Buddy Brew roasts coffee uniquely to create art and culture


Established in 2010, Buddy Brew Coffee seeks to provide Tampa and its visitors with an unparalleled coffee experience. As a single origin roaster entirely in-house roasting, Buddy Brew features the highest quality beans, rather than blending different types of coffee.

“We only buy the highest quality coffee beans, and they come from all over the world. We just got some in today that came from Colombia,” says Roast Master Phil Holstein. “We’ll play with those until we figure out the best temperature to roast them at and how long, and then we go from there.”

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“Roasting in-house is something that most coffee shops don’t do anymore, but it allows us to listen to the customer and really pay attention to what they like and don’t like,” says Buddy Brew Coffee Owner Dave Ward. “We are also able to sample different coffees from around the world and really manipulate them to find which profiles work best for us.”

Buddy Brew is locally recognized for its talented baristas and unique decor. Each barista goes through specific training so they can make every cup of coffee a work of art. Even the coffee accessories are pieces of art.

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Dave Ward and his wife, Susan Ward, are both the founders and owners of Buddy Brew Coffee. Coffee has played a significant role in their relationship since it began, and they turned their love of coffee into a hobby.


“Buddy Brew Coffee was really born out of me and my wife’s passion for coffee,” says Ward. “As a matter of fact, the first thing I ever even bought her was a coffee maker. How romantic is that, right?”

Dave and Susan began roasting coffee beans at home and were shocked to find how much of a difference the freshness made on the taste of the coffee. They began sharing their coffee with family and friends, and soon the word spread and the demand for Buddy Brew Coffee required a full-time employee.

“Susan and I both quit our jobs and began to do this full-time. Four months later, we hired an intern, and he became our first employee and he’s our store manager today. His name is Josh Bonanno, and he’s a great guy. Today we have 40 employees, and that number keeps growing,” says Ward.

“I love working here because the customers are so nice and give so much positive feedback. It’s a great environment to be in, and you really get to build relationships with the people that come in here,” says Barista Gabrielle Hekhuis.

Buddy Brew recently added beer and wine to their menu, and extended their hours of operation. Buddy Brew has also added a “brew truck” that travels to local events and private parties. For more information, visit buddybrew.com.

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