by Tara Morgan
It used to be Starbucks. Then it turned into Tully’s. And now the longtime coffeeshop space at the corner of Idaho Street and Capitol Boulevard has swapped signs once again, becoming Caffe Capri.
But that’s not the only downtown Tully’s to pull a switch-a-roo. As of April 16, the Tully’s in BODO also bears a new name: Caffe D’arte. So what’s up with all these sudden name changes? BW sat down with Joe Mancuso, Caffe D’arte general manager, to find out.
“My family started Caffe D’arte in 1985 and we’re based out of Seattle,” said Mancuso, who is the brother-in-law of company owner Mauro Cipolla. “We have a retail store in downtown Seattle that we’ve had for 25 years, and then we have one in Portland [Ore.] that we’ve had for seven years, and then we just acquired this location.”
According to Mancuso, brothers Carl and Paul Pennington recently sold the Tully’s space in BODO to Caffe D’arte, which specializes in wholesale, small-batch roasted Italian coffee.
“We branded this to Caffe D’arte, and the other ... Tully’s locations, the Pennington’s are still going to remain owners of those locations, they’re just re-branding into another brand that we own as a company called Caffe Capri,” said Mancuso. “So, we’re basically licensing out a name to the Penningtons for re-branding but then we’re the roaster—we roast specific, special coffees for them, help them with training, equipment, latte art, all of that kind of stuff.”
The Pennington brothers, who live in Boise and are the sons of former Tully's corporate CEO Carl Pennington Sr., will continue to operate the former-Tully’s-turned-Caffe Capri locations at 624 E. Idaho St. in Boise; 3340 N. Eagle Road in Meridian; and 16365 N. Market Place Blvd. in Nampa. Former BODO Tully's manager Terry Becker and husband David will operate the Caffe Capri at 2242 E. Gowen Road. The Tully's locations housed in Albertsons and Fred Meyer will remain Tully's.
But while all four new Caffe Capri locations will carry Caffe D’arte coffees—which are roasted daily in Seattle and shipped out in less than 48 hours—they won’t necessarily be carbon copies of each other.
“It is not a franchise, it’s more of a licensing program. Basically, our partnership is, we supply you coffee, we provide you training to be successful, but if you want to buy a particular syrup for your beverages, you can buy anything you want. … They can buy from the bakery around the corner or bring in tofu if they want to.”
In fact, training is a central focus for Caffe D’arte.
“We actually have a coffee academy at our roasting facility, where we bring people in—owners, existing clients—and we teach them behind the scenes in regards to understanding coffee from the growing side of it, the harvesting side of it to the roasting side of it,” said Mancuso. “And then we move on to understanding the equipment and how to maintain your machine daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, also on preparing coffees, latte art, signature beverages.”
In Mancuso's opinion, the Pennington family made the switch from Tully's to Caffe Capri to focus more on coffee quality and process.
"I think the reasons why they wanted to come over and work with us is because we’re coffee geeks—all we do is coffee," said Mancuso. "Our desire is not to have 100 locations; we don’t. We’d rather have seven or eight here in the local community and be able to serve awesome coffee.”