Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler wants to sell a $100 cup of coffee one day.
But that’s only part of the vision the six-time NBA All-Star has for his latest adventure: Brand BigFacea coffee and lifestyle company that is starting to make waves in the specialty coffee industry.
The idea for BigFace began in Butler’s hotel room during the strict bubble environment on the Disney World campus to help wrap up the 2019-20 season amid the growing coronavirus threat. A coffee lover, Butler arrived armed with his personal grinder, pouring kit, espresso machine and milk frother. Butler knew the coffee options available would be limited in the bubble. Once news of his barista operation broke, brands around the world began sending him bags of specialty coffee. Butler sold his coffee drinks for $20 a pop to teammates, opponents, league staff and even members of the media.
Apparently, Jimmy Butler wasn’t kidding about the extra charges for using his French press at Disney. (Taken from Meyers Leonard’s Twitter): pic.twitter.com/1s1em6flRG
—Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) August 15, 2020
After seeing the welcome he received during those months in the bubble, he decided to turn this side hustle into a real business. The BigFace brand, which sells specialty coffee blends and branded products through its website, was officially launched last October on International Coffee Day. In March, the brand opened its fourth and largest pop-up store during the Miami Open tennis tournament, where it served coffee to players and in VIP areas. It also launched its specialty cold infusion, super cold castillo canned coffee. Seeing the products resonate with tennis fans and athletes is a testament to the time Butler has dedicated to the craft, he says, and the importance of teamwork. A few months ago, he hired Britt Berg, a former Intelligentsia Coffee executive, to be his COO.
“Nothing surprises me because of the creative spirit and hard work of the good people I have around me,” Butler says. “We just want to shake up this whole cafe space and do things differently.”
For Butler, that means serving very high quality coffee. Since leaving the NBA bubble, hWe traveled to coffee farms to learn about the different beans, the regions and the families who grow them. He says he now drinks 7-10 cups a day, mostly for testing purposes. He’s still working towards that $100 mug – the term “big face” is slang for a $100 bill. “The specialty coffee is real, and a $100 cup is coming soon,” he says. “One day I will have all the knowledge about coffee to know 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 coffee. He says his overall goal for Big Face is to create a premium coffee experience with high-quality products while creating a coffee community where people from 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 to make our brand appeal to everyone.