The path to Kahwa Coffee began in Philadelphia with a love-struck French barista pouring heart shaped cappuccinos to win the heart of a professional dancer/instructor who was a regular customer. Six months of persistence paid off.
Years later, after they had developed considerable business experience, their shared passion for coffee and coffee roasting led them to start their own business here in Florida.
What makes them unique:
The husband and wife team of Raphael and Sarah Perrier founded the Kahwa Coffee Roasting Company in 2006 in St. Petersburg. They focused on wholesale roasting rather than retail coffee until they were selected as the coffee supplier for a French restaurant in Disney’s EPCOT.
The world-famous French chef, Paul Bocuse (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Bocuse), chose Kahwa for his Les Chefs de France restaurant in 2008 and coffee sales took off. They opened their first retail cafe in St. Petersburg the same year.
Today Kahwa has 14 retail locations and over 800 wholesale customers, according to their website. Dun and Bradstreet estimates the company revenues at $5.6 million. Kahwa’s site says they are the largest independent coffee roaster in Florida.
Their coffee is also featured in Publix Super Markets around the Tampa Bay area. (Publix is also a family enterprise.)
The story of Raphael and Sarah’s courtship is reflected in a lovely 31-second video on the About page of their website. It’s titled, “Caffeine”.
Their online store offers a full line of various coffees in whole bean or ground and K-cups. Apparel and gift boxes are also featured. Many of the items are available in the retail cafes as well.
If you’re exploring the Tampa coffee culture, Kahwa is not to be missed.
Indoor seating: Yes
Food service: Yes
Whole beans for sale: Yes