| 03.17.2018

From the south came a coffee


‘Vandal Blend’ coffee on shelves at Moxie Java

When Boise-based coffee company Moxie Java began its rebranding process, Vice President of Business Development and Strategy Ken Stokes said it transitioned. Rather than market its blends by region, the company wanted to market them by attitude. One of those attitudes, he said, is Vandal pride. 


Jackson Flynn | Argonaut The new “Vandal Blend” is available in grounds now, and may be available in whole beans and k-cups in the future.

Many of these new blends will ring familiar for Idaho natives. Celebrating things like Idaho’s iconic green belt or firefighters, new blends include Sprocket Buster, Bunny Slope, Hot Shot, Bronco Blend and, for the first time in the company’s history, the north-inspired medium roast Vandal Blend.

“Our promise to customers is to infuse every day with Idaho flavor,” Stokes said. “We’re really embracing a local strategy and celebration of both Moxie and Idaho lifestyle. Our partnership with UI makes complete sense in that we want to celebrate what goes on on campus day in and day out in the north.”

Stokes and the rest of the Moxie Java team began communicating with the head of Vandal Solutions, a student-run, non-profit business group, about a Moxie Java presence on the University of Idaho campus about a year ago. Since then, they’ve come up with a development plan, and the first piece of the puzzle, Stokes said, is the launch of the 12-ounce bag of Vandal Blend coffee beans.

Vandal Blend became available for purchase after Thanksgiving Break. Stokes said it could probably be found at tables, kiosks or via door-to-door sales.

Stokes said the company is exploring opening a Moxie Java location on campus as well as in Moscow for the spring semester. No specific locations have been finalized yet, but Stokes said collaboration with Vandal Solutions and a group of Art and Architecture students is ongoing.

Besides distributing coffee and possibly opening physical locations, Stokes said there are several social media initiatives Moxie Java plan to implement, and he said he hopes to launch an app that will allow students to place orders from their phones to pick up in-house.

Jackson Flynn | Argonaut The Vandal Solutions team, Ashley Garber (left), Emily Lanterman, and Nichole Pagano(right), help bring a new Moxie Java flavor of coffee to UI.

Jackson Flynn | Argonaut
The Vandal Solutions team, Ashley Garber (left), Emily Lanterman, and Nichole Pagano(right), help bring a new Moxie Java flavor of coffee to UI.

“It’s exciting, and we have pretty aggressive plans for campus,” Stokes said. “I don’t want to talk about it at this point until we’re just a little farther down the road, but we’re looking at very exciting opportunities, not only for the UI business school, but for other schools as well.”

If collaboration with UI continues to go well, Stokes said he expects to instigate projects with other Idaho universities, as well.

“This collaboration is very mutually beneficial,” he said. “I would love to expand this to other schools in Idaho. This is our first run through. I don’t see it as replacing our current business development model. I see it as a wonderful addition.”

Hannah Shirley can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu

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