Danny O'Neill 2011
BA Political Science and International Studies ’83
Kansas City, Mo.
Ever since “Bean Baron” Danny O’Neill founded the coffee company The Roasterie in 1993, he has been sharing his love for great coffee – and, more importantly, his generous spirit – with the world.
The Roasterie purchases all of its coffee at a minimum of 30 percent over established Fair Trade pricing and contributes a percentage of its purchases back to the communities in which the beans are grown. O’Neill’s St. Drogo Foundation has completed service projects in Brazil, Costa Rica, and Colombia and worked with WaterPartners to help provide accessible, sustainable, community-level water supplies.
O’Neill and The Roasterie also provide tremendous support to the local Kansas City community, benefitting more than 150 charities and donating money and coffee to worthy causes under O’Neill’s unofficial motto: “We say yes to everyone.” Furthermore, O’Neill has given back generously to Iowa State, where his coffee is sold in five campus cafes. He regularly speaks to students on campus and supports an annual scholarship. He has also hosted many functions for the ISU Alumni Association Club of Kansas City.
O’Neill is active with the Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program, Kansas City Urban Core, the Park University Board of Trustees, the Rockhurst University Board of Regents, and the boards of the Kansas City Irish Museum, Kansas City Chamber, Missouri Restaurant Association, and Kauffman Fast Trac. He is a member and past president of the Specialty Coffee Association of America.
Among the many awards O’Neill has received are the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year (1997), Kindest Kansas Citian Award (2010), and the Inner City 100 Hall of Fame. The Roasterie has received the U.S. Chamber Blue Chip Award and recognition among Kansas City’s top 10 small businesses (1998, 2010). It was also named Ingram’s magazine’s “best place to work in KC” in 2011.
O’Neill and his wife, Carla O’Neill, have two children: Terry and Sophia. They are ISU Alumni Association lifetime members.