BIRMINGHAM, Ala., U.S. – Royal Cup, Inc. (Royal Cup), a leading importer, roaster, and distributor of premium and specialty coffees and teas, today announced that Chip Wann has been named president & chief executive officer, effective immediately. Wann, who most recently served as the company’s chief operating officer, becomes the first non-family leader for the company.
“Chip has successfully led our company on a path of modernization while maximizing efficiencies across the board. His commitment to our customers, team, and product lines solidified our confidence in his ability to lead our team for the long term,” said Bill Smith Jr., chairman of Royal Cup’s board of directors.
Wann joined Royal Cup in 2017 as chief financial officer, managing corporate finance, accounting, commodities, information technology, pricing, and procurement, and providing overall financial leadership and strategy. He was named the company’s first chief operating officer in April 2019 and, in that role, oversaw all aspects of Royal Cup’s day-to-day business and personnel decisions. Prior to his tenure at Royal Cup, Wann served as the chief operating officer and chief financial officer for Birmingham-based Mspark, and also held executive-level positions in the healthcare and insurance sectors.
“Royal Cup is positioned well for growth in our highly competitive marketplace,” explained Wann. “With the investments made by our team in our people, processes, and systems, I am confident in our ability to continue offering our customers the experience they have come to expect from us, while driving profitable growth for the company.”
Former President and CEO, Bill Smith III, will transition to a new role within the organization, serving as a Director and Strategic Advisor. Smith will focus on new and unique opportunities for the Royal Cup brand, as well remain an active member of the board of directors.
“I could not be more supportive of this thoughtfully planned succession for Chip. Since he joined our organization, I have sought his counsel and support on many key decisions facing our organization. His sound and intelligent advice has played an important role in the factors that have driven our organization forward,” said Bill Smith III.
Royal Cup, which has been owned and operated by the Smith family since 1950, is one of the nation’s oldest and largest family-owned coffee and tea businesses. The company sources, roasts, blends, and provides high-quality coffees and fine teas across the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean through 10 distribution centers and more than 860 employees nationwide, including nearly 400 in Alabama.
“Since 1896, Royal Cup has been focused on excellence,” added Wann. “We are a company rooted in a continuum of five key tenets: quality, integrity, people, support, and value. As we look toward the future, we will remain committed to these tenets, maintaining and enhancing the quality of our products, acting with integrity in all that we do, remembering that it is our people who make us special, supporting our customers in all facets of their businesses through partnership and service, and celebrating the real and intrinsic value that Royal Cup offers.”