In the south eastern region of the USA is Florida. Famous for oranges, NASA, Daytona International Speedway, alligators and sunshine, coffee is not on the ‘hot’ list for this state. But, like everywhere, the coffee scene here is changing. Doing their part to serve quality coffee and provide education is Perq Coffee Bar. A concept by sisters Erin Zolner and Amy Nichols and envisioned by Erin’s husband, Keith.
Opening in May 2013, and housed in the original Sarasota fire station number 2, the industrial structure dictated the look and feel of the coffee bar. “We were inspired by Nordic style service, pacific northwest culture, and Australian design.” Says Erin, “We were most inspired to try and bring many features in coffee culture that we love from various places around the world together in one location for our guests to enjoy.” Concrete and steel warmed with cypress wood walls, stainless steel surfaces, green accent pieces, and the sparkling brewing equipment provides the distinctive visual elements. Upon a visit to Perq, customers can expect something a little different. The welcoming interior and friendly, quality service is combined with a little bit of discomfort from the coffee offerings. “Our coffee isn’t the same as the coffee they (customers) may experience when entering most cafes, so we felt our menu shouldn’t be either.” Says Erin, “We are taking back some of the vernacular and forcing customers to think a bit when choosing their coffee drink.”
The experienced staff at Perq confess that they are total coffee geeks. They are infatuated with the particulars of each coffee brewed and served. The origin of the bean, the people who farm them, the harvesting and processing methods, the care taken by the roaster. “And the many ways by which we can affect the final resulting brew in our customers cup.” Says Erin, “Each step in the process is critical to serving the best coffee possible and it is the incredible amount of detail all along the path that the coffees take from origin to the cup. That’s what we love the most about coffee.” Perq provides coffee-lovers the opportunity to indulge in their enthusiasm for the drink and new customers the opportunity to taste a specialty coffee for the first time. “Specialty coffee is growing significantly in the USA and we are proud to be a part of an increasing number of shops that are trying to bring a new experience in coffee to the public.” Says Erin.
The beans at Perq are sourced from dedicated micro-roasters from across the USA and the bright green, shiny, Slayer espresso coffee machine is a cornerstone of their service. “Not only does the beautiful design and quality construction of the machine match our style, but the unparalleled functionality and precise control allows us to custom profile each single origin bean that we put on the bar in a way that could not otherwise be achieved.“ says Erin. Perq offers four single origin coffees that are served using multiple brewing methods on either the espresso or at the brew bar. A variety of small-batch baked goods are available as well as sandwiches, salads, and cheese plates from local artisan shops.
When you enter Perq Coffee Bar, we suggest that you leave your preconceptions about coffee at the front door.