Michael Haft

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Michael Haft
BornNovember 3, 1986
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Marine Corps
Years of service2009-2013
Commands held1st Battalion 9th Marines, Weapons Platoon, Charlie Company
  • War on Terror
  • War in Afghanistan
Alma materWashington University in St. Louis
Spouse(s)Sofia Haft
  • Robert Haft (Father)
  • Herbert Haft (Grandfather)
Other workCompass Coffee (founder)

Michael Haft (born November 3, 1986) is an American entrepreneur, veteran, venture capitalist, and business executive best known as the CEO and founder of Compass Coffee, a Washington DC-based chain of coffee shops.[1][2][3] He is also known for his service as a United States Marine Corps Infantry Officer in Afghanistan.[4][5]

Early life and education

Haft was born on November 3, 1986 in Washington DC to businessman Robert Haft and Mary Haft, who is known for his work in the retail industry, including the Dart Group and Crown Books.[6] His grandfather is Herbert Haft, a prominent American businessman who founded the Dart Group.[6]

Haft attended the Maret School in Washington DC.[7] Haft went on to attend Washington University in St. Louis where he received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) with a focus on Business and Entrepreneurship.[8][9]


Military service

In 2009, after his junior year at Washington University in St. Louis, Haft attended the Officer Candidates School (United States Marine Corps) and was commissioned a second lieutenant upon graduating college the following year.[10] Haft was trained as an infantry officer and was eventually assigned as a weapons platoon commander to 1st Battalion, 9th Marines.[11] Haft led his platoon in Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom to support the War on Terror embedded with the Afghan National Police in the Helmand Province during 2011.

Compass Coffee

After his military service, Haft returned to Washington DC where he founded Compass Coffee.[6][12][13] As of 2023, Compass Coffee is a well-known chain of coffee shops in the Washington DC area. Under Haft's leadership, the company has grown and expanded its presence in the region to 17 locations.[1]

Made in DC

Haft designed the Made in DC logo and has testified before the Council of the District of Columbia on manufacturing and business issues.[14][15] He was an avid prominent of the DC government supporting local businesses.


Michael Haft along with Harrison Suarez has co-authored a book named, Perfect Coffee At Home.[16][17][18]

Personal life

Michael has been married to Sofia Haft, who is the director of communications at Anduril Industries and a public affairs officer in the US Navy Reserve.[19][20][21] Michael has won 2017 DC Chamber of Commerce’s Community Impact Award.[22]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Deutch, Gabby (2021-03-17). "The Jewish Marine behind a proud D.C. coffee institution". Jewish Insider. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  2. Angell, Melissa. "When the Pandemic Put His Coffee Shop on Ice, This Founder Turned the Downtime Into a Teachable Moment". Inc. Retrieved July 14, 2023.
  3. Ravindranath, Mohana (2023-04-16). "At Compass Coffee, data is the secret ingredient". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  4. "OFFICER PROMOTIONS FOR JUNE 2013 AND PROJECTED OFFICER PROMOTIONS FOR JULY 2013". United States Marine Corps Flagship. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  5. Werman, Marco; Boyd, Clark (August 21, 2013). "Two Marines Trade in Combat Coffee for the Perfect Cup at Home". The World. Retrieved July 14, 2023.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Judkis, Maura (2021-12-02). "From the Ground Up: Legacy and legwork". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  7. "Michael Haft '05 : Courage, Coffee, and Connectedness". www.maret.org. 2023-09-05. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  8. Tabb, Michael (2012-10-22). "U.S. Marines return to thank alma mater - Student Life". Student Life - The independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  9. Parker, Deb (2012-10-23). "Marine alumni return to campus". The Source. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  10. Judkis, Maura (2023-01-23). "With Compass Coffee, two former Marines find their way home". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  11. "If War Is Hell, Then Coffee Has Offered U.S. Soldiers Some Salvation". NPR. July 25, 2016. Retrieved 2023-07-14.
  12. "Michael Haft Speaks with Georgetown Students on Business Development". americas.georgetown.edu. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  13. "Compass Coffee Owners Form 'Americans For Real Good Coffee' Super PAC". Washington City Paper. 2016-01-15. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  14. Wright, Sarafina (2017-01-18). "Compass Coffee Opens in Convention Center". The Washington Informer. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  15. https://lims.dccouncil.us/downloads/LIMS/34954/Committee_Report/B21-0514-CommitteeReport1.pdf
  16. "Michael Haft and Harrison Suarez - The New York Times". archive.nytimes.com. 2013-08-16. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  17. Blake, Ben (2013-07-11). "First Look: Perfect Coffee At Home, A Brand New Book by Two Former Marines". sprudge.com. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  18. "Taking the military's coffee obsession to the next level". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  19. Okun, Eli (2023-05-30). "Playbook PM: Conservatives roar on debt ceiling and McCarthy". POLITICO. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  20. Wall, Alix (2023-06-09). "Sharing the 'Call for Service' and a Life Together". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  21. White, Jeremy B.; Bloom, Isabella; Massara, Graph (2021-11-22). "Big changes coming soon to the Capitol". POLITICO. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  22. Donner, Kathleen (2017-11-10). "DC Chamber Recognizes Compass Coffee". MidCity DC News. Retrieved 2023-07-13.

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