Let’s Go, South Florida: How a Hollywood coffee roaster with an off-the-beaten path shop hit it big on Amazon

South Florida Sun Sentinel

Jul 22, 2021 3:31 PM

This week on Let’s Go, South Florida host Arlene Borenstein visits Koffee Kult.

On this week’s Let’s Go, South Florida: Discover a hidden coffee shop and roaster in Hollywood with host Arlene Borenstein. She sits down with owner Jaime Mardis to find out why Koffee Kult is growing a cult-like following.

You may not have heard of Koffee Kult, a family-owned coffee shop tucked inside a warehouse in Hollywood, but the organic coffee roaster has built a cult-like following on Amazon.

Since 2010 owner Jamie Mardis has grown his business from a profitable hobby to a 5,000 square foot warehouse with 14 employees where he and his family roast and ship 3,000 pounds of coffee across the country for their online orders each day.

“I bought a roaster that roasted more coffee then I could drink myself so I started giving it to my friends. But then when I stopped giving it to them, they wanted to buy it from me…and we wound up selling coffee,” Mardis said.

Arlene Borenstein holds a latte made at Koffee Kult in Hollywood Florida, on Tuesday, June 15, 2021.

Arlene Borenstein holds a latte made at Koffee Kult in Hollywood Florida, on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (Chris Day / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

Their coffee roasting facility — which looks much like a brewery — is also home to an underground coffee shop where you can buy a cup while watching the roasters at work through glass doors.

Their storefront facade sits just east of the train tracks that run parallel to Dixie Highway on South 21st Avenue, not far from Young Circle. The family reworked a portion of their warehouse space to look like a quaint, modern coffee house where they serve coffee, espresso, tea and a variety of croissants and cookies.

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This summer they launched a medium roast cold brew, a mix of 100% Arabica coffee from South America and Indonesia, which can be served still or infused with nitrogen (watch the Let’s Go, South Florida video to see how this works). And along with other options including cappuccino and lattes, customers can walk in and ask for a single origin espresso shot sourced anywhere from Africa to South America.

“We spend a lot of time in Guatemala, Costa Rica and Colombia. We work with our partners, our farmers there to help them produce better coffee,” Mardis said.

And they do more than that. Mardis takes a strong stance against working with coffee farms that might be treating workers unfairly.

“One of my trips to Guatemala we learned that a farm that had the best coffee of our trip wasn’t paying women equally…I don’t understand how someone can pay someone half just because they’re different than anyone else,” he said.

He says after refusing to buy their products, the farm began making gender-neutral payments and still do three years later.

Koffee Kult is at 311 S 21st Ave. in Hollywood. Hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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