University Press

FAU alumni opens up Boca’s first self-serve coffee shop

The Organic Bean Co. has been serving natural, organic coffee through beer taps for almost a year.

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FAU alumni opens up Boca’s first self-serve coffee shop

Tiffany Hakim working inside of Organic Bean Co., the coffee shop she opened almost a year ago. Photo courtesy of FAU

Tiffany Hakim working inside of Organic Bean Co., the coffee shop she opened almost a year ago. Photo courtesy of FAU

Tiffany Hakim working inside of Organic Bean Co., the coffee shop she opened almost a year ago. Photo courtesy of FAU

Tiffany Hakim working inside of Organic Bean Co., the coffee shop she opened almost a year ago. Photo courtesy of FAU

Shirley Pierre, Contributing Writer

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One thing stood out to Tiffany Hakim while wandering the tropics of Costa Rica and Brazil, and it wasn’t the view — it was the coffee.

Sipping the region’s pure, pesticide-free coffee inspired Hakim, a FAU finance graduate from 2017, to launch her own coffee business called The Organic Bean Co. just minutes away from the Boca campus last March.

“I’m happy — it’s definitely a good feeling. It’s exciting, but scary,” laughed Hakim, who was previously in the serving and bartending industry.

The Organic Bean Co. is a self-serve coffee shop where customers can grab a cup made from plants and recyclables, pour their coffee grown from different countries through beer taps, and personalize their roast and brewing method.

“The concept is similar to frozen yogurt, but with coffee,” Hakim said. “People don’t know how most coffee is sprayed with pesticides and chemicals.”

According to a fair trade organic product site called Equal Exchange, “conventional coffee is among the most heavily chemically treated foods in the world. It is steeped with synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides.”

Customers can serve themselves coffee, tea, acai bowls, and more through the shop’s taps. Photo courtesy of FAU

When stepping into Boca’s first organic coffee shop which is about seven minutes away from FAU, you’re greeted by a resting area of woven hammocks, indie music and a hint of coffee fragrance in the air. Local artists have their nature-themed artwork for sale lining the shop’s walls.

“The owner is very knowledgeable and the coffee is delicious,” said Shari Paterno, a Boca resident, about her first time at the shop. “It’s mellow, it’s not acidic at all and it’s still strong enough.”

The coffee is freshly roasted and shipped to the shop from across the world within one to two days. The Organic Bean Co. also serves smoothies, tea, Chia pudding, breakfast sandwiches, salads, and more.

It took Hakim, two years and about $70,000 — more than tuition at FAU — to start her business. The five employees at the shop are all FAU students and Hakim’s brother, Raji Hakim, a FAU senior and former employee occasionally helps.

“I think it’s really cool that she has her own business,” said Raji.

Her family and customers alike find the shop to be a relaxing spot.

“It’s comfy, but open like a plush California house with the walls of glass,” said Eve Cohen, a University of Florida senior who was visiting Boca, “and it’s warm like California’s weather.”

The Organic Bean Co. is currently open Monday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday to Saturday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Shirley Pierre is a contributing writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected].

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