Updated 5 yearss ago
Barnie's Coffee & Tea, founded in 1980, has rebranded as Barnie's CoffeeKitchen and gone smaller after a series of setbacks.
Orlando-based Barnie's Coffee & Tea helped launch the modern coffeehouse-cafe concept 30 years ago. But after growing to more than 100 outlets, the chain fell victim to increased competition and a few strategic stumbles. Now down to a handful of outlets close to home, the company is remaking itself as Barnie's CoffeeKitchen, adding more seating, gourmet dishes and a renewed focus on high-quality java.
Former Darden Restaurants executive Jonathan Smiga was promoted to CEO in 2010 to revitalize the privately held company. He opened the first redesigned outlet at the flagship downtown Winter Park location in November. The rebranding positions Barnie's closer to an upscale quick-service outlet, with a Culinary Institute of America-trained chef overseeing the menu and an on-site kitchen, which offers trendy breakfast and lunch items, freshly baked cookies and snacks.
Smiga promoted longtime Barnie's staffer Anne Valdez to vice president of coffee and tea.
Made-to-order micro-roast batches are sold along with other Barnie's coffees, including seasonal selections.
Smiga also is selling the company's branded coffees in more than 1,200 retail outlets, including Walmart and Publix. The changes are forecast to boost Barnie's annual per-store revenue to more than $1 million, Smiga says, with total company revenue expected to double to $20 million within a year. The redesign is being rolled out at other company-owned outlets, including a new location in downtown Orlando.
Chicken panini with goat cheese, grilled veggies and tapenade