BERLIN, Germany – With now 10 specialty coffeeshops in the capital, Berlin-based company THE BARN has developed strongly since opening its small café in the Scheunenviertel in 2010. As pioneers of the Third-Wave coffee movement, THE BARN has significantly influenced the perception for quality and the improvement of the value chain in coffee production. It is not the stringent attitude towards serving standards, the well-known bollard or the takeover of Café Kranzler that has made THE BARN world famous: It is the personal relationships with microfarmers, the high-quality roasts and the sharing of knowledge that makes the company what it is.
The branding is deliberately restrained, the packaging almost simple: the focus is on the content: on constantly improving the product in order to be able to pay the coffee farmer more and more – in return for increasing quality.
Baristas from over 20 nationalities have moved to Berlin to work for THE BARN and to be part of the mission to take coffee to a new level. Over 130,000 followers share their experiences with coffee brews from THE BARN around the globe. The community orders the coffee “roasted in Berlin” and it is shipped to over 80 countries.
The ten Berlin cafés of THE BARN are designed individually and of high quality, not to appear as a café chain, but to be as individual as the community of THE BARN is: All age groups and social backgrounds understand quality – coffee is a democratic product and THE BARN’s cafés function as a “hub” in the neighborhoods, where you can enjoy your coffee in peace and slow down. At the same time you learn something about the “Nano Challa” or “Volcan Azul” and why this micro lot tastes so special this season.
Since 2012, roasting has been taking place at Schönhauser Allee 8 – the well-known Bollard Café, which is of course primarily a coffee roasting facility, i.e. a food production business that is subject to hygiene and fire protection regulations. This is one of the main reasons why strollers are not possible and dogs cannot be brought into the café. Actually quite logical.
Today the roasting plant has been moved to the Wattstraße. Wedding is on the rise and in the industrial area just opposite the Deutsche Welle, THE BARN feels very comfortable. Surrounded by start-ups, the TU Berlin, the fashion label Lala and right next to the Phorms School.
The relocation is also an expansion of the roasting capacity, a new commissioning line and an added bakery, where THE BARN bakes all cakes and cookies freshly for its own cafés according to the recipes of the mother of founder Ralf Rueller.
A new “Annex” café has been built facing Voltastraße, with visual axes into the roasting facility. The café in itself is already a highlight – it is lined with Canadian cedar shingles and thus reflects the original character of THE BARN (“Die Scheune”).
From late afternoon and on weekends, the café is transformed into a training center for barista training for THE BARN’s international business clients. After the COVID-19 crisis, there will be workshops and certification courses for private customers again.
The company is particularly proud that it is able to implement the investment in its most severe crisis. It is an important impulse for the motivation of all employees. The 10 cafés in Berlin are strongly affected by COVID-19 since March. The lack of tourism, the home-office situation and the hygiene requirements caused a massive drop in sales of the local café business. Also the global B2B customers were in corona-lockdown and could not place orders.
It is only thanks to the strong online community that THE BARN has managed to navigate through the economic crisis so far. The company has not received any government subsidies or support.