Small OCS Operation Earns Big Business With Great Service And Expanded Offerings

Dec. 11, 2017

Kevin and Ladonna Hill, owners of A Cup Above (ACA) Coffee Service, are relatively new players in the office coffee service industry, but that has never stopped them from jumping right in the game. In the five years the Dallas-Fort Worth area duo has been in business, they have grown to four employees and $250,000 in revenue by focusing on superior offerings and exceptional customer service.

From brick and mortar to OCS

Kevin and Ladonna have always had an interest in coffee. As owners of a brick and mortar coffee bar and coffee/bagel shop, they were consistently trying new coffees and looking at coffee trends. Therefore, when the Hills were attending a home and garden show about six years ago and met a distributor of Saeco Rubino machines, it piqued their interest. “One thing led to another and we were in the office coffee business,” said Kevin, with a laugh. Eventually the Hills sold their brick and mortar locations and went full-time to OCS.

Today ACA provides service for small and large companies alike. In fact, it landed three Fortune 500 companies and a large dealership. ACA predominately offers bean-to-cup and single cup offerings with Cafection, Saeco Rubino and My Cafe AutoPOD Brewers. Other brand offerings include Nestlé Vitality Vitamin Enhanced Waters and the HID312 Meridian Ice/Water Dispenser.

The service that customers need

Customer service is the single driver of growth for the company, says Kevin. It’s what makes them successful. “We probably over-service our accounts, to be honest,” he said. “We’re all about service. We don’t want to ask the customer to do much with the units, and in our opinion you can certainly put too much of the burden on them. We don’t like to do that.” The company has never lost a customer because of service and it’s easy to see why. First, service repairs are fixed within three hours – a feat even the most seasoned OCS operations have trouble executing. “Since we’ve already been in the coffee business, we understand how important it is to our customers,” said Kevin. “We drop everything to service an account because we know it can make or break someone’s day.” Second, ACA listens to its customers’ wants and needs and finds a way to make them a reality.

The desire to give the customer what they need led ACA to begin offering pantry service two and a half years ago. “We had a client ask us if we did snacks and drinks and we said ‘yes’ even though at the time we didn’t. We had no idea what we were going to do, we just knew we would figure it out,” said Kevin. “They’ve actually kept adding and adding. Anything they come up with, we say ‘yes’ and we find it and get it. I think they really love it.”

ACA additionally opened its first micro market two months ago. “[Opening a micro market] has been a learning experience – and we have learned a lot,” said Kevin. The company had previously done research on micro markets a year and a half ago based on client-request. “I basically found that this was an offering we needed to be prepared to do because once you get into the coffee business, you’re going to have people asking you, ‘What else do you do?’”

As for the future of the company, the Hills are optimistic. “We’re at the point now where we’re going to have to make a decision where we want to go,” said Kevin. “We are getting to the point where we’re going to have to bring on additional employees and we just picked up a couple good-sized accounts, so now we need to make a decision of what’s next.” For now, however, the duo will focus on servicing their customers and providing a gourmet coffee experience. “We’ve been really blessed,” said Kevin. “We have a lot of great customers.”

Want to learn more about ACA Coffee Service? Check out their website at