Get a Kick with Prospectors Cold Brew Coffee

By Jane Whitttington on September 29th, 2015 / Comments

David Wentworth and Eric Pearson have been friends since grade school. Now they have also become business partners in Prospectors Cold Brew Coffee, an up-and-coming entry into the ever-expanding coffee universe. What they call the “original energy drink” is a healthy alternative to chilled coffee drinks sold in conventional coffee shops.

Wentworth was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, thus limiting his diet, and friends like Pearson supported his healthful eating habits. Wentworth was always on the lookout for healthy beverage options, and he loved coffee. But because of the diabetes, he wasn’t able to order chilled coffee drinks at his usual coffee shops.

Pearson, on a trip to California on business, picked up some cold-brew coffee and sent it to Wentworth. It was so good that they started talking about creating their own brand for the Michigan market. Three years later, after extensive research and development, Prospectors Cold Brew Coffee is now available in over 100 retail stores and is on target to grow that number even higher.

The regular process of brewing coffee by the pour or drip method often results in a somewhat bitter and acidic flavor. Iced coffee generally just means that regular brewed coffee is poured over ice, thus diluting the coffee.

The website Food52 calls cold brewed coffee “iced coffee’s cooler sibling” and cites its lower acidity level, less dilution and higher caffeine per cup. In addition, it is naturally sweeter and needs little or any sweetener for those who like their coffee on the sweet side.

According to Wentworth, “We worked with Rowster, a Grand Rapids coffee roaster and coffee shop, to come up with the best beans for our product. We used high-quality, Fair Trade, organic Arabica beans from small farms in Guatemala. We worked in the Grand Rapids City Market Incubator Kitchen to create our cold brewed coffee. Our final product is rich and complex.”

Right now, the partners have three products: original, extra strength and almond milk. Wentworth says, “The extra strength is a bottled espresso and is about 15 percent stronger than our original. The almond milk version adds a splash of unsweetened almond milk. We also sell a concentrate in either five- or ten-serving bottles.”

Powered by Wentworth’s marketing background and Pearson’s experience in the food industry (he works for the family company, Pearson Food Corporation) they launched their products into the marketplace and, in a remarkably short time, Prospectors Cold Brew Coffee has become a staple on grocery shelves throughout Michigan. It is currently sold at D & W Groceries, Kroger, Whole Foods, Horrocks, Harvest Health, Kingma’s and other smaller outlets. Lipari Foods, a Detroit area food distribution business, is now carrying their product and distributing it to more than 50 locations.

New products are being developed and include: seasonals like Pumpkin Spice and Mexican Mocha; almond maple, their almond milk flavor with a touch of organic Michigan maple syrup; and Nitro, their original coffee jazzed with carbonation.

For more information, visit their website at


About the Author

Jane Whitttington

Jane Whitttington

Jane Whitttington is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Grand Rapids. A Michigan native and Michigan State University grad, she enjoys reading, travel, politics and volunteering.