Pouring Strong: A Barnie's Coffee Story
We’re Barnie’s Coffee & Tea.
Long-time local coffee roaster? That’s us. That café in the mall? That was us, too, but it’s been a while.
You see, it’s a long story – one we’re quite proud of. We’d like to think it’s fit for a long scroll of parchment (or even this blog!) with our name across the top in big, bold letters. But this is really, in many ways, your story, too. We’re only as good as the mugs we fill, so without you, dear coffee explorer, the good times just don’t taste as, well, good.
Here are just a few of our coffee-making highlights from over the years.
1979: A seed is planted
It all started with a traveling man and a magic bean. No, not THAT bean – the best coffee bean from the best Peruvian coffee plant he could find. He fiddled and tinkered with different recipes until he arrived at a blend that was smooth, balanced and delicious. Somewhere around his umpteenth and a half coffee, he realized this new morning pick-me-up might be worth sharing with someone special (that’s you).
1980: A café door opens
Once a good idea gets planted, you’ve got to water it (or coffee it, as it were). Our humble coffee hero refined his original recipe and spun some new ones. Things started moving quickly – he needed more beans and a larger roaster, for sure – but he kept the goal of brewing that perfect cup front and center. When the time was right he moved into a corner spot with a charming green awning in Winter Park, Florida. Our first café opened on that corner, and a local coffee brand was born.
1988: Flavors aplenty
Before the 1980s, coffee was…not what it is today. Sure, you could get a big mug of diner coffee for a nickel, but that cup of joe was often too bitter to stomach without tons of cream and sugar.
Not that there’s anything “wrong” with a strong, bitter brew – everything is someone’s favorite thing, after all – but it’s good to have options. Our taste for flavored coffees started there. Coffee Cake, Chocolate Mocha Truffle, Crème Brûlée: we wanted to give your morning mug every option we could. That’s also why we included the Bean Belt – that geographical map depicting the best coffee growing countries across the globe – on all our coffee packaging and the walls of our cafes. The flavor, the farmers, the farms – the beans! We love coffee and coffee lovers all over the world.
1994: Santa’s White Christmas
Madonna. Sleepless in Seattle. Beanie Babies. People way smarter than us have said you can’t predict a smash hit: you can only prepare for it.
We released our famous Santa’s White Christmas coffee as a winter seasonal blend in 1994. Like Madonna, and unlike Beanie Babies, this toasty vanilla, coconut and caramel-flavored powerhouse won you over and keeps winning your love every day.
That’s the thing: we thought this coffee was just for Christmastime. But you showed us it could for any time anyone wanted a hot cup of holiday cheer. Twenty years later, we’d say you were onto something.
The 90’s: The Mall
Oh, what a time to be alive!
There were some things you could always count on in the Nineties: Home Improvement reruns, the Buffalo Bills losing the Super Bowl and weekend visits to the local shopping mall. The mall was a magical place, where shoppers from every walk of life could come together and bask in the brilliant neon glow of the food court. Those minutes we shared together while your coffee brewed were special to us. We got to be a part of your family for a little while, and you were a part of ours. At one point we had 125 locations pouring coffee across the country.
We loved our mall cafés, but we saw some pretty big changes in how you shop (like this website) on the horizon. It was time to “fiddle, tinker, then do it again.”
The 00’s: A grocery story
Put ourselves out there, everyone said. So we did – onto grocery store shelves in the Southeast and Midwest. We met some amazing people at supermarkets like Publix, Ingles Markets, and The Fresh Market who love their morning cup as much as we do. Starting in 2003, we began shipping ground bags and single serve cups of our hometown favorites, as well as some seasonal blends, to over 2,000 stores across seven states.
2014: Finding Barnie
Who’s that handsome, mustachioed gentleman?
After a short sabbatical, we packed our rucksack and explored the wide world to find ourselves. We learned a lot. That’s how we found Barnie, the true-brew coffee explorer standing before you. You can find him climbing a tree to pick its tallest, most delectable fruit or rafting down a beautiful, vegetated river in search of a rare coffee plant. He’s a storyteller, and his story is wherever your day takes you. He’s an artist, and his canvas is your favorite ceramic mug. That’s why we put Barnie on all of our packaging. He’s our ideal selves; who we strive to be.
2018: Exploring new grounds
We’ve been getting into some crazy-delicious seasonal flavors lately – Peanut Butter and Jelly, Orange Creamsicle, Coconut Mint and Pistachio Ice Cream, to name a few. We won’t lie: coming up with the newest coffee flavor can be tough at times. We get down on ourselves just like everyone else. Then we reflect back on why we’re here in the first place: because a traveling man blazed his own path and did something magical. Every flavored coffee we roast, from the everyday blend to that off-the-wall whim, starts its journey there. Our goal is to brew coffee that’s as good, fascinating and unique as you are. It’s a lot, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
2020: No One Does Flavor Like Us
Wherever we’ve traveled, from cafés to your favorite grocers, from memories made over that one cup of coffee to outrageously, amazingly mouthwatering ideas for new flavors—your co-creativity is what continues to keep us relevant. Today, because of your loyalty to us since the day we brewed our first cup of coffee, Barnie’s Coffee has become a household name and synonymous with the words: awesome, delicious, creative, and unique (did we say delicious?). And that is why we can confidently say, no one does flavor like Barnie’s—no one.
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