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Palmetto coffee shop & roastery now open.  Free shipping on all orders over $25

Palmetto coffee shop & roastery now open.  Free shipping on all orders over $25

Palmetto coffee shop & roastery now open.
  Free shipping on all orders over $25

Our personal experience at Banyan Coffee as a small business and why we should buy local

Small business Saturday shouldn’t just be once a year. It should be a habit for us or at least thought about when considering any purchase.  Investing in a local business has many impactful benefits. At Banyan Coffee we wouldn’t exist without local support from coffee fanatics. We aren’t only a local coffee shop in Palmetto, but a local coffee roaster that started in Bradenton, FL. We have since opened our first brick & mortar coffee shop in Palmetto. Our coffee story, as you may or not have heard,  started with one simple word: local. Folks and local businesses in the area believe in our vision and our coffee, so they invested in the product. We hope we can return the favor to others by purchasing more local items for the coffee shop.

Banyan’s origin started with the Bradenton Farmers Market. There was a public need for coffee on Saturdays, therefore Realize Bradenton brought Banyan Coffee Co. on board. At the farmers market we learned a lot about small businesses and what it really took for one to function. It’s that Saturday grind that started before sunrise when most people are sleeping in from a long work week. Most folks would consider sleeping in and perhaps make their own coffee in the morning, but instead we woke up earlier and started to brew for others.  We set up and prepared for a busy morning along with many other small business entrepreneurs. 

The best part of doing the farmers market is when the coffee truck is set up and you have a few minutes to walk around and shoot the breeze with some of the other local vendors. You see, at the farmers market it takes a different breed to work here. After about 6 hours of working, we all have to tear down what we just created, pack it up, take it home, and reorganize. Thirty-four weeks of being dedicated to the farmers market can take a lot out of someone. It takes sacrifice and dedication to do the farmers market. Those are the things we learned from the Bradenton Farmers market. It’s not just us or the other vendors at the market but the people of the city that come out and support this local cause. This is the closest thing to “shopping local” that you can get. Almost every Saturday we use some of our funds from customers to purchase other vendors’ products. We almost never pass up the BBQ or sausage & biscuits, not to mention the plants and home goods.  The money you spend at the market usually stays in the area. American Express and NFIB found that for every dollar spent on a small business, nearly 70 cents stayed in the area versus 45 cents when spending at a big box store. Why wouldn’t you invest in the farmers market and your local small businesses?!

What got us into coffee in the first place was to impact our local area as a small business. Nobody was roasting specialty coffee in the Palmetto/Bradenton area at the time, and the majority of your “local coffee roasters” come from other areas like Tampa/St. Pete or even out of state. When you buy out-of-the-area roasted coffee most of that money is leaving your local town. As a result, that money does not benefit the community. Many local coffee shops weren’t using small business coffee roasters because they didn’t really exist. Therefore we felt a need to start Banyan Coffee.

Another personal experience is that we felt the area wasn’t educated in the specialty coffee field. Most folks probably do not understand what specialty coffee has to offer and the quality of coffee that specialty coffee provides. Fresh & local coffee didn’t seem to be on anyone’s radar either. Now more than ever before coffee has become a “coffee convenience.” This comes by way of drive thru coffee, coffee that is on one’s way to work, or coffee shops near the home. Consumers buy coffee straight online more than ever before. Many people buy coffee in the grocery store because it’s part of the grocery list. But with this convenience we need to question some things so we can know we are buying the right coffee.  Ask yourself this: Is this coffee local? (most coffees aren’t) When was this coffee roasted? (if it’s more than several weeks old it is stale by now). You can check out one of our first coffee blogs on fresher coffee to get a better understanding. Finally you can always buy online to ensure the freshness of your coffee. (at least at Banyan coffee)
So many folks hesitate to try new coffee shops because they might be more disappointed than the coffee shop who’s average but a safe option. This is why Starbucks is so popular. They have mastered the convenience and the consistency of their product. Whether you like their coffee or not this is why they are so successful because you can expect the same thing every time.
If you’re wanting to change and start trying more local coffee, we need to get used to trying other coffee shops by stepping out of our comfort zone. Personally, we think there are some great strategies to improve your coffee shop experience, so we created a few things to be aware of. We think Google or Yelp can give us a detailed blueprint of that coffee shop. Ask yourself: Do they have an espresso machine that is not from the 1970’s or an espresso machine that looks like it’s for home use? We have seen way too many of these coffee shops that have used household espresso machines and the odds are not in your favor. Honestly when we travel outside of Bradenton & Sarasota we first investigate coffee shops by pre-eliminating the obvious. Look at customer reviews and see if their point of view is valid.  Customers also take photos of their coffee experience. We also noted some shops that roast their own coffee tend to appreciate coffee more because they not only have to stand behind their drinks but their coffee beans as well. We appreciate coffee shops that make homemade syrups too. It’s those extra steps like creating your own syrups that take time and show a passion for the quality of a coffee drink. Don’t always look at ascetics for great coffee. Yes, a great atmosphere can make your coffee experience better, but the coffee can still be disappointing. Some hidden gems can be in less appealing locations or they care more about their coffee than about their appearance.

If you have any questions about how you can make a difference in our community please feel free to reach out to us at  or stop by our Palmetto coffee shop.