Five years ago, Paul Massard and Chris Nolte launched their Miami-based coffee-roasting operation, Per'La. Since then, the partners' coffee can be found at many of Miami-Dade's top luxury hotels, neighborhood cafés, and their own coffee shop — House of Per'La — in Coral Gables. Now they're preparing to take their homegrown concept overseas to open a second location, in the quaint town of Newbury, England, about an hour and a half outside London.
The destination for the brand's first expansion outside of Miami, let alone the country, was the result of a unique opportunity with a U.K.-based partner who's an avid coffee drinker and car collector. Nolte tells New Times: "It's going to be a very cool concept. It's really a true fusion of coffee and car culture." The project, like the Miami location, will include a roasting facility for wholesale production; it will also boast a coffee shop to serve freshly prepared drinks and small bites, as well as a gallery of about a dozen exotic cars spanning Ferraris to Aston Martins.
Per'La, whose motto is "sourced globally, roasted locally," offers a variety of blends whose beans hail from places ranging from Ethiopia to Colombia and beyond. Nolte explains that the same popular coffees they roast in Miami will be offered in the United Kingdom with the same flavor profiles: "We'll send digital roasting profiles to our team in the U.K., and as long as we have the same coffee here as we do there, we will roast the same way with the same temperatures and so on." The training process has been very detail-oriented, according to the coffee partner. "We've already had their core team here in Miami for the first round of training, and both Paul and I will go over there separately to continue the training and brand knowledge."
The coronavirus crisis has scuttled their original plan to open Per'La Newbury in mid-April — the construction has been whittled down to one worker at the site per day. Whenever they get the green light to allow larger construction teams back on the site, the location "could, in theory, open very quickly," Nolte says. Though the situation isn't ideal, he does see a silver lining: "This gives us a chance to put more thought and development into the back end. We want to do a very thoughtful, proper launch."
But local fans of Per'La can still get their fix. While House of Per'La remains temporarily closed during the pandemic, more people seem to be brewing at home, Nolte says. He has seen a notable increase in online orders that ship from their roasting facility near Tropical Park.
In response to Miami fans' inquiries, requests, and feedback, he and Massard have been regularly posting on Instagram updates and announcements of new offerings. Stating in a recent post, "You ask, we listen," they're now offering new coffees and a hefty five-pound bag of beans; they've even created a special blend to benefit the Miami Restaurant Employee Relief Fund.
They also plan to host weekly takeout pop-ups at House of Per'La. The first one, happening this Thursday, April 9, will sell baked goods, a coffee bar, retail bags of beans, and other products. Nolte appreciates customers with a passion for Per'La products. "It's great to see the love from the community," he says.
House of Per'La takeout pop-up. 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, April 9, at House of Per'La, 2626 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables; 786-703-9183; drinkperla.com.
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