Shaw Supports Kahwa by Pouring Morning Joe



Mayor Willie Shaw could be found Wednesday morning prepping drinks at Sarasota’s newest coffee shop. Kahwa Coffee, a St. Petersburg coffee roaster opening its first location in Sarasota, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony early Wednesday and Shaw participated with some behind-the-counter service as well. “I know the technique for a latte or a Stephanie’s Special or a regular coffee,” he joked afterward. On a more earnest note, Shaw said the opening of the cafe was the latest sign that business in Downtown Sarasota continues to thrive. “It shows there is enough for everybody in the way of enterprises,” he said.

The environment was enough to attract company owners Sarah and Raphael Perrier to open here. The Sarasota location extends the reach of Kahwa as far beyond St. Petersburg as it has ever gone, and Raphael said the growth in the area makes that move possible. “It’s about the whole atmosphere,” he said. And Kahwa has enough of a local following of Sarasotans sipping the coffee during weekend visits or after commuting to the city that demand was reaching a fever pitch. Routinely, the Kahwa team heard requests to open in Sarasota.

Sarah expects the brand to do well. Kahwa roasts its own coffee, mixing flavors from South and Central America and from India into custom brews. “We have a specific taste that no one else has,” she said. Opening up within blocks of other local and corporate coffee shops, the Kahwa owners remain confident in their product. And located next to a rising residential development on Second Street, they expect many new locals will make Kahwa a favorite stop each day. 

Photo by Wyatt Kostygan

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