Whole Foods may take Buddy Brew beans statewide – TBO Article, by Jeff Houck

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TAMPA — Buddy Brew Coffee’s expansion plans for 2014 are underway, with its roasted beans now being stocked in several Florida Whole Foods Stores.

The company, started in 2010 by Dave and Susan Ward, previously sold coffee only at their Kennedy Boulevard cafe, at Oxford Exchange and at Duckweed Urban Market in downtown Tampa.

Whole Foods began stocking the seven styles of Buddy Brew coffee in its Tampa and Carrollwood stores in mid-December. Stores in Orlando and Fort Lauderdale now carry the line as well. Depending on sales, the brand could go statewide. Whole Foods operates 20 stores in Florida.

The expanded retail presence is part of an expansion of Buddy Brew’s Kennedy Boulevard store. The shop will grow to 4,700 square feet from 1,300 square feet, allowing the company to expand the menu, offer more seating space and provide room for a new roaster that will increase production capacity.

“It’s huge for us,” Dave Ward said. “This is our first true, big step into the grocery market. AIl I can tell you is that the potential is enormous.”

Maria Gumina, a Whole Foods marketing team leader, said the grocery is always looking for new local product providers. Other Tampa products include beers and a new line of salsa made by Cigar City Brewery.

In this case, local grocery workers who were Buddy Brew fans alerted local buyers.

“So many team members were talking to our coffee coordinator, we had to take a look at them,” Gumina said.

Buddy Brew spent about six months working to meet Whole Foods’ packaging and ingredient specifications. The grocery retailer has a policy of carrying foods with no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners, no preservatives and no hydrogenated fats.

“This could turn into a growth model for us in how we move out of the state,” Ward said.

The coffee company took over its current building at 2020 W. Kennedy Blvd. in August. The expansion originally had been expected to be finished in November. Ward said plans came to a halt when the city realized that the building, which was constructed in 1915, had never been assigned an official use by municipal planners. Almost 100 years of paperwork for everything from architecture to electrical and plumbing to parking layout had to be updated before construction could start.

Workers are scheduled to start renovation this month. The expanded cafe should be finished about six weeks later. The current cafe will continue to operate during the project.

“Right now, for us, the sky is the limit,” Ward said.

Holiday Brew Box

Check out our newest and most exciting holiday gift option, the Holiday Brew Box Gift Set!

Each gift box set comes with a Buddy Brew Diner Mug & a 12oz bag of the coffee of your choice for only $39.

For an additional $3 you have the option of replacing the diner mug with a second 12oz bag of coffee.

Happy shopping!

Mason Jar Refill Program

We’re so excited to roll out the new mason jar refill program!

It’s exactly what it seems…make the initial $4 investment in to your BBC Mason Jar, and you can keep bringing it back for refills at the discounted price of $1 off each 12oz purchase of the coffee beans of your choice.

Come by the Roastery or Oxford Exchange and grab your mason jar today!

Barrel Rested

What happens when bartenders and baristas meet for drinks?


~Your Morning Cocktail


Barkeeps need coffee breaks and coffee kids need cocktail hours. Dean Hurst, Director of Spirits for the Berns family of restaurants, is a regular at Buddy Brew and we are regulars at SideBerns “Happy Hour”. One of our SideBern’s favorites are the ‘rested’ cocktails Dean specializes in. It took barely a suggestion to get Phil, our head roaster, to experiment with ‘rested’ Buddy Brew beans. Taking a spent Three Amigos cocktail barrel, adding green coffee beans, time and careful roasting resulted in a remarkable coffee/cocktail hybrid.


Wow, the Barrel Brew is better than we hoped! The aromatics are all cocktail. Milagro Resposado Tequila, Hudson Baby Bourbon, Balvenie ‘Double Wood’ 12yr Scotch and some Averna Amaro with a note of Bitter Truth ‘Jerry Thomas’ Bitters makes for a head spinning brew sure to make you think booze. Rest assured though, the high heat of roasting renders it coffee for a teetotaler… this is not a new process, only a revisiting of an age old tradition of reuseing barrels used to finish spirits then store, ship and impart character to coffee and spirits.


Get some now! Supply is very limited and look for some more ground breaking(cocktail shattering) Barrel Brews to come.




Buddy Brew Coffee.



SideBern’s Three Amigos Barrel Brew  


Coffee: Colombia Huila


Tastes: Sweet Bourbon-Amaro-Soaked nose

with a Tequila kick. The Boozy smell gives way to

the delicate acidity and balance of the Huila.

Finishes with a long lingering woodsy-spice of scotch

and pleasant drying brought on by the barrel.


All the caffeine none of the hangover…drink-up!

Brown Bag Lunches at OE

It’s time to think outside of the bag.

Picture of Buddy Brew Coffee's brown bag lunch at Oxford Exchange


Come see us at Oxford Exchange! We are now offering lunch. Your choice of either organic chicken salad sandwich or house made hummus wrap. Either comes with your choice of an apple or banana and, of course, a cookie. Grab it and go or enjoy it at the bar. No reservations are needed – just ask! The lunches are available every day of the week and are only $11.


The Buddy Brew Coffee Bar at Oxford Exchange


Enjoy the brown bag lunch reinvented!


Buddy Brew Coffee Brown Bag Lunch at the Oxford Exchange

Bean of the Week: Ethiopian Queen City Harrar

Our Ethiopian Harrar “Queen City” brand has been developed in partnership with our long time supplier of Harrar coffee, the exporter of our former MAO Horse brand. The key feature here is the initial grades of coffee that go into the brand, along with the final cleaning, preparation, and defect removal processes. Most exporters selling “Grade 4 Harrar” will purchase a blend of high and low grade coffees, from both East and West Harrar, and do only a minimal cleaning to remove foreign matter like sticks and rocks. This is not the case with “Queen City”. Only the top 3 grade categories from East Harrar available in the ECX auction are initially purchased. After blending, the coffee then undergoes an intensive hand-sorting procedure that removes up to 25% of the beans as defective in order to ensure a preparation that is superior to any other coffee you will find from the Harrar region.

Region and Geography : Eastern sector of Harrar
Climate: June through September is the heavy rain season. Other times of the year are mostly dry.
Soil Type: Dark, rich, sandy loam
Preparation & Drying: Unwashed, full natural process with sun drying on dirt patios. Depulping and removal of parchment are done mostly by hand.
Altitude: 1800+ Meters (6000 ft.)
Harvest Period: October through December
Export Period: January through July

In the Cup:
Bright acidity, a complex body and wild fruit notes make this a great new delivery. Sweet black cherry and subtle blueberry flavors are balanced by a syrupy, dark cocoa finish.