MASS LIVE – For Frank Peace, things have come full circle.
The restaurateur previously served as the director of operations for Starbucks, overseeing more than 100 locations in New England, including one on Boston Post Road in Marlborough. This month, he and his wife, Linda, opened their own coffee shop in the same space.
Brew Coffee Bean, located at 187 Boston Post Road West (Route 20), is similar to the Brew on the Grid that Peace ran in Worcester before parting ways with the Grid District’s management group earlier this year. He said his new cafe has more of a focus on baked goods and aims to create a warm atmosphere with the addition of more couches.
“We’ve lived in this community for 24 years and this used to be a Starbucks, and when I was with Starbucks it was part of my portfolio,” Peace said. “This is a real David and Goliath, we’re toe-to-toe with Starbucks across the street. We’ve progressively gotten busier and busier every day.”
Brew Coffee Bean currently has 14 employees and plans to apply for a liquor license. In addition to coffee and tea, the cafe offers an assortment of sandwiches and salads.
“We’re trying to make sure that we’re offering this craft experience with coffee and marrying it with craft food,” he said.
Peace said he’s already looking at another location and hopes to open at least two or three more Brew Coffee Beans within the next year.
“I’m confident what we need to do here is wrap this tight first and make sure we have a solid team in place, and then go to the next one,” he said.
Eventually, Peace hopes to find locations large enough to house roasteries, so the coffee can be roasted on-site. He’s also looking into the possibility of buying and converting existing coffee shops to Brew Coffee Bean locations.
While running Brew on the Grid last year, Peace said that he wanted to open 30 new Brew on the Grid locations throughout the state, including coffee shops in Salem, Lynn and Marlborough. Grid Hospitality Management, which now runs Worcester’s Brew on the Grid, opened a second location in Lynn, but the other Brew on the Grid locations never materialized. The Grid told MassLive that it was looking to focus on Lynn and Worcester, where the company owns residential properties.
In describing his new venture, Peace spoke about his departure from Worcester’s Grid District amicably. There, he helped open Brew on the Grid and Stix Noodle Bar.
“We really enjoyed doing that, but we clearly had a different vision for what it took to manage the businesses and what my true vision was for growing Brew coffee,” he said. “It was good that we were able to work things out the way we did, and they’re going to be very successful.”
This article by Aviva Luttrell originally appeared here.