From Beads to Beantown
In October of 2011, Tom Barnes opened up his first coffee shop in a quaint location in Downtown Boston. But the story of Boston Brewin doesn't begin there...
After leaving high school at just 16, Barnes went on to explore, sight see, and travel around the world. He was inspired by the diverse cultures and ancient traditions he encountered, especially by how members of each community looked after each other. But despite these amazing cultures, it was hard to miss the obvious lack of modern medical care in many of these poor areas. Thus, he returned home with a mission: to make a positive difference.
Upon arriving home, Barnes opened an Indonesian bead shop in Provincetown, Massachusetts. After several years, the success of the shop culminated in an estimated worth of $3 million, which he generously put to good use. A large percentage of his profits were sent to an orphanage in Indonesia, which focused on helping children with cleft palates to find and pay for the medical care they desperately needed to live a normal and healthy life. So, through the success of his bead business, Barnes learned just how easy it is to raise money for those in need, and how much impact these contributions could make.
Seeking a higher profit to yield a stronger impact, Barnes decided to open Boston Brewin Coffee Co. because, as he says, “Everyone likes to drink coffee!” His business model is designed so that in several years, he can transfer ownership of the shop to a manager, who can then pay off the debt by investing in a new shop. It's Barnes' hope that this "pay it forward" model will lead to the opening of 20 new Boston Brewin locations over the next few years.
"I want to build a big family of people that really get it and take care of one another."
- Tom Barnes, Founder of Boston Brewin