Coffee wars heightened after incidents at local stores

By Curtis Riggs | April 29, 2009

David Anderson arrested for theft
CAVE CREEK – The local coffee wars heated up last week with the arrest of David Anderson, former Cave Creek coffee shop owner and coffee wholesaler, on theft charges for removing Firecreek Coffee displays from both the Basha’s in Carefree and a grocery store at Grayhawk in north Scottsdale.

Dave AndersonAnderson’s ire was directed at his former Firecreek partner, Mike Funk, who now operates the Firecreek coffee shop in the La Kanza Center in Cave Creek.

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Anderson for theft last week in the Carefree incident. Scottsdale police are expected to file similar charges for the Grayhawk incident.

At issue in the disagreement between the two former partners is who paid for the cabinets and other parts of the display in both stores. People close to the issue say the problems cropped up when both Anderson and Funk found out the other former partner was contacting their clients in an attempt to sell them wholesale coffee.

Anderson had been ordered to stay away from the Firecreek coffee shop after an altercation he had with a Firecreek employee.

“It was a reaction to him losing a number of accounts,” Funk said about the two problems in the stores.

Funk estimates the signs taken from the stores by Anderson were worth over $1,000 and that he destroyed that much in coffee by pouring it onto the grocery aisle floor.

Anderson said he did “nothing overboard” in either incident.

He called the Firecreek coffee shop incident, which led to a restraining order being filed against him a “joke."

“I never hit anybody,” he said.

The coffee battle between Anderson and Funk has affected other coffee purveyors in town.

“I wouldn’t do anything formal while the situation is so volatile,” present Cave Creek Coffee Company owner Todd Newman said with respect to entering into an agreement with Anderson for wholesale coffee.

Photo: Dave Anderson