It is one of the fastest growing companies in the region and Kahwa Coffee arrives in Bradenton. Like all its new stores, it will feature a drive-thru.
The company opened its first store in downtown St. Petersburg in 2006 and the Bradenton site will be its 15th, with most stores from St. Petersburg north of Tampa. Current locations include one at the University Town Center mall, one in downtown Sarasota and another in the Lakewood Ranch.
Bradenton's location will be on the Promenade Plaza in the 6700 block of Manatee Avenue West. According to the city, Kahwa will take over the former Verizon building next to Five Guys. The square also hosts the Fresh Market.
The plaza is owned by Promenade Associates LP, one of the many companies under the umbrella of Benderson Development, which purchased the square in 1993 for $ 900,000. According to the Manatee County Property Appraiser website, the property is worth over $ 5.1 million.
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The drive-thru requires a special use permit and the process is underway with the city. The project has undergone two revisions with the pre-application development committee and is scheduled to be heard by the planning committee on 17 April. From there, the final project will be directed to the city council for approval.
"We are growing rapidly," said Kahwa Coffee founder Raphael Perrier. "Bradenton and Sarasota are a great market for us, so this will be our fourth store in that area and we're looking for more. I think this is a fantastic location being on the way to the beach."
Kahwa is not just expanding its stores. He is a wholesaler for head offices, as well as local restaurants like Chateau 13, Bradenton's new restaurant on 13th Street West, which has recently opened to many fanfare.
Coffee is roasted in Tampa Bay and their website states that "bartenders do an intense workout to make sure that every coffee we serve will be the best coffee you've ever had."
So what's the funny name?
Well, it is said that coffee was first discovered in the Kaffa region of Ethiopia and while over time several countries have invented different names for coffee, the original name is said to be Kahwa.
Kahwa offers various special drinks, pastries and products online and is attentive to the environment with a recent transition from plastic straws to glass straws. To learn more, visit kahwacoffee.com.
There is no chronology available to redevelop the Bradenton site. Perrier said the first step is to have the permit in hand, which may already be at the end of April. Once the permit is hand, he said he will move quickly with the renovations.