Picture this: you’ve just had your favorite meal, made exquisitely at a local restaurant for lunch. The meal was so comforting and filling that it made you drowsy enough to take a nap. Unfortunately, you have a meeting, so you can’t go to sleep. You order a cup of coffee to swiftly rejuvenate yourself and upon the first sip you twist your face — the coffee is unpleasant.
This was Philip Brown’s pitch 11-years ago when he started proposing that local business owners make the switch from their unsatisfactory brands to Perc Coffee.
“I took it to local restaurants who I knew really took their food seriously and I thought ‘What better to pair with great food than a great cup of coffee at the end?’” said Brown, co-owner and founder of Perc Coffee. “The last thing that you want to do is send the customer away with a little bit of disappointment at the end of their meal.”
Photo courtesy of Perc Coffee
A Perc Coffee team member deals with coffee beans at one of the local Savannah locations.
Brown’s method to spread the word about his coffee was simple.
“I had a small space in Starland — about 300 square feet — and a roaster and a grinder inside, and I had a backpack where I’d put all my coffee,” he said. “On a bicycle, I’d ride around town and get people to try it.”
Expanding from its humble beginning, Perc Coffee has opened two new locations in Atlanta since Fall 2020: one in East Lake and the other in Virginia Highlands.
Since 2010, the brewery has grown popular across the South, serving both large companies and small local businesses including Brighter Day Foods, nine of The Fresh Markets in Georgia, 43 Whole Foods locations, local Foxy Cafe’s and more, according to the owner.
Like the majority of businesses that continued operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Perc Coffee team can attest to recent changes and struggles, but they have not allowed the challenges to slow them to a halt.
“It’s so easy to accept when things are not going well because you made a mistake or a misstep and it causes you to suffer the consequences,” Brown said. “COVID-19 was something where you could be doing the best work possible but it could still cause you to close your doors.”
The pandemic shut the 1802 E. Broad St. location Perc Shop down for several months, but the owner says that he and his team found ways to adjust during that time.
They upheld safety precautions for the roastery which included not allowing any guests into the café at the café headquarters, Perc Shop.
"One of our favorite things to do is to be able to serve coffee to people and some of the most important parts of coffee is the community aspect.” — Jesh Perez, Perc Shop Manager
“Because Perc Shop is attached to our roastery we really wanted to be as careful as possible to keep our staff safe and make sure that we had coffee flowing out the doors to all of our accounts,” Brown said.
They came up with innovative ways to make sure the roastery doors stayed open during the pandemic including splitting the staff into two teams, each with specific shifts scheduled, so if one team got sick the other team could continue to run the operation.
Now that the Perc Shop is back open, with a 100% vaccinated staff, the Perc Shop Manager Jesh Perez is excited for him and his team to be getting back to work.
“It’s really exciting that we were able to open up after being closed here for such a long time,” Perez said. “One of our favorite things to do is to be able to serve coffee to people and some of the most important parts of coffee is the community aspect.”
Photo courtesy of Perc Coffee
The Perc Coffee team members celebrate the opening of the local Savannah locations.
The Perc Shop manager said the shop has a minimal setup right, and that setup includes some new outdoor seating where guests can come and enjoy out-door live music. Some additional café developments to arrive as early as June will include dine-in seating and an in-door coffee bar.
“We just want to provide good vibes and welcome everyone to have coffee,” Perez said.