Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler wants to one day sell a $100 cup of coffee.
But that’s only part of the vision the six-time NBA All-Star has for his latest endeavor: BigFace Brand, a coffee and lifestyle company that is beginning to make waves in the specialty coffee industry.
The idea of BigFace started in Butler’s hotel room during the strict bubble environment on Disney World’s campus to help conclude the 2019-20 season amidst the surging threat of the coronavirus. A coffee lover, Butler arrived armed with his personal grinder, pour-over kit, espresso machine, and milk frother. Butler knew the available coffee options would be limited in the bubble. Once word got out about his barista operation, brands from all over began sending him bags of specialty coffee. Butler sold his coffee drinks at $20 a pop to teammates, opponents, league personnel, and even media members.
So apparently Jimmy Butler wasn't kidding about the up-charge for the use of his French Press at Disney. (From Meyers Leonard's Twitter): pic.twitter.com/1s1em6flRG
— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) August 15, 2020
After seeing the reception he received during those months in the bubble, he decided to turn that side hustle into a real business. BigFace Brand, which sells specialty coffee blends and branded merchandise through its website, officially launched last October on International Coffee Day. In March, the brand opened its fourth and largest pop-up shop at the Miami Open tennis tournament, where it served coffee to the players and throughout the VIP areas. It also debuted its specialty cold brew, hypercold Castillo canned coffee. Seeing the products resonate with tennis fans and the athletes was a testament to the time Butler has put into this craft, he says—and the importance of teamwork. A few months ago he hired Britt Berg, a former executive at Intelligentsia Coffee, to be his COO.
“I’m not surprised by anything because of the creative minds and hard work of the good people that I have around me,” Butler says. “We just want to shake up this whole coffee space and do things differently.”
For Butler, that means serving up super high quality coffee. Since leaving the NBA bubble, he has traveled to coffee farms to educate himself on different beans, regions, and the families that farm them. He says he now drinks 7 to 10 cups a day, mostly for testing purposes. He’s still working toward that $100 cup—the term “big face” is slang for a $100 bill. “Specialty coffee is real, and a $100 cup is coming soon,” he says. “Someday I’ll have all the coffee knowledge on why it’s worth it.”
Still, Butler doesn’t want to limit his target market to those who can afford to drop $100 on a cup of joe. He says his overall goal for Big Face is to create a premium coffee experience with high-quality products while building a coffee community where people of all walks of life can connect.
“BigFace is a brand, not just coffee,” he said. “We want to make sure there is something for everyone. We have clothing, mugs, tumblers, and travel kits, all with the BigFace logo on them. We’re just trying to find a way for our brand to appeal to everyone.”