Meet Floyd Sr. and Floyd Jr.

The second and third generations of Goodsons carried on the tradition of sourcing and roasting the best coffee.

Bud Takes the Reins

After James’s death in 1913, his son, Floyd Peck Goodson, called Bud, took over the company. Only 23 years old, Bud didn’t care for the grocery business, but he sure loved the search for great coffee flavor. He began a series of changes and innovations that eventually equated the Goodson name with flavorful coffee

At the time, most customers bought their coffee green and roasted it at home. In 1919, looking for a way to make coffee more convenient for busy farm families, Bud set up a small roaster in the second floor of a garage on his property. In 1921, he sold the grocery business and moved the coffee company to Knoxville. During his lifetime he expanded into other profitable products, including their famous mayonnaise, and peanut butter made by roasting peanuts in an old coffee roaster. But it was the wonderful aroma of roasting coffee that became a familiar signature in downtown Knoxville. 

From the late 1920s, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Chet Adkins, Roy Acuff and other country music stars extolled the virtues of the family’s coffee and other products. In 1959, the family opened an instant coffee plant, called “the first truly modern instant coffee plant in the south.” It paved the way for tea production, which began in 1965. 

In the meantime, the rest of the family was busy as well. The Morristown-Hamblen Library stands today as a testament to the generosity of Floyd’s sister Meta, whose donations made the library possible. She and her family were honored through the opening of the Goodson Room for local history archives. 

Floyd, Betsy and Buster

Floyd Junior, his wife, Betsy Moffitt Goodson, and their faithful companion, Buster the bulldog, continued the family’s work in search of the best beans and most up-to-date processes for making quality coffee. Along the way, Floyd and Betsy became fixtures in Knoxville’s business and social community until Floyd’s untimely death in an airplane crash in 1964. Floyd’s sisters, Lady Goodson McReynolds and Mary McKinney Goodson, were regularly seen in the fashion pages. Lady, a well-known equestrienne, became an award-winning airplane pilot.  

Floyd and Betsy’s son, James F. “Jeff” Goodson, holds the reins of Goodson Bros. Coffee today, while Lady Goodson McReynolds’ grandson Matthew McReynolds represents the fifth generation of Goodson family master roasters. 

For a peek inside Goodson Bros., take a virtual tour of our facility. And be sure to meet the head cat in charge. Click here to meet Max


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