When Tom Bartels bought North Pole Coffee Roasting Co. 16 years ago, he made sure that running an Alaska coffee business was never a grind.

Bartels took over a small family-run wholesale distribution company that employed just three people. He expanded North Pole Coffee as America’s thirst for coffee and cafe culture was taking off.

Today Bartels owns and operates a company that percolates along with the robust coffee economy. North Pole Coffee offers products and services that extend from distribution and retail to equipment sales and repairs.

“We like to say that we take care of everything from seed to cup,” Bartels said, referring to the reach of North Pole Coffee, which is based in Fairbanks and employs about 40 people.

“We saw this as an underdeveloped opportunity, and we’ve never looked back,” Bartels said about the expansion of North Pole Coffee in greater…

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