Alumni Spotlight

John Rounds ‘86
VMS alumni John Rounds is the owner of Ellicottville Coffee and a successful entrepreneur.
John Rounds, VMS ’86, is the founder of Adventure Bound onthefly and Ellicottville Coffee Company in upstate New York.  John grew up helping his parents when they owned Adventure Bound in the 1970s. He broadened his industry knowledge by working first as a manufacturer’s representative for many market-leading outdoor companies, later in senior sales management, and finally as a master distributor in North and South America.

John’s outdoor experience includes over 30 years of Latin American travel including Patagonia, Inca Trail treks, and a successful summit of Aconcogua.  John has a deep passion for Latin America which was a catalyst for the addition of Ellicottville Coffee Co. which was added to the Adventure Bound shop in the fall of 2019.

John has always had the dream of owning his own business and creating his own destiny. Both of his parents were entrepreneurs and business owners and he was inspired by their commitment to creating their own futures.

What important lessons can he share with potential entrepreneurs? 

Learn to say NO and always plan for any initiative to cost more and take longer than planned!
John has fond memories of his time at VMS, especially his outdoor experience trips with Buck Elliott, Mr. Abuisi’s commitment to students, and Mr. Bandoni’s enthusiasm, energy, and commitment to the soccer program.  He remembers playing games in the warm sun during midday breaks. John was inspired by Vail Mountain School in an overarching way and he continues to keep in touch with classmates and always looks forward to their updates.
He loves and misses the Vail/Eagle River Valley and hopes to expand his business back into the Vail Valley someday. We can only hope!
If you find yourself near the quaint resort town of Ellicottville, NY, be sure to stop in. They offer an artisanal coffee shop experience with an authentic outdoor store heritage. The freshest bags of Ellicottville Coffee Company beans are also available to purchase and ship! A portion of every bag sold goes to WNYMBA and Rock Autism.