Boutique Coffee

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Summary of the interview at the 2017 Stay Boutique Leadership Conference with
Colby Barr, Co-Founder, Verve Coffee Roasters


With a vision of seed-to-cup, farm-to-table as the future of the consumer coffee experience, Verve Coffee co-founder Colby Barr set out to build the best coffee in the world. Maybe it was from his experiences growing up in a family that farmed pears and grapes in California, but Colby seemed to have the right instincts to know how to develop business relationships, find the best products, and collaborate with those who share the same vision. “There is an emotional thread to it all,” he says, “but it’s really about how to get the best coffee.”

Verve creates a sense of community within its business with the intention to seek out those who they want to have an audience with. He recommends an ‘S.P.A. treatment’ approach; Service, Product, and Atmosphere. “Practicing hospitality is a core that our company is built on, but design is an important part of our spaces too. Our stores feel more residential than commercial.” Colby says.

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He believes that the conversion of high-end boutique and coffee is what people want and now is a great opportunity for boutique hotels to figure out how to implement it into their offered experience. “No one wants to go to a great restaurant and the coffee sucks.” Colby laughs. “It’s not about being fancy, it’s just the expectation.”

Verve’s collaborating with partners of like-minded businesses includes doing a cafe on the Facebook campus as an extension of them wanting to elevate their coffee experience. “We’re growing, and we have ambitions.” Colby shared. “Staying founder-run and founder-controlled is how we plan to keep our mission intact and bring our team along with us.” With nine stores currently open and a second shop opening in Japan soon, Verve Coffee is well on it’s way to becoming the best coffee available in households and boutique hotels around the world.