Called the “Buddy Brew Academy, Powered by Victoria Arduino,” the facility recently opened behind a glass wall towards the back of Buddy Brew’s 1,700-square-foot flagship cafe in Tampa. It features fully installed Victoria Arduino commercial equipment arranged in a gallery style, both for show and for work.
Guests to the recently renovated space can browse, test and place orders for Victoria Arduino on the spot.
Currently installed is a 3-group volumetric Victoria Arduino Black Eagle Maverick espresso machine featuring the company’s new Pure Brew technology, a 2-group volumetric Eagle One machine, and the E1 Prima and Prima EXP machines.
Grinders paired with the machines include the Victoria Arduino Mythos MYG75 and My75, and a Eureka Atom 65.
“Our collaboration unites the strengths of both companies, leveraging Victoria Arduino’s performance and Buddy Brew Coffee’s coffee expertise,” Marco Feliziani, CEO of Simonelli Group, Italy, said in a joint press release. “Together, we aim to deliver unparalleled value, pioneering education and an enhanced coffee experience for customers.”
Buddy Brew Coffee plans to utilize the facility as a training hub for baristas working at its eight retail locations, its mobile coffee truck and the coffee bars of its wholesale partners. The coffee company also plans to offer public classes within the space.
Founded as a roasting company by Dave and Susan Ward in 2007, Buddy Brew once housed roasting operations at the West Kennedy Avenue building. Roasting has since moved off site, but the location remains the Flagship Buddy Brew cafe.
The partnership with Simonelli Group expands the Italian company’s growing footprint throughout the world. In partnership with different distributors, the group has opened Victoria Arduino “Experience Lab” showrooms in Jakarta, Barcelona and London (UK) in recent years.
To inaugurate the U.S. facility, Italian Barista Champion and 2023 World Barista Championship runner-up Daniele Ricci visited as a “guest barista,” demonstrating his latest techniques on the equipment.
“This unique partnership with our friends at Simonelli Group in Italy is a dream come true,” Dave Ward said in the joint announcement last week. “You can expect more guests like Danny to be a part of our coffee education classes and product launches in the future.”