First Beverage Group Hires Starbucks Veteran Josh Groff

Los Angeles, CA – March 4, 2011 – First Beverage Group today announced that it has hired a new Associate, Josh Groff, for its new strategic consulting division, The Beverage Intelligence Group (BIG). Groff will report to the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Joth Ricci, for the second time in his career. He previously worked for Ricci as Brand Manager when the two were at Jones Soda Company.

“We are very glad to have Josh on board,” said Ricci. “One of First Beverage’s primary strengths is our ability to attract top talent, and with the addition of each new member to our team comes another unique set of skills. Josh’s industry experience, gained by working with brands such as Starbucks, Jones Soda and Miller Brewing, will add significant value to the First Beverage family of companies.”

“I am excited to be a part of the innovative team at First Beverage,” said Groff. “The unique capabilities they bring to the beverage segment create best-in-class services and provide continued growth opportunities for operators.”

Groff comes to First Beverage from Starbucks Coffee Company, where he was a Product Manager responsible for launching Starbucks VIA Ready Brew into the food, drug, mass and club channels. Prior to that, he worked at Jones Soda Company as a Brand Manager in charge of re-branding the core Jones Soda line and was responsible for market analysis, packaging refresh, SKU rationalization and go-to-market strategy. He has also worked as a Marketing Finance Associate with Miller Brewing Company and as a Program Coordinator with Burton Snowboards. Groff has a BA in Finance from the University of Washington and a Certificate of International Business Studies from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.