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WNC Business

New partnership creates first-ever indoor hydroponic coffee farm

Nov 03, 2023 02:04PM ● By WNC Business

TRYON – Big Guns Coffee is partnering with Isothermal Community College to unveil an innovative venture – the first-ever indoor Hydroponic Coffee Farm. This initiative will transform a 2,300-square-foot space within the Technology Building on Isothermal's Spindale Campus. 

The project is set to utilize expertise from various departments, including Robotics, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, Business, Marketing, and Video/Audio, to create a state-of-the-art coffee production facility utilizing IsoThermal's Business Incubator program for small business.

Big Guns Coffee, already a pioneer in hydroponic coffee cultivation, is now poised to elevate this endeavor to unprecedented heights. T. Shane Johnson and his 9-year-old daughter Charli Johnson, the visionary behind Big Guns Coffee, commented, "This partnership is a game-changer. It provides us with a living proof of concept to attract investors for a large-scale coffee farm right here in Polk and Rutherford County. It showcases Isothermal's dedication to fostering local community and farming, making us pioneers in the industry."

The journey began three years ago when 6-year-old Charli Johnson and her Marine Corps veteran father embarked on a mission to establish their coffee brand, Big Guns Coffee, who's name nods to T. Shane Johnson's position as a former world-record holder for pushups. Since then, they've expanded to three locations across two states.

Big Guns Coffee stands apart from the ordinary "cup of joe" by offering a range of 38 unique blends from around the globe that is high in caffeine.

T. Shane Johnson's journey, from flatlining three times to experiencing homelessness and then achieving success, has motivated him to give back. He has embarked on three treks across the United States covering more than 10,000 miles to raise funds for homeless veterans. Not only is he a Marine Corps Veteran and a serial entrepreneur, he is also a motivational speaker, an adventurer, the author of three best-selling books, a world-record athlete, and a dedicated philanthropist. Furthermore, he has ventured into the world of coffee farming. Above all, he is a devoted father.

About Big Guns Coffee:
Founded in 2021, Big Guns Coffee is the brainchild of Marine Veteran T. Shane Johnson and his nine-year-old daughter, Charli. With locations in North Carolina and South Carolina, the idea for Big Guns Coffee was born when Charli was asked to come up with a business concept she'd like to pursue. Within three months, Charli and T. Shane had launched their first mobile Big Guns Coffee location. Opening their inaugural brick-and-mortar store in Tryon, NC, in 2022, they have since expanded to three locations. Charli and T. Shane's pioneering approach involves hydroponically growing and hand-roasting green coffee beans from various countries in small batches, making their coffee available to a global online audience.