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The Daily Grind In an industry of high-visibility brand names, they don't have one. So how does this family's coffee company stay in business?

By Michelle Prather

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Take one post-grad challenging the theory of Father KnowsBest paired with a sister who can sell anything to anyone.Throw that familial fire into a ring with the champs of not onlythe instant coffee domain but the grocery world, and what do youget? A ferocious battle from underdogs full of determination. Theymight not win the match--in fact, they accept that's nearlyimpossible. But they know how to survive. And until they'reactually pinned, defeat will not be in their vocabulary.

Meet the team members of Ryan Coffee Co., the San Leandro,California, maker of Victorian House Concentrated Coffee: Greg RyanJr., 36, president and CEO; sister Heather Ryan-Dubé, 35, headof sales and marketing; and their father Greg Ryan Sr., 64, head ofinstitutional sales and licensing. Sounds ultra-professional foryour average family-owned business--but then again, typicalfamily-owned ventures tend to steer clear of markets dominated byKraft Foods Inc., Procter & Gamble and Nestlé, the largestfood company in the world.

A new variation on the age-old mom-and-pop story: In this one,the MBA-awarded son sees potential in the stagnant idea Mom and Popare sitting on and has to convince them there's a better way.Who knew concentrated coffee could cause such controversy?

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