Cup of GI Joe: Coffee helps military families
The Associated Press
Posted : Sunday May 25, 2008 8:59:49 EDT

GREENE, Maine — A Maine-based business is celebrating Memorial Day weekend by introducing a line of coffee blends whose sales generate donations to help families of members of the National Guard and Reserves.

Honor Grounds, packaged with red, white and blue labels, comes in three blends: Five Star Joe, Reveille Dark Roast and D-Day Decaf. Already available at convenience stores, the brand is being rolled out this weekend at 175 Hannaford supermarkets in the Northeast.

Honor Grounds LLC was launched last year by Catherine and John Salterio of Consolidated Services in Minot and Dan Boudreau, a longtime coffee sales representative.

“We’re hoping to get the word out this weekend,” said Boudreau, as he shook one of the coffee canisters at Landry’s Quick Stop on Route 202. “We didn’t intend for it to coincide with Memorial Day weekend, but then it made so much sense.”

A dime from each cup sold at a convenience store and 50 cents from each bag sold through a supermarket chain are earmarked for the Patriot Fund, a nonprofit charity that will disburse the money to state organizations that help Guard and Reserve families.

“There’s lots of things the Veterans Administration can’t do,” Boudreau said. “If Dad’s been deployed to Iraq and the washer and dryer break down, Mom can get help from the family assistance program.”

Boudreau, a 20-year veteran of the Maine Army National Guard, had been looking at ways to help the Guard and its families. He approached John Salterio, a food distribution consultant, and together they came up with the idea of selling branded coffee and dedicating part of the profits to the cause.

“We’re hoping when people see Honor Grounds coffee, they’ll get a cup and from that, a little donation will be made to family assistance in their own state,” he said.

Catherine Salterio, who set up the Patriot Fund and the Honor Grounds Web site, said people can track the donations quarterly by clicking on

Honor Grounds, which features short biographies of military personnel on the back of each bag of coffee, is available in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, Iowa, Minnesota and Kentucky.

“It’s an opportunity to give back and to continue my service,” Boudreau said. “We’ll do this as long as people lend their support and have a desire to support their country.”