Meet Good Walk Coffee, the company starting golfers’ mornings with a different kind of tee time
Golf and coffee are strange bedfellows. Golfers are morning people by necessity, but not by nature. If you work in the game, it’s a near-guarantee you’ve witnessed a sunrise from a golf course. If you play the game, you’ve fallen victim to the sweet temptress of early morning tee times. Getting in early and (theoretically) out early is a premise woven into the fabric of golf.
Yet when golfers think of refreshments, they think of cocktails — transfusions, John Daly’s and the like — not coffee. That’s not to say golfers aren’t hardened coffee addicts (who isn’t?), merely that coffee for many is a means to an end. A golfer’s morning cup of Joe could be anything, so long as it gets them to the course in time to make it to the first tee.
Good Walk Coffee Company was born from the game’s relationship with early daylight hours, but built on the idea that golfers deserve more from their other “morning tee times.” It believes good coffee, like good golf, is something worth cherishing.
Good Walk founder Chris Mellow represents the intersection of his company’s two passions. He was raised in golf, spending his childhood between Oakland Hills C.C., where his parents were members, and a nine-hole municipal course at the foot of his grandfather’s house in North Carolina.
“[Golf’s] always been a hobby but a passion,” Mellow says. “When I was a kid, one of the first things I remember is going to the ’85 U.S. Open. When I got older, I volunteered at the ’96 U.S. Open and marshaled at the 2004 Ryder Cup. I was fortunate to have all these really cool experiences as both a fan and a player.”
Later, as he began a career in marketing between New York and Los Angeles, Mellow became engrossed in the shape-shifting world of coffee.
“The industry moved from being just about the quality of the coffee to needing to stand for something more,” he said. “The old days where it was Maxwell House at home or a good cup of coffee at a coffee shop are gone. The baseline for quality of coffee nowadays is so high.”
Then came his ‘eureka’ moment.
“There was no one really doing anything in food and beverage in golf,” Mellow said. “It sort of clicked all at once and I thought, ‘Wow, well this would be a great way to build a brand and be able to deliver at the intersection of these two passions, golf and coffee.'”
Last year, Mellow founded Good Walk Coffee Company with a handful of friends, drawing inspiration from Mark Twain’s famous quote about golf, “a good walk spoiled.”
“The name just really seemed to capture the soul of the stories from my life that reminded me of golf,” Mellow said. “It represents these great times I had with my grandpa. He and I would go out really early in the mornings and walk this 9-hole municipal course and he’d bring coffee in a little styrofoam cup.”
For now, Good Walk has three offerings: Breakfast Ball, a medium roast; Clubhouse, a dark roast; and Dew Sweeper, a French Roast. All three options can be purchased as whole bean or ground coffee, with a K-Cup line soon in the works.
As for the product, Good Walk doesn’t disappoint. Fair Trade Certified beans are sourced from three different continents and roasted at facilities in Seattle and Oakland. The coffee is as delicious as it is powerful, and if you don’t believe us, just ask the frontline workers and healthcare professionals who have been receiving big bags of beans from Good Walk since the onset of the coronavirus crisis.
It’s coffee by a golfer, for golfers. Or, in other words, another reason to look forward to your next Good Walk. If you are looking to try it yourself, you can check out their site here.