Earlier this week, CL reported that St. Petersburg’s Kahwa Coffee revealed it was expanding to the Mall at University Town Center in Sarasota. But the specialty roaster, turns out, has also joined forces with Publix to introduce new in-store cafes offering signature cups and bags of Kahwa across the southeastern U.S. — beginning with Bradenton and Winter Garden, where cafes are now open.
Their partnership, announced Wednesday, coincides with the launch of Kahwa’s Cubano blend, which was specially developed for the cafes (located near the entrance of each Publix). Strong and robust with a sweet finish, the blend tastes best when used for espresso and cafe con leche. It’s set to roll out at existing Kahwa locations in the coming weeks.
As for Publix, the Lakeland-based grocery chain plans to grow its cafe program throughout the Southeast, targeting 130 stores similar to Winter Garden and Bradenton before the end of 2018.
“We are absolutely over the moon that Publix is working with a local Florida roaster,” said Raphael Perrier, who’s owned Kahwa with his wife Sarah since 2006, in a statement. “Consumers like to enjoy coffee as they shop and tasting the product is the best opportunity to create a lifelong customer and drive sales for Publix.”
Sarasota’s University Town Center isn’t the only forthcoming location Kahwa is working on, either. The roaster also has an outpost coming to Tampa shopping mall International Plaza.
“Even with 12 cafes and dozens of restaurant partners in the Tampa Bay area, these two new locations provide a level of foot traffic that will expose even more people to the Kahwa Coffee brand,” Sarah said. “We also appreciate that malls bring many tourists, lots of them international, which can open opportunities in other markets.”