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Black Beach Coffee is Making Waves in Minneapolis

Black Beach Coffee roasters

Bags of Black Beach Coffee. All images courtesy of Black Beach Coffee.

A former Nike global brand director is embarking on a new creative voyage, opening a company called Black Beach Coffee in Minneapolis.

The coffee roasting brand is looking to pop up at spaces and events throughout Minneapolis and beyond, offering fresh coffee drinks, freshly bagged roasts and fresh approaches to service from founder Benjamin Peterson, who recently returned to the upper Midwest from Portland, Oregon.

Black Beach Coffee’s first weekend-long residency launched May 9 at the music-inspired coffee shop Harmony.

Black Beach Coffee Benjamin Peterson

Black Beach Coffee Founder Benjamin Peterson (right) at Harmony in Minneapolis.

“The beauty of Minneapolis is in many spheres,” Peterson recently told DCN. “The creativity, food and culture in this town is off the charts, and yet it’s still a little low key. It’s not the first on everybody’s list, which I kind of like.”

Black Beach coffees come packaged in a matte textured bag, selected for its distinct feel, decorated with shapes and typefaces that reference printed museum materials and recent art movements. The coffees profiled by Peterson are purchased green through Minneapolis-based Cafe Imports and then roasted locally at the Mill City Roasters facility.

“It was way harder to find co-roasting facilities here than it was in Portland. It was so easy in Portland,” said Peterson, who delved into the roasting craft at Portland’s Buckman Coffee Factory during his time at Nike. “I ended up striking a deal with Mill City, as they have great equipment and incredible people there.”

Black Beach Coffee

Peterson comes to coffee full time after years of experience in marketing, storytelling and other creative pursuits. He’s led dozens of high-profile product collaborations, including Nike collabs with Louis Vuitton and Billie Eilish. Prior to joining Nike, Peterson was a talent manager in New York and had his own band in the 2000s.

“I grew up sort of a weird Black kid in Wisconsin about an hour east of the city, and it wasn’t until I started coming here and going to punk rock shows and going to the Walker [Art Museum] and seeing art that I realized there were other weirdos as well,” said Peterson. “So this city, creatively, was very formative for me, and now I’m back and I want to really bring that nostalgic feeling of the creative community coming together again.”

Black Beach Coffee bags

Through his travels, Peterson developed an appreciation for light and bright coffees from certain roasters — he mentioned The Netherlands-based Dak Coffee Roasters and South Korea’s Fritz Coffee Company as two faves. Black Beach has launched with a more measured approach.

“I really love the fun, inventive, playful space where people are just down to go as funky as possible,” said Peterson. “In our initial offering, though, we wanted to have our flagship blend be a little bit more palatable.”

The next scheduled Black Beach popup will be an art-related collaborative event this month in New York City.

Black Beach Coffee Minneapolis

Following that, Black Beach will return to Harmony in July for “Summertime day party” service featuring affogatos, coffee spritzes and other fun treats.

Said Peterson, “Our goal this summer is to just be with people and be with the community for great events.”

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