The “Native Business Top 50 Entrepreneurs” list serves to elevate awareness of the innovation, professionalism, competence and tenacity demonstrated by Native entrepreneurs across Indian Country. Native Business is rolling out profiles of these 50 Native entrepreneurs online, in no particular hierarchy, to document and memorialize their innovation and self-determination. The inaugural class of the Native Business Top 50 Entrepreneurs recognizes leaders across 13 business sectors, demonstrating the diversity of industries where Natives are making an impact. Among the entrepreneurs recognized in our Food sector is Bill McClure.
Bill McClure started NativeAmericanCoffee.com with his daughter, Ellie, in 2008. The proud Muscogee (Creek) owner attributes a lot of his success to hustle and old-fashioned business practices. Native American Coffee, a business-to-business and wholesale company, has sent out 40,000 handwritten notes with its orders, and generally includes cookies with each one. About one million cookies to date, in fact.
McClure employs a strong hire-Native preference at his 12,000-square-foot operation in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and three quarters of his 14 full-time employees are Native American, he says, from the Choctaw, Cherokee and Creek Tribes. “I love training young people,” he says. “It opens the door for young Native Americans to build a new career.”
He also counts some Tribes as his customers, including the Muscogee (Creek) Nation where he supplies both their casinos and some of their offices as well. In addition, the firm supplies a number of small airlines, as well as Campbell’s Soup, a number of different Fortune 500 companies, and some hospitals and hotels.