Littlefoot Coffee Roasters receives 2021 Entrepreneur of the Year award from the MSU Product Center

Grandville, Michigan based business honored for their creativity and commitment to community.

Alex Burbo and Rosie Quasarano toast to being named the MSU Product Center 2021 Entrepreneurs of the Year
Alex Burbo and Rosie Quasarano toast to being named the MSU Product Center 2021 Entrepreneurs of the Year. Photo Credit: Kraig Ehm of MSU.

On May 6, 2021, Littlefoot Coffee Roasters based in Grandville, received the 2021 Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Michigan State University Product Center during their Making It In Michigan conference. This award recognizes an emerging MSU Product Center business that achieved unique accomplishments and growth. Alex Burbo and Rosie Quasarano are the owners of Littlefoot Coffee Roasters, which roasts and provides a variety of seasonal single origin and blend varieties – both whole bean and ground.

“We are honored to receive this award from the Product Center,” Quasarano said. “This has been a challenging year in so many ways, and we’re extremely grateful to all of our supportive customers, the incredible coffee farmers we work with, and our strong wholesale partners. Together we got through it. We are excited to continue our growth and look for more ways to build community in 2021.”

Mollie Woods, director of the MSU Product Center said, “We are honoring Littlefoot with this prestigious award due to their innovative business success and their commitment to supporting others. The business was able to raise more than $4,000 for struggling cafes and coffee shops, as well as nonprofits, through their Coffee for a Cause campaign, and donated more than 120 pounds of coffee to their café partners to help them re-open after the pandemic shutdown. This demonstrates the type of creativity, innovation and community commitment that Michigan food companies will need to be successful in the long term. The MSU Product Center congratulates Littlefoot on their leadership and success during one of the most challenging years in recent history.”

Burbo and Quasarano launched their business in 2017 and opened their Grandville warehouse in 2019.

“We do our very best to honor the hard work and energy that goes into growing coffee. This starts by sourcing directly from farmers when we can, building relationships with trusted importers, and always paying above fair-trade pricing. We expertly roast each and every batch of our coffee to highlight an origin’s unique qualities,” Burbo said, adding he and Quasarano have personal relationships with coffee farmers.

Littlefoot Coffee can be found in over 20 stores in Michigan including select Meijer stores and Westborn Markets. They also have a coffee subscription service with weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly options. In addition to growing their own company, they are helping two other women-owned coffee companies by roasting for their private labels.

Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan State University Product Center help entrepreneurs and businesses to develop products and service ideas into the food, agriculture and bioenergy markets. Its team of experts consults with clients on a one-on-one basis, helping new entrepreneurs navigate from concept development to launch. The MSU Product Center also offers specialized services such as labeling, packaging, and nutritional analysis. If you are interested in business counseling from the MSU Product Center, please visit our website at www.canr.msu.edu/productcenter or call 517-432-8750.

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