A bad economy has forced two Bad Ass Coffee stores to close in Southwest Florida.
Stores in Estero and North Naples have served their last brews of gourmet Hawaiian coffee.
But another store, owned by the same family, remains open on Third Street South in downtown Naples.
“It was a very painful decision for us,” said April Garrett, who has operated the three stores with her husband, Donald. “The other two are closed due to the economy.”
She opened her first store in Estero about two years ago. It was near the intersection of Corkscrew Road and Three Oaks Parkway in the Estero Town Commons Place near Lowe’s.
It closed less than two weeks ago, along with a store off Naples Boulevard across from the Regal Hollywood 20 movie theater.
The timing was good for employees, many of whom were students returning to college, Garrett said.
“That is the good news,” she said.
The Garretts are franchise owners.
The Bad Ass Coffee Co. of Hawaii is based in Salt Lake City. It has been a rapidly expanding chain, but other stores have opened and closed in a tough economy.
There are more than half a dozen Bad Ass Coffee stores in Florida, according to the company’s Web site. There are also stores in such states as Virginia, Oregon and California. Several have opened in Japan.
When the stores first opened in Southwest Florida they stirred controversy because of their Bad Ass name. The name is based on the “legend” of the hard-working donkeys whose bellows were once heard as they carried heavy loads of coffee down Hawaii’s Kona mountains.
The company’s logo is a donkey.
There are no plans to close the Third Street store, which is located near the Tommy Bahamas restaurant and open seven days a week.
“We’re involved with the community,” Garrett said.
Julie Kinnison, manager of the Third Street store, said business is pretty good in the downtown location.
“During season we do very well,” she said.
The slower summer months are more of a struggle for the coffee shop, as they are for most service businesses in town. “We’re holding our own down here,” Kinnison said.
The store is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursday. It’s open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.