While working for Grimmer Coffee Company, makers of Creole Belle, brothers Louis and Will Begnaud dreamed of one day owning and operating their own coffee company. In 1936, they decided to make the "big leap.” So, with all of their savings, they started Mello Joy Coffee Company. Mello Joy became the talk of the town, and dreams became reality as the people of Acadiana began calling it their own.
Times were tough from the beginning, but the brothers were determined to be key players in the Louisiana market. Louis eventually bought out his brother to become the sole owner of Mello Joy, and it was not long before the smells of the Cajun coffee were creating lasting memories for decades to come.
It was the winning spirit Louis created for his company that made Mello Joy the must-have coffee for Cajuns from the 1940s through the mid-1970s. Mello Joy was everywhere, making it the No. 1 coffee brand in Louisiana.
In 1976, Louis sold Mello Joy Coffee Company to a regional competitor which had struggled to break into Acadiana’s loyal market. Within a few years, the Mello Joy brand was phased out and only the competitor’s brand was available to consumers. Mello Joy fanatics were left with nostalgic memories. After more than two decades of absence from the market, Mello Joy was revived in 2000 after years of consumers asking, "What happened to Mello Joy?”
The resurrected Mello Joy Coffee Company, based in Lafayette, Louisiana, was formed under the new ownership of majority Partner Wayne Elmore, Co-Vice Chairman of Communication Corporation of America, CEO of Louisiana Physician Corporation, Mississippi Physician Corporation, Southern Benefit Services, Chair Slippers, LLC, and E-TennisBalls.com. In addition Mr. Elmore is a highly respected business, philanthropic, and civic leader.