04 Mar Good to the Last Drop
Philip Brown moved to Athens, GA in the mid-90s to play music in a touring band. Like many young rockers, he needed a day job. Signing on at Jittery Joe’s Coffee, he went from barista to management; apprentice roaster to running the tasting room, and learned every aspect of the coffee business. He also met his wife Geneva along the way. As Geneva was finishing her Ph.D., the couple contemplated a move. From Nashville, Asheville, Atlanta, Charleston and Savannah, they narrowed it down to Charleston and Savannah, then Geneva got a post-doc.
“Savannah is awesome,” says Philip. “I don’t even have a car.”
Philip found a space in Starland on Craigslist and leased it as a “cheap, easy way to get started.” Perc Coffee Roasters officially opened in 2010. “I started with chefs. No one wanted to be the first to work with me, then they would get mad if I worked with anyone else! I thought about my business like a record label with different bands that had different needs and ended up doing a lot of custom special blends for different places around town.”
“I brewed coffee at a Meddin Studios event and at some point a woman approached me and said, I’ve always wanted to open a coffee shop. It was Jen from Foxy Loxy and Coffee Fox. I worked with her on the coffee and helped her develop her concept and she became my biggest client… until Whole Foods came along.”
“Once Whole Foods opened, we were way under capacity. I needed more space and another roaster. Beth helped me find the East Broad space and was super helpful in putting the deal together. Perc operations moved over here in 2012. We clear coated floors and walls, did some minor electrical work and were good to go. I love the space so much, sometimes it’s hard to leave.”
Who: Philip Brown and Co.
What: PERC Coffee
When: HQ open M-F, 10am – 6pm; Saturdays at Forsyth Farmers’ Mkt, 9am – 1pm
Where: HQ located at 1802 E. Broad Street; Find PERC Coffee in fine establishments all around
Why: Because you love delicious coffee
Cool Factor: Every Friday, 11am, PERC holds a tasting at HQ that is open to the public. “We are trying to bring along the culture of coffee in Savannah.”
Growth: The production and bottling of cold brew coffee is getting a big push this summer. PERC Coffee is currently in 10 Whole Foods stores throughout the Southeast, with plans for more. “As long as we can maintain quality of product and service, I want to keep growing.”