Omar Coffee Company
A family tradition of great coffee, great people, and great service since 1937
Making a delicious cup of coffee is as much a science as it is an art. It requires both an exceptional dedication to quality and care for the customer. Omar Coffee Company and BeanZ & Co. have forged a thriving partnership, because both companies have a deep commitment to providing their customers with outstanding coffee and service every day.
“Making an excellent cup of coffee begins with relationships, understanding the client’s needs, and providing or tailoring machinery to match the business and the menu,” explains Kevin McDermott, Specialty Coffee and Espresso Division, Omar Coffee Company. “Equally important is finding and roasting the blend or single source coffee to the flavor profile that best suits the customer – and matching the quality of that roast every time.”
Kevin and Omar Coffee first started working with Kim and Scott Morrison, co-owners of BeanZ & Co., years ago at The New England Pasta Company when Kevin refurbished an espresso machine Kim got for a song as she says. “Coffee machinery is very expensive, so having Kevin’s help has been instrumental in finding, tailoring and servicing our machines to make them work for us and within our budget.”
It’s no surprise that Kevin and Omar Coffee were among the first people Kim reached out to when outfitting BeanZ & Co. with equipment and making plans for expanded and specialty coffee service. Once again, Kevin’s expertise in coffee machinery and his ability to tailor it exactly to the customer – and do so at the right price point – helped set BeanZ & Co. up for success.
“Kevin listened to our needs for coffee machines that would be user-friendly, especially for our employees with disabilities, and spent time to show me options,” says Kim. “He recommended an automatic espresso machine with traditional steam and auto-cappuccino wand components. For our regular brewed coffee, he added single press-and-pour buttons to those machines to make them easy for our employees to operate.”
Beyond that, Kevin and Omar Coffee were committed to helping BeanZ & Co. as a start-up. Kevin helped Kim select a morning blend and a dark roast coffee, both rainforest alliance certified coffees, that like all Omar coffees are roasted and delivered to the customer within one week for peak freshness. Kevin also provided coffee menu recommendations, trained employees, and stepped in as a barista at the BeanZ & Co. grand opening – all at no charge.
“Right from the start, there has been such an energy for BeanZ & Co.,” says Joanne Lemnios, Executive Vice President/Principal, Omar Coffee Company. “From Kevin’s first BeanZ & Co. meeting, to our attending the grand opening to see the crowds, the media, and the state representatives – the energy has been incredible. BeanZ & Co. is just going to get better and better. We’re happy to help support their success however we can.”
Grand opening day, Omar Coffee’s commitment translated into Kevin helping make more than 260 coffee drinks in four hours. “So much of the credit goes to the BeanZ & Co. barista, Jack Carew,” says Kevin. “He helped me learn some specialty drinks on the menu in short order. I am proud to say the only mistake we made was pouring a large latte instead of a small. It was also an opportunity to use the espresso machine on a high traffic day and see that I needed to make an additional adjustment to improve its function.”
Without a doubt, it’s been the collaboration with so many that has helped launch BeanZ & Co. – from our vendors, to our community partners, to our employees.
“The grand opening was a huge success that took teamwork,” says Kim. “ Kevin kept us out of the weeds opening day and Joanne was there with us, too. Omar Coffee is above and beyond when it comes to service. They deliver the kind of service we strive to provide day in and day out. We want to exceed customer expectations.”
For Omar Coffee and BeanZ & Co., a tradition of great quality, great coffee, and great service are essential, as is the importance of family. BeanZ & Co. is the Morrison family’s second venture, having founded The New England Pasta Company in 1994, which continues to thrive today, and opened BeanZ & Co. with the Alix family in 2018. The Omar Coffee Company family tradition stretches even further, now in its third and fourth generation.
“My grandfather founded Omar Coffee more than 80 years ago,” says Joanne. “He fled a turbulent Greece at the age of 16, as did my grandmother, each making separate journeys to the United States. They met and married here, and instilled the values of family, service and hard work in us and in our business that are still going strong today.”
Founded as Aroma Coffee on Franklin Avenue in Hartford, Conn. in 1937, the roaster became the Omar Coffee Company just before the U.S. entered WWII in December 1941. In 2002, they moved to expanded facilities and offices in Newington, Conn. One instantly feels the company’s values when touring its offices and facilities, and talking with executives and employees alike.
“It is very special to be a part of BeanZ & Co., a company that cares about family, employees, quality, service, and community as much as we do,” says Joanne. “We are a thriving and growing business that started from humble beginnings and believe it’s our responsibility to give back. We take great pride in helping organizations like BeanZ & Co. who are doing such good for others.”
What’s next for Omar Coffee and BeanZ & Co.? The two are in talks to possibly private label a BeanZ & Co. blend and do some cross promotions together. “It is exciting to collaborate, explore possibilities, and think about what’s on the horizon for both of us as we grow,” says Kim.
Omar Coffee Company is a wholesale and retail coffee roaster and distributor. It provides sustainable coffees and organic coffees tailored to customer needs. Omar Coffee purchases and roasts fair trade certified and Rainforest Alliance certified coffees, and is a certified organic coffee roaster. All Omar coffees are traceable to the farm they grew on and are kosher. In addition, Omar Coffee services and sells coffee machinery, roasts and packages private label coffees, and sells alliance coffee products. Omar Coffee Company is located at 41 Commerce Court, Newington, CT 06111. For more information, click here.
BeanZ & Co. is an inclusive coffee café employing people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities and demonstrates the possibilities in all of us. The coffee café serves breakfast, lunch, hot and cold beverages, and bakery items for take-out or to eat in, and is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. BeanZ & Co. is located at 300 West Main Street, Avon, Conn. For more information, visit beanzandco.com.