Joel and Leticia Pollock, Founders and owners of Panther Coffee
Why they’re in the Food 50: Joel and Leticia Pollock are Miami’s third-wave coffee revolutionaries whose local roasting house is learning to grow with the community. “The South Florida food scene seems more mature and ingredient-centered than it was five years ago, and we are really excited to see all the new options and the elevation of local fruits and vegetables and the new appreciation for high-quality and simple preparations,” Leticia Pollock said, adding, “We just try to stay focused on quality and keep everything real and feel like if we do things the way we set out to from our original idea, the rest will follow.” The Pollocks manage to maintain Panther Coffee’s high level of quality at its original roastery-coffee shop in Wynwood, at an outpost in Miami Beach’s Sunset Harbour neighborhood and for the dozens of South Florida restaurants that buy its coffees. And the couple, who met at a coffee convention in Minneapolis and moved to Miami from Portland, Oregon, are planning to keep things real through significant upcoming expansions: to Coconut Grove, Little Haiti and MiMo. The Pollocks are pros at forming and nurturing relationships, including ones with the farmers who grow their beans, the roasters and baristas who make Panther Coffee, and the customers who have realized it’s worth the patience and extra buck or two for a truly outstanding cup of coffee. It’s how they helped revitalize Wynwood and are poised to do the same wherever they go.
In next year’s 50: The Pollocks cast a proverbial vote for chef-owner Steve Santana of Taquiza, a tiny taco shop in South Beach, to be included in the 2016 South Florida Food 50.
Where to find them: Panther Coffee, 2390 NW Second Ave., Miami, and 1875 Purdy Ave., Miami Beach.
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