A Historical Perpective: Gourmet's Choice Coffee

Here's a story, and a GREAT ONE that is the actual story of my very first encounter with a true "Penny" stock.  As a fairly new stock broker working for one of Wall Street's major wire houses, I was into stocks and their stories and busily "selling the sizzle" to anyone who would give me 30-seconds.  Those were the cold calling days.  No clients.  No assets under management.  Just a new set of NASD Series licenses and a beautiful office from which to dial for dollars...12-14 hours per day, 6-days per week.

 Mentored by some of the older, saltier brokers who actually had clients and assets, I took particular interest in a guy who liked "Penny Stocks."   He was always excited, seemed like his ship was about to come in, showed up early & stayed late, and led by example...challenging us with sales figures and call numbers. He was a machine! His enthusiasm every day was simply infectuous!

Anyway, he shared a story...of a coffee company that used to be touted by talk show host ART LINKLETTER.  Back then, when they would go to commercial, ART would walk to a table on the set, pick up a can of GOURMET'S CHOICE COFFEE, and begin pitching it---live.

I'm 50.  I remember the show and the pitch.  It was touted as "Simply the finest coffee around."  

As I recall, the story was that in 1984, the Gourmet's Choice Coffee plant had a fire that burnt it to the ground.  By ten years later, a wealthy speculator (and retrospective Baby Boomer no doubt) had bought rights to the name and gone public with shares in an effort to resurrect Gourmet's Choice Coffee.  The trade symbol was GMCH, and it was selling for a nickle when I learned of it in 1997.  Here's an article I found from 1997 that relates: 


Anyway, I bought 100,000 shares ($5000)...and sat back.  Well, in a very short time (about 6-weeks), even without a prevalent Internet (still in infancy in American homes then), impressive news released through PRNewswire shot that little stock up from $0.05 to $0.85 in just one day.  I started selling, and by the time I no longer owned 100,000 shares, my average sell price was $0.63...a VERY nice return on a $5000 initial investment, six weeks earlier.

I was hooked and haven't let up yet now 12-years later.  They don't all work like GMCH, and as I have written before in several of my blogs, I bat around 20% on picks...not good for baseball, but EXCELLENT in the realm of penny stock investing!

Best to All,


Community Talk

Re: A Historical Perpective: Gourmet's Choice Coffee

Another great story! I unfortunately don't remember that coffee company.

Starbucks must have been another one to just explode. I wonder if they started on the pinks..

Re: An Historical Perpective: Gourmet's Choice Coffee

That's a great story. Thank you for sharing. I love how you describe the nostalgic drive for someone to re-purchase the brand - maybe that's partially what drove up the stock price as well.

I wrote a blog post about coffee a few months ago, trying to value coffee's impact on the US economy: http://vukicevic.blogspot.com/2009/06/catalyst-coffee.html You might find it interesting.