Portland coffee supplier to Harry & David tired of wait

A coffee supplier to Harry & David Holdings Inc. is trying to make a jittery jump in line before other creditors who are after money from the struggling Medford-based gourmet-gift retailer.

Coffee Bean International Inc. filed a demand last week with the Wilmington, Del., bankruptcy court to give Harry & David executives two options: return the goods or pay up for the $128,268.76 worth of coffee it received shortly before it sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.

The Portland coffee company invoked the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, originally passed in 1930, which protects fruits, vegetables and other things that are at risk of spoiling.

Coffee connoisseurs believe that the drip is best consumed within weeks of roasting.

Coffee Bean International asserted that it's entitled to a super-priority administrative expense claim — one above most other creditors — through the act. It filed 38 pages of supporting documents that show Harry & David orders for exotic blends of beans — Northwest, Italian roast, breakfast — over a period of weeks.

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