who says
 corporate America doesn't have a heart hasn't met the employees of Caribou
 Coffee Company.
     (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060418/CLTU068 )
     When a beloved roastmaster of Caribou Coffee died in 1995 of breast
 cancer at just 33 years of age, the Caribou employees didn't just make
 contributions to breast cancer in her name. Instead, they have kept her
 memory alive for more than a decade by creating a special coffee named
 Amy's Blend on sale each spring with proceeds going to the National Breast
 Cancer Foundation Inc.
     "A company isn't an amorphous machine that makes and sells products; a
 company is made of people with a mission who all have hearts," said Caribou
 Coffee CEO Michael Coles. "Through programs like this, we are able to show
 compassion not only for one of our own, but for all those throughout the
 nation who are affected by breast cancer."
     Amy Erickson succumbed to breast cancer in 1995 at the age of 33. As
 one of Caribou Coffee's first roastmasters, Amy's bright spirit and
 cheeriness are an inspiration to an entire company.
     While working at Caribou, Amy added new meaning to the company's
 mantra, "Life is short; stay awake for it." Amy's life was short, but her
 memorial each spring keeps Caribou drinkers refreshed and alert while also
 helping a good cause. As one of Caribou Coffee's original team members, Amy
 served as roastmaster and as research and development manager for quality
 and coffee. She helped develop Caribou's cupping skills and created new
 products and blends.
     What makes Amy such an inspiration?
     "Amy believed excellence was worth pursuing, and never settled for
 average. She believed it takes experimentation to learn. She knew
 enthusiasm is contagious. Amy set her sights high, and she knew that
 because life is short, one must enjoy and be challenged everyday," said
 Chad Trewick, Caribou roastmaster.
     Amy's Blend, an annual tribute to Amy, was developed with care, passion
 and the highest-quality beans. Like Amy herself, Amy's Blend is bright-
 spirited and cheery. The blend combines citrus high notes with a smooth,
 harmonious silkiness. Underneath it all is a subtle yet delightful hint of
 melon flavor. The blend was developed from Costa Rican, Colombian,
 Guatemalan, Ethiopian and Kenyan coffee beans, some of Amy's favorite
     In honor of Amy, a portion of the proceeds of Amy's Blend and Amy's
 Blend Natural Decaf whole bean coffee sales and associated merchandise
 benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc. (NBCF). Amy's Blend goes
 on sale April 17 through Mother's Day on May 14 and can be ordered online
 at www.cariboucoffee.com. This year, Caribou Coffee, in partnership with
 The Coca-Cola Company's matching funds, hopes to donate a total of $200,000
 to the NBCF as a result of this special program.
     Shortly after Amy's death in 1995, Caribou Coffee opened a cupping
 facility and dedicated it as the "Amy Erickson Cupping and Quality
 Laboratory." Additionally, a cupping facility in Caribou's Support Center
 was dedicated in her honor on October 13, 2004. Her passion, vision and
 spirit remain part of every coffee produced at Caribou, with Amy's Blend
 paying special tribute to her legacy and to her constant dedication to the
 quality that goes into every sip of coffee at Caribou.
     Amy's mother, Marty Erickson, remains close to the Caribou Coffee
 family. "Every time I look at the label on Amy's Blend I get a little
 choked up. This coffee is a tribute to a beloved member of the Caribou
 roasting team whose vision, determination and passion for life and coffee
 inspired those who worked with her. It makes me so proud of Amy and so
 proud that Caribou Coffee still values its employees and inspires a zest
 for life 10 years after Amy's death."
     Caribou CEO Michael J. Coles said, "Amy's passion for coffee has
 remained strong with everyone at Caribou. Her appreciation for all aspects
 of the coffee business is a daily reminder to our employees that, in Amy's
 words, our products must always be excellent and never average. Amy's Blend
 is our way of not only honoring the memory of a vital member of the Caribou
 team, but also giving back to an organization that educates and helps so
 many affected by breast cancer. We hope people will help us raise money and
 awareness to support breast cancer education."
     About Caribou Coffee
     Minneapolis-based Caribou Coffee Company Inc. (Nasdaq:   CBOU) is the
 second largest non-franchised coffee house chain in the United States with
 400 stores in 15 states and the District of Columbia. Caribou Coffee opened
 its first store in December 1992 in Minneapolis. Today, over 5,800 people
 work for Caribou Coffee. For more information, visit the Caribou Coffee Web
 site at www.cariboucoffee.com.
     About The Coca-Cola Company
     The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company. Along
 with Coca-Cola(R), recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the
 Company markets four of the world's top five soft drink brands, including
 Diet Coke(R), Fanta(R), and Sprite(R), and a wide range of other beverages,
 including diet and light soft drinks, waters, juices and juice drinks,
 teas, coffees and sports drinks. Through the world's largest beverage
 distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the
 Company's beverages at a rate exceeding 1.3 billion servings each day. For
 more information about The Coca-Cola Company, please visit our Web site at
     About the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.
     The National Breast Cancer Foundation mission is to save lives by
 increasing awareness of breast cancer through education and by providing
 mammograms for those in need. NBCF works with local organizations to
 execute programs that provide desperately needed services to residents of
 some of this country's poorest neighborhoods. NBCF educates on the
 prevention and detection of breast cancer and helps provide counseling and
 treatment for those who are diagnosed with the disease. Learn more about
 NBCF or make a donation at www.nationalbreastcancer.org.

SOURCE Caribou Coffee Company