Black and Brew

When you walk in you are greeted by cozy atmosphere and comforting aromas. 

Down town is the heart of my city just like many other cities. It's historic, peaceful, bustling, classic, and trendy  all at the same time.  From car shows, to festivals, to parades if there's an event free to the public it will most likely be hosted in down town Lakeland orbiting around Lake Mirror or Munn Park.

Munn Park is surrounded by buildings that were built as early as the 1920s. Nestled in there, right across the street is Black and Brew.  Beyond the out door seating area are large black doors that swing out towards the street.  Inside you will find what the name suggests. Coffees, lattes,  and espressos.  However, you will also find bistro type sandwiches both hot and cold. I highly suggest the Honey Ham and Swiss or the Grilled White Cheddar with the soup of the day.  When you walk up to the counter you won't miss the display case full of goodies.

Turtle Cheesecake.

Side note: A plus for me, I am diabetic and often my choices for a low sugar flavored drink at a coffee shop tends to be slim short of regular coffee w/ some Sweet & Low packets. You have to add for the milk and whipped cream (if you add that), but the sugar free vanilla flavoring has 4g of  total carbs (they let me look at the nutrition label). The milk and whipped cream will add a few more to that, but still very reasonable amount of sugar in a sweet drink. Just anFYI for my sugar intolerant friends.
The staff are friendly, hard working, and seem to genuinely enjoy being there. 

I reached out to the owner, Chris McArthur, for my Small Business Saturday project.  He jumped on board and I asked him to answer a few questions about him and his business.

Chris McArthur/Owner

  • 1) Names of the owners of Black and Brew: Chris McArthur 2) If more than one: How did you meet and how long have you known each other? I opened Black & Brew with my brother and best friend Michael. Michael later sold me his ownership so that he could pursue music full-time. 3) What year did Black and Brew open? 2006 4) Why coffee and dinning? We didn't initially intend to open a restaurant, but we learned very quickly that being an entrepreneur meant being flexible. Adding a well thought out, yet simple menu of soups, salads, sandwiches and flatbreads has been one of the best decisions we've made along the way. Our desire was to be a true third place - a place where anyone could come at any time for any reason. A community hub of sorts. Part of creating that space involved having products that people can enjoy at all times of day. We felt we could better accomplish our mission with an offering of both food and coffee. 5) What non menu items do you sell and why have you chosen these items (for example your coffee bean selection)? Not sure what you mean by non menu items. We source our coffee beans from Lakeland's only local commercial roaster - Patriot Coffee Roasters. (Which I happen to own as well). So obviously we take a whole lot of pride in craft roasting some of the best coffees in the world in small batches. 6) What has helped you the most in the success of your business? Our customers, our team and really wonderful community organizations like DLP, LDDA, CRA, Lakeland Chamber, ylakeland, and Catapult. I'm not talented enough to have made Black & Brew a success all by myself. It's been a combination of these elements that has made our success story a reality. 7) What is the biggest obstacle of being a small business? In my case the biggest obstacle to our success was my own inexperience. I was eager, ambitious and energetic, but lacked the wisdom that comes from experience. I was fortunate to connect with some really great mentors during our start-up who made the difference my own personal growth and development. 8) Why is the support of small businesses so important? Supporting small businesses keeps a greater portion of dollars spent in the local economy. Going one step further and supporting local small business helps to preserve and cultivate the character and unique identity of a city. 9) Do you participate in American Express's Shop Small campaign? (if no skip to question 11) Yes 10) If so, how has it helped you? Increased sales and greater awareness.

One last thing, when you head out with a full belly or hot drink in your hand, don't forget to look up.

You are very welcome and thank you for being in the heart of our city.

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