Farmer Bros. Co. is an American coffee foodservice company based in Northlake, Texas. The company specializes in the manufacture and distribution of coffee, tea, and approximately 300 other foodservice items used by restaurants and other establishments. Mike Keown serves as the CEO of the company. In 1912, Roy E. Farmer started a small business roasting coffee beans and selling them door to door in Los Angeles, California. Following a decade of success, Farmer incorporated in 1923 while simultaneously expanding the scope of the company to include the sale of coffee equipment, marked by the acquisition of Western Urn Manufacturing. As the company grew, they began opening branch locations throughout California, quickly establishing a notable presence in developing San Francisco. Starting in the 1930s, Farmer Brothers diversified to include the sale and distribution of not just coffee beans and equipment, but a wider selection of supporting foodservice items. When Roy E. Farmer died in 1951 at age 59, his son, Roy F. Farmer assumed control of the company. The transition proved hard on the company as the younger Farmer was forced take the company public in 1952. As Roy F. settled, he was able to greatly improve production efficiency and increase profit margins. In the following years of Roy F. Farmers tenure as chairman, CEO, and president, the company reached a peak of $240 million in sales in 1998. At this point the company had nearly 100 branches in 29 states in the Western US. At this same time, however, the company became mired in shareholder unrest; shareholders demanded greater transparency into the companys operations and market strategy, wanted executives to work with Wall Street analysts, and wanted independent directors added to the board. Despite this, the company remained fairly private and closed to the public. At the time of Roy F. Farmers death following a more than 50-year stint heading the company (he was 87) a successor had not been named.