FRESH BREWED COFFEE – CLEVELAND
Between running one of Cleveland’s hottest apparel companies, overseeing a creative in-house agency, managing a #1 UFC contender, and even campaigning for mayor for a year, you’d think Tony Madalone was at capacity.
You might be right about a full plate, but he had a coffee cup- and it was empty.
Not only did Madalone and the Fresh Brewed Crew open their first Fresh Brewed Tees brick-and-mortar location in Ohio City in November, but they also opened Fresh Brewed Coffee, a new cafe placed directly next to their flagship store.
“I’ve always had a vision to grow”, Madalone says, “I really enjoy having the roots here at home”.
A resident of Ohio City for seven years, Madalone has been able to recognize gaps in the area- one being retail. Opening the first Fresh Brewed Tees location in his “backyard” made sense, and it didn’t hurt that Ohio City seemed to be on the verge of a new era. “We feel like we’re at the forefront of a new renaissance of retail in the area- that’s my hope”, he explains.
Behind Fresh Brewed Coffee
The idea of a coffee shop first came to Madalone and partner Aaron O’Brien 3-4 years ago. “We were always hanging out at coffee shops”, Madalone says, “but there weren’t a ton in the area, especially that were open late”. That’s why Fresh Brewed Coffee is open until 9 PM almost every night of the week, allowing members of the community to utilize the space for work, friendly meet-ups, and more.
Julie Rose acts as the General Manager for Fresh Brewed Coffee and came with years of experience in the industry. Together with Tony and a team of baristas, Julie spearheads the flavor decisions and uses their house-made syrups to create drinks like the orange cardamom mocha, the rosemary sage latte, and seasonal offerings with flavors like peppermint and s’mores. “I’m a latte guy”, Madalone says, “My goal from day one was to have a coffee shop where I had the best latte in Cleveland”.
Sourced from Collectivo in Milwaukee, Fresh Brewed Coffee uses top-notch coffee beans harvested by long-term farmer and co-op partnerships across the world. Madalone explains that “consistency is key” for their café, and adjustments are constantly being made to bring better flavors and unique offerings to their patrons.
Building a Community
Madalone expressed that the best thing about opening the coffee shop next to their flagship store is getting to meet members of the community. “Everything we’ve done outside of the online space has been to build an experience, and the coffee shop allows us to do that”, he explained. They plan on using the space for “much more than just retail” and have already held events like the Christmas wrapping party for the Josh Cribbs Foundation and a meet-and-greet for Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward.
The combination of entrepreneurial spirit and classic Northeast Ohio work ethic means Tony Madalone and the Fresh Brewed Crew have no plans on slowing down. Fresher, Madalone’s creative in-house agency, is currently working on the branding for the newest multi-use office space and apartment complex set to replace the Market Plaza shopping center on the corner of W. 25th and Lorain.
Looking into the future of Ohio City and Cleveland as a whole, Madalone believes building jobs should be a big focus of the community. He’s proud to have already contributed a few jobs by opening the apparel store and coffee shop and hopes to contribute even more in the future.