Well, we managed to do what felt like the impossible: We opened our new Buddy Brew Bay to Bay café in Tampa on Dec. 2, in the middle of our busiest season, not to mention a global pandemic!
Located at 3304 West Bay to Bay Boulevard, it’s our seventh location, and we couldn’t be more proud. This year has been challenging for everyone, to say the least. So when we saw people lined up for the grand opening with smiles on their (masked) faces, it was a moment of joy for the whole Buddy Brew family.
Dave Ward, our co-founder, told reporters, “Besides the opening of our first cafe on Kennedy Avenue, this has been the most exciting so far. Seeing this space take shape during such a challenging, unpredictable year has been a source of great joy for us. We’ve put a lot of love into it and we can’t wait to share that with our customers.”
For those who don’t know, owners Dave and Susan Ward began roasting specialty coffee beans with a commercial roaster in their garage in 2007. The flagship Buddy Brew cafe and roaster opened at 2020 West Kennedy Avenue in 2010. Six more locations have since opened across the region, including coffee bars inside the Oxford Exchange, historic Park Tower and the Tampa International Airport. Additionally, Buddy Brew whole bean and ground coffees are available in independent cafes and retail partners across the state, including Whole Foods and Publix.
Even with all the growth Buddy Brew has had over the past decade, it’s still a family-run business with a small team of dedicated staff members who believe in coffee as a conduit for love. Co-founder Susan Ward says, “We started this business because of our wild love for coffee. There is something magical that happens over a good cup of coffee. It brings people together and creates a sense of community. We think that’s so important, especially during this difficult time.”
The company motto, “Brew Good; Do Good,” tells you everything you need to know about how the Wards do business. They are committed to sourcing coffees ethically and sustainably, and giving back to support small coffee farmers — especially women-owned co-ops in Rwanda, which provide work and fair wages for the many widows in the region. And Rainforest Roast supports the reforestation of the Kibira Rainforest in east-central Africa for every bag sold.
Buddy Brew also engages in numerous charitable partnerships right here in the Tampa Bay area. For example, the seasonal Joyride Roast supports a very cool Tampa organization, onbikes, which provides bicycles to needy kids all year around, including foster children.
It’s been a wild year but much good has come of despite challenges, including seeing so many loyal customers coming out to support Buddy Brew. Now that the new Bay to Bay café has opened, we have even more reason to rejoice.
We hope you come check out Bay to Bay soon! It is beautiful and inviting, from the classic black and white tile floors (gold-embossed with the company motto), to the gorgeous lounge area with a cheery neon sign that says: Share Joy; Inspire Hope.
While you’re here, you can shop Buddy Brew coffees and merchandise, which make for great holiday gifts. Who doesn’t want to give a gift that gives back?
Don’t want to get out? All products and gift sets are available online as well, and are boxed and packed so beautifully, they are ready to go right under the tree.
Happy Holidays, and we hope to see you soon!
Visit Buddy Brew’s online store.
Follow @buddybrew on Instagram. #BrewGoodDoGood
Members of the press and influencers, email Joanb@buddybrew.com or text (615) 438-8475 for a tour and additional information.
By Joan Brasher, Buddy Brew Communications